On Saturday, November 15, Grays Harbor residents can join an interactive half-day bus tour of local sites to learn about how beaches, wetlands, and creeks play a critical dual role as unique ecosystems and engines of the local economy. Marine and freshwater shorelines in Grays Harbor are extremely dynamic and provide critical habitat for numerous species. Several scientific experts will be on the tour and will discuss coastal dune processes, the connection between wetlands, creeks and shorelines, and the birds and other wildlife that use those areas.

“This tour presents citizens with a great opportunity to see first-hand the beaches, dunes and other features of Grays Harbor County’s shorelines, which are diverse and varied,” said Casey Dennehy, Westport resident and Washington Coast Program Manager for the Surfrider Foundation. “These natural features are incredibly valuable to the community, providing protection from storms and flooding, habitat for oyster growing and fish species, and scenic beauty that draws visitors from far away.”

Those same shorelines are also highly coveted by landowners and businesses due to the natural beauty and proximity to water. Maintaining these natural features has been found to be good for both local residents and the economy. An economic study done by the University of Washington determined that 30% of the jobs in Grays Harbor County were dependent on marine resources. Protecting those jobs, community character, and ensuring economic opportunity for the next generation can be done by safeguarding shoreline resources. Local counties and cities are in the process of doing their shoreline planning right now.

Tour Details:
DATE:               Saturday, November 15, 2014
TIME:                9:30 a.m. for coffee and snacks. Bus departs at 10 a.m. Return at 1:30 p.m.
LOCATION:      Meet at the Top Food & Drug in Aberdeen (1213 E Wishkah St.)
COST:              Free
LUNCH:            Included (Choice of salad or sandwich)
RSVP:               http://bit.ly/1pYPe7Q or www.ghcsmp.org (and indicate your lunch choice)
HOSTED BY:   Grays Harbor County, Surfrider Foundation, Earth Economics and Futurewise

Visit ghcsmp.org for more information and to RSVP for the tour.