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County seeks help with survey

"Your eelgrass survey is in the mail. Island County shoreline property owners will soon be receiving a small, 12-page booklet from the Washington State University Cooperative Extension/Beach Watchers and the Marine Resources Committee asking them to help map eelgrass meadows along their beaches. The surveys will be used in conjunction with underwater video surveys to get a good picture of where eelgrass grows.The survey asks residents to explore their beach land and jot down a few observations, usually by checking a box next to the appropriate answer.Eelgrass is an important habitat and food source to many species of marine animals including herring, crab, jellyfish, tiny plankton and salmon. It's a slender, green grass that grows underwater but becomes exposed at low tide. Eelgrass populations are a key indicator of the overall health of Puget Sound waters. It tends to grow on sandy or muddy beaches in bays or other wave-sheltered areas. The survey lists nine extreme low tides between June 30 and Aug. 1 when conditions will be at their best. Surveys should be returned by Aug. 15. Postage is prepaid. For more information, call 679-7391 or 321-5111, extensions 327 or 391."

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