Established in 1987 by citizens, business people and public employees, this non-profit corporation exists for the purpose of helping support public education, research and capital improvement programs at the Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. The Reserve, established in 1980 as the 8th within the National Estuarine Research Reserve System, (now numbering 28 throughout the nation) is Washington State’s only Reserve. It is sited on land that was formerly the Breazeale family farm.
The Foundation’s mission is to support the work of the Reserve and by that means, help preserve the Padilla Bay estuary. A major resource of the bay is the large contiguous eelgrass meadow; the most expansive in the Pacific Northwest. Valuable habitat for juvenile salmon and crab, a food web for multiple species including bald eagle, great blue heron, hawks & harriers, black brant, peregrine falcon, raven, and hundreds of thousands of waterfowl and shorebirds which visit and reside there annually, this Zostera seagrass expanse is of great ecological importance.
The Foundation is in an unprecedented phase of monetary support of the Reserve’s programs and projects. Over the last 13 years, $370,000 has been raised for capital construction and furnishings for new buildings, research materials, classroom materials, contracted assistants and consultants and for special events support. The Foundation administers the Smith/Aguero Trust Presentation on the Environment each year, and hosts many free-to-the-public events that draw participants from the community. We endeavor to spread awareness of the Reserve’s special significance to the state.
Currently, we are scoping and goal-setting on building a TOUCH TANK to augment our existing aquarium. We are celebrating having raised funds for the renovation of the Aquarium Room. This was a 2-Phase project. Phase I was complete May 2010, and Phase II was done as of March 2011. Our target of raising these funds was achieved earlier than we had projected. It’s wonderful to have the support of many individuals, foundations and businesses that clearly care. Our board of directors serves in a volunteer capacity and our 200+ members support us in achieving our aims. We welcome any questions you may have about our organization. In accordance with IRS rules, all donations are fully tax-deductible. We thank you for your interest in the valuable work we do to support the Reserve.
Board of Directors Members & their affiliations are listed as follows:
Glenda Alm – Retired from US Forest Service
Deb Canon – CPA with Metcalf Hodges – Bellingham
Paul Dinnel – Researcher with Shannon Point Marine Center – Anacortes
Andrew Entrikin – Communications Director, Port of Skagit County
Ed Gastellum – Retired from US Parks Service
Mary Heath – Retired from a career in education
Kara Kuhlman – Natural Resources Analyst, Lummi Natural Resources, Bellingham, WA
Tim Manns – Retired from US Parks Service
Anne Middleton – Retired from a career in education
Carl Molsworth – Communications Director for Port of Skagit
Gail Smith – Retired from Smith & Jones Attorneys at Law – Mount Vernon
Rebecca Spurling – Environmental Engineer with Tesoro Refining & Marketing – Anacortes
Connie Walser – Educator in the Burlington School District, WA
Todd Woodard – Environmental Specialist with Samish Indian Nation – Anacortes
Chet Yeo – Dallas, Texas
Also advising –Terence Stevens – Director, Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
Kay Reinhardt – Foundation Administrator