Parts of six Seattle city marine parks will become state marine preserves May 1, providing added protection for shoreline habitats and aquatic life.
The Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission voted earlier this month to designate parts of the shoreline at Golden Gardens, Carkeek, Lincoln, Discovery, Emma Schmitz and Richey Viewpoint parks.
The marine preserves include the area from high tide line to minus 4.5 feet (extreme low water) in each location.
Marine preserve areas are closed to removal of organisms from the intertidal areas, except that finfish may be harvested by hook and line. All other organisms in the intertidal area may be handled, but must be replaced unharmed in the location they were found.
People For Puget Sound and the Seattle Aquarium nominated the six sites for marine preserve designation a year and a half ago.
The state regulations, which affect all non-tribal harvesters, complement City of Seattle regulations adopted two years ago establishing the parks as city marine reserves to limit destruction of shoreline habitat.
"These areas were developed cooperatively by WDFW and the City of Seattle, to preserve marine organisms and the vital habits that supports them," said Mary Lou Mills, WDFW biologist. These areas also offer a hands-on educational opportunity for Seattle students and citizens."
"The state and the city are going in the right direction with these marine preserves," said Mike Sato, director of education and involvement with People For Puget Sound. "Lots of people visit these parks and they provide excellent opportunities to educate adults and youngsters in why it's important to protect and restore our shoreline habitats and organisms."
"This action exemplifies the core of the Seattle Aquarium mission - inspiring conservation of our marine environment," said Mark Plunkett, conservation coordinator with the Seattle Aquarium. "It was a pleasure to work cooperatively with the state and People for Puget Sound to accomplish a goal we all share."
The state regulations, site descriptions and map of the areas are included on page 116 of the 2005-2006 WDFW "Fishing In Washington" sportfishing rules pamphlet available at WDFW offices and recreational license dealers statewide, and available shortly on the WDFW website at http://wdfw.wa.gov