The Whatcom Marine Resources Committee is a diverse group of informed stakeholders serving to promote and facilitate actions that will protect and restore the marine ecosystem and its resources.

The story of the Northwest Straits Initiative...

Due to decline of marine resources in our region in the Mid 1980’s, Congress authorized a study of the area for potential inclusion in the National Marine Sanctuary system.  This proposal was met with strong resistance from locals who were concerned that a sanctuary would be administered in a top down fashion with Washington D.C. make decisions without local input.

Senator Patty Murray and U.S. Representative Jack Metcalf began exploring alternatives to that model for protecting and restoring the region and proposed  the Northwest Straits Marine Conservation Initiative, which was authorized by Congress is 1998.  The main goals of the initiative are: 1) mobilizing broad citizen support for marine conservation, 2) increasing voluntary compliance with conservation goals, and 3) utilizing local energy to generate on-the-ground projects

The Whatcom Marine Resources Committee was established by the Whatcom County Council in 1999.

Northwest Straits Initiative Family Tree

When we talk about the Northwest Straits Initiative we are talking about the whole family.

The Marine Resources Committees (MRCs) - seven MRCs in our region that are locally based and administered through their County government.

The Commission - is a regional coordinating entity and works within state government  to provide technical support and funding to each MRC.

The Foundation - is non-profit, non governmental and helps to attract additional resources for the work of the Northwest Straits Initiative.

MRC Staff Contact: Austin Rose

Whatcom County Public Works

360-778-6286

arose@co.whatcom.wa.us