Since 1995, SPMC has been providing assistance to local schools through a work-study component of the Multicultural Initiative in the Marine Sciences: Undergraduate Program (MIMSUP). MIMSUP students earn their work-study stipends by providing lessons to local 2nd and 4th graders in marine science topics. SPMC is also working with the Alaska Fisheries Science Center (NMFS/NOAA) to implement programs for middle and high school science teachers from regional schools with high populations of minority students. The Marine Center also sponsors a Marine Biology Club in Anacortes High School and has assisted with the development of general public and K-12 educational programs in conjunction with the Ship Harbor Interpretive Preserve.
The Ship Harbor Interpretive Preserve, known as "SHIP," is an APF project designed to:
Protect the wetland and marine ecosystems, to educate students and the general public about the delicate wetlands, and to provide appropriate public access to the shoreline and natural areas at Ship Harbor. It is located between the Washington State Ferry Terminal on the west and residential developments near the cul de sac at Edwards Way on the east. In addition to the 25 acres of freshwater wetlands, there are also five acres of upland habitat and 2,000 feet of sandy beach and subtidal eelgrass beds.
History of Ship Harbor Interpretive Preserve
In late 1997, Gale Brink, Commissioner for the Port of Anacortes approached Jim Falk, President of Anacortes Parks Foundation to see if it was interested in developing a wetlands interpretive center at Ship Harbor. The Foundation expressed an interest and formed a Steering Committee led by Jim Falk with Dr. Mark Backlund representing the environmental community and Evergreen Islands, Dr. Steven Sulkin, Director, Shannon Point Marine Center representing the education and scientific disciplines, and Gale Brink representing the public. The Ship Harbor Interpretive Preserve (SHIP) was born.
SHIP Current Project Status
Construction of SHIP is broken into three phases. Phase 1 is comprised of nearly 1,800 feet of 5 foot ADA approved compressed gravel path from the cul de sac, with observation platforms, benches, interpretive nodes, shoreline access and signage. Construction for this phase began in September 2010, and will be completed by year's end.
Additional information can be found on the Anacortes Parks Foundation web pages.