The City of Anacortes has 79 storm water outfalls that are subject to monitoring for water quality under their storm water discharge permit. The City meets the permit requirements for monitoring; however, the Storm Water Division is interested in a greater volume of data collection. This project establishes a partnership between Friends of Skagit Beaches and the City of Anacortes to make available additional resources by using a crew of trained citizen science volunteers. The City will provide required monitoring criteria, quality assurance guidelines, and be responsible for any lab analyses of samples collected under this project for certain contaminants. Collected data will be documented, analyzed and available to residents and other constituents.
Friends of Skagit Beaches (Friends) will train, outfit, and coordinate citizen science volunteers to take field measurements and collect samples from storm water outfalls in the city. Volunteers will be recruited from the Salish Sea Stewards program. These volunteers receive general training on the marine ecology, critical eco-systems and habitats, and organizations in Skagit County working to preserve, protect, and restore those critical resources. Friends is one of the organizations affiliated with this program and routinely uses Salish Sea Stewards volunteers to support our projects. Other interested community members will also be invited to participate.
This project will establish baseline data on Anacortes storm water discharges into local bays and waterways. This will enable the City to prioritize their discharge sampling and help to identify outfalls that require action to mitigate pollution at upstream sources. By involving local citizens in storm water monitoring and making data publicly available, the project will increase visibility of water quality issues and engage the public in seeking solutions to problems that impact their water quality.