Winter 2020
By Jennifer Leach
Environmental Education and Sustainability Coordinator
Department of Parks, Recreation, and Culture

Hannah and Rachel patrol Sears1If you spend time along the Edmonds waterfront, chances are you’ve met one of our city’s Beach Rangers. Headquartered at the Olympic Beach Visitor Station from Memorial Day through Labor Day, Ranger-Naturalists help protect people, wildlife, and habitat within the Edmonds Marine Sanctuary through a variety of outreach and educational approaches.

What people may not know is that the Rangers are hard at work in our community even before the summer season starts. From early spring through the end of the school year, Rangers travel throughout our region to teach school-aged children about intertidal life in the Edmonds Marine Sanctuary, and how to enjoy exploring our beaches without harming the plants and animals that live there. These same classes then join our Beach Rangers here in Edmonds for a low-tide beach walk. For many schools, their visit to an Edmonds beach is the highlight of the school year.

The Edmonds Beach Rangers have been working to protect our beaches since 1983. Decades of heavy industrial and recreational use along the waterfront had severely impacted the marine ecosystem, and by 1976 the wildlife count at Brackett’s Landing was low enough to be considered almost non-existent. In 1980, the Edmonds City Council voted to declare Brackett’s Landing a marine sanctuary, and a few years later the first Beach Rangers were hired to teach beach ecology and conservation to school children during the spring and to patrol the beaches during the summer.

We’re happy to say that the Beach Ranger program has – and continues to be– a success. Wildlife has rebounded and ongoing protection and stewardship of our waterfront parks and beaches ensures that marine habitat in Edmonds will continue to thrive into the future. The support and dedication of our residents and Rangers to marine conservation along the waterfront has been key to that success.

The Parks Department is in the process of hiring our Ranger-Naturalist team for the upcoming season and will be accepting applications through January 31. If you or someone you know would like to join us to help us accomplish our important mission, learn more and apply online.

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