Play the Passport to Marine Adventure - Visit Skagit Valley - North Cascades National Park to Farmlands to Salish Sea

Play the Passport to Marine Adventure

The Passport To Marine Adventure is an interactive way to engage with the Salish Sea and its surrounding ecosystem. Visit our coastal exploration sites, complete educational activities, and win prizes as you explore the Salish Sea like never before. The Passport to Marine Adventure is a program of the Northwest Straits Foundation.

Northwest Straits Foundation’s mission is to protect and restore the health of Northwest Straits’ marine resources by promoting and implementing science-based restoration and stewardship, enhancing collaboration, and attracting resources for the work of the Northwest Straits Initiative.  Since being founded in 2002, they have invested millions of dollars of private and corporate contributions in education, protection, and conservation across the seven-county region of the Northwest Straits.

Get Outside and Explore

How To Play

  1. Fill out the sign-up form.
  2. Gain access to the Passport To Marine Adventure web page and receive your Passport To Marine Adventure in the mail.
  3. Visit restoration sites listed on the Passport and complete the suggested activities.
  4. Follow along and stamp sites with stickers as you complete them.
  5. After visiting the locations, notify by sending a picture of your passport to receive fun prizes!

Skagit County Sites

Padilla Bay

Explore!– Wade out into the shallow water and find some eel grass. Eel grass is the long blades of green “grass-looking” vegetation growing in the water. Carefully, bring your ear close to the water and listen! You might hear a slight bubbling in the eelgrass. This is the eel grass photosynthesizing!

Think!– What other plants photosynthesize? How do we know? Find other plants that “eat” using the sun.

Journal!– The Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve has recorded the sound of eelgrass photosynthesizing. Click HERE to listen. Do you sound like that when you eat?


Kiket Island – Kukutali Nature Preserve

Explore!- The narrow sand/gravelspit that connects Kiket Island to Fidalgo Island can be covered in high tide. Be careful. Cross the tombolo and explore Kiket Island, looking for signs of human impact.

Think!- There used to be a road connecting the island to Fidalgo Island. After exploring the island, imagine how the island would change if cars could drive on it. Do you think the animals would be happy?

Journal!- The traditional name of the area Kukutali means “place of cattail mat” referring to the temporary shelters erected of cattail mats at the summer clam digging and beach seining sites. Look up what these shelters looked like. Try to draw a shelter you would use if you were spending a lot of time on Kiket Island.


** Kiket Island is within the Swinomish Indian Reservation. To avoid being stranded for up to 2+ hours on Kiket Island at high tides, please check the NOAA tide chart for TURNER BAY for the day and time of your visit when the tide will be over heights of approximately +9.00 to +10.00 feet MLLW. This is the elevation of the lowest part of the tombolo that will be underwater if the tide is predicted to be higher than the tombolo.**

Port of Anacortes Rain Garden

Explore!- Explore the pocket beach and rain gardens on Railroad Avenue (north end of O Avenue); watch gulls fly and ships go by from the observation platform or from Lonely Pine picnic area cross the street.

Think!-  What do you think a rain garden does? Where do you think the rain water goes?

Journal!-  Write a story about a raindrop’s life. Start with it falling from the sky and try to make it end up in the Salish Sea. Did the raindrop go through a rain garden? Visit HERE to learn more.