Conservation group to hold forum on Cherry Point ecosystem

By Steve Guntli

A local conservation group is offering advice and accepting input on how best to preserve water quality in Whatcom County.

The Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve Citizens Stewardship Committee (CPARCSC) will sponsor its third annual public forum to discuss the Cherry Point aquatic reserve. The forum will feature four presentations from experts on topics relevant to Cherry Point.

Eric Grossman, a research geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey will describe the geologic structures and changes occurring in Cherry Point. Thomas Mumford, who works with the University of Washington’s Friday Harbor labs and for Marine Agronomics LLC, will address the importance of seaweed to the local ecosystem. Julia Parrish, associate dean of the University of Washington’s college of the environment, will discuss marine birds. And finally, Melissa Miner, a researcher from the University of California Santa Cruz will give a presentation on sea star wasting syndrome, a disease that is decimating the population of starfish all along the Pacific Coast.

CPARCSC is a volunteer group dedicated to education and outreach activities based around the Cherry Point aquatic reserve. They are sponsoring the event, with assistance from RE Sources North Sound Baykeeper and the Washington Department of Natural Resources.

The forum will be held on Saturday, October 24 from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in rooms 102A and 103B at Bellingham Technical College. The event is free to attend and will include complimentary beverages. Visitors can also purchase pizza for $5.

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