Expanses of salt water restrict the movements of animals and plants, making islands ecologically distinct from the mainland. Unique species, and genetically distinct variations in species, are also characteristic of island biogeography. Surprisingly little biodiversity research has been carried out in the San Juan Islands, however. Kwiaht is conducting inventories to fill that gap, and helping public and private landowners identify and conserve sensitive species.
Indian Island Marine Health Observatory:
The Indian Island Marine Health Observatory is part of Kwiaht's San Juan Islands Marine Monitoring Network. It is an ongoing interactive research program involving marine scientists, local volunteers, and Orcas Island schools. We work with the local community, providing outreach and education while surveying marine life in the eelgrass meadows, beaches, and rocky intertidal areas of Indian Island and Fishing Bay.
Fabulous Filtering Fungi:
On a small island off Washington's coast, high school students create barriers with oil-absorbing mushrooms to filter stormwater runoff that drains into the ocean.