2024 Caroline Gibson Scholars

Northwest Straits Foundation featured in Salish Sea Wild Episode: Divers Remove Deadly “Ghost” Net

Just in time for the spooky season, SeaDoc has released their latest episode of Salish Sea Wild featuring “ghost gear” and the Northwest Straits Foundation’s derelict gear program. This video delves into the crucial issue of derelict fishing gear, often referred to as “ghost gear,” that poses a severe threat to marine ecosystems. We watch as professionals dive to remove one such lost fishing net from the San Juan Islands. These abandoned fishing nets and traps continue to capture and harm a wide range of marine life day after day. The video highlights the dedicated efforts of individuals like the “Super diver”, who specialize in pinpointing and removing these harmful ghost nets, and the importance of their work in safeguarding the health of the Salish Sea’s diverse ecosystem. Watch to learn about the long-lasting positive impacts of these conservation initiatives in reducing animal deaths and protecting the marine environment.

Click here to watch!

Our Commitment to

Restoring the Future


At the Northwest Straits Foundation, we’re Restoring the Future. One beach, one acre, one project at a time for a healthy and vibrant Salish Sea.

We work with a multitude of partners including tribes, nonprofit organizations, federal and state agencies, the Northwest Straits Commission and seven Marine Resources Committees (MRC) representing Clallam, Island, Jefferson, San Juan, Skagit, Snohomish and Whatcom counties.

The Northwest Straits Foundation leads marine restoration projects in those counties. We mobilize local support and volunteers, work with the MRCs, and fundraise to support our work. Our Foundation provides project planning and management, technical and scientific guidance, and field support.

We serve a diverse population based upon the rural reach of our work, from socially and economically diverse rural communities to tribal coastal areas, and urban cities such as Bellingham and Everett.

Our marine restoration work serves everyone because the marine environment is a public resource. Thanks for joining us to Restore the Future!



Get Involved

We work alongside citizen volunteers to collect meaningful scientific data to better understand the health of our shorelines and the physical and biological responses to the shoreline restoration efforts.

What we do

We play a vital role in the Northwest Straits Initiative; leveraging funding for, and collaboration in, conservation and restoration projects that are important to our communities.

Our Impact 

We foster collaboration and participation to restore and protect marine resources of the Northwest Straits.

Acres of marine habitat restored

Volunteer hours

Derelict fishing nets removed

Community Engagement

Volunteers are our most valuable resource! Muddy boots, expert knowledge and boundless curiosity are intrinsic to the strong citizen science and marine stewardship that define the Northwest Straits Initiative. We love what we do, and anyone can participate.

Derelict Gear Program

By removing lost and abandoned crab pots, fishing nets, and other gear, our Derelict Fishing Gear program has helped restore more than 820 acres of precious marine environment, saving nearly 470,000 entangled animals annually.

Shore Friendly – Shoreline Landowner Program

Approximately 27% of our region’s shoreline is modified with armor. Reducing shoreline armoring is vital to restoring the health of the Northwest Strait’s ecosystem.

Beach & Nearshore Restoration

We’re improving nearshore habitat for salmon, bull trout, and forage fish, upgrading public access, and increasing the beach’s resilience to climate change.

Story Map


Northwest Straits Foundation
1155 N State St Ste 400
Bellingham WA 98225
(360) 733-1725