Happy 40th Birthday, Padilla Bay!
Washington’s Padilla Bay Reserve is celebrating four decades of conservation, outreach, and education in the heart of the Salish Sea. For 40 years, the Reserve has collaborated to protect and preserve Padilla Bay and the communities who depend on it. Reserve programs bring students and teachers to the bay for hands-on education, engage stakeholders in protecting against oil spills and supporting kelp forest recovery, and study and steward the vital ecosystems in the bay.
The Reserve protects more than 8,000 acres of land and water, including a highly productive eelgrass meadow used as a nursery by juvenile salmon, crab, and herring. Eelgrass also provides critical habitat for waterfowl and marine birds and is central to the state’s Shoreline Master Plans and Puget Sound restoration efforts.
2020 has been a challenging year, but there are many things to celebrate at the Reserve: new virtual education offerings, ongoing research and monitoring, a successfully completed touch tank exhibit, and several new staff members who have joined the family.
To help us celebrate 40 wonderful years, Reserve staff shared a few photos from the archives. Thanks for the walk down memory lane, Padilla Bay—we can’t wait to see what the future holds!
Padilla Bay’s campus was once home to Jersey cows on the Breazeale Farm.
Edna Breazeale with the original sign designating the Breazeale Wildlife Sanctuary, which would become the Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve.
From the 1982 dedication celebration.
Padilla Bay’s first education coordinator, Judy Friesem, leads children on a Mudflat Safari—a popular program that continues today.