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Padilla Bay Newsletter


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Current News Articles

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Farewell and Best Wishes to Alex

We don’t really like the idea of Glen (Alex) Alexander retiring after 27 years as Padilla Bay’s education coordinator. But we will send him off on April 30 with well-wishes and thanks for his hard work, entertaining songs, and many years of dedicated service.

Tens of thousands of school children know Alex as the Estuary Soup Chef. Saturday visitors see his helpful face behind the front counter in the interpretive center. Environmental Educators at Estuarine Research Reserves around the country know him as a clear-thinking leader on national initiatives and projects. Hundreds of "Mini Explorers" have helped him turn the crank of the cider press and learned about the legacy of Edna Breazeale and her brothers. Educators with organizations in the Pacific Northwest know Alex as a great organizer and proponent of environmental education.

Alex (who lives in Bellingham) has ridden his bike to and from work nearly every single day since 2008. We calculate he’s kept about 21 metric tons of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. Way to pedal, Alex! You’re an inspiration to us all. We look forward to seeing you biking along the backroads of Whatcom County and beyond in the coming years, and suspect you will thoroughly enjoy retirement.

Welcome to Rich Childers

The Northwest Straits Commission recently welcomed Rich Childers as their new director. Selected from a pool of highly-qualified candidates, Rich comes to the Commission from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, where he has worked since 2000 and served as the shellfish policy lead since 2005.

It is such a privilege to join a team with so much talent and enthusiasm towards protecting our marine resources," says Rich. "It truly is an honor to serve as your new director."Image of Rich Childers

Rich’s interest in marine issues goes back to the start of his career as a commercial diver in Santa Barbara. He left the commercial diving world to pursue a career in fisheries, earning a bachelor’s degree in marine fisheries at Humboldt State University and a master’s degree in parasitology from Oregon State. Rich spent four years on the coast of Ecuador working for the Inter-American Tropical Tuna Commission managing tuna fisheries and effecting changes in fishing methods to reduce dolphin mortalities in the tuna fishery. He’s been managing shellfish fisheries in Puget Sound since 1995 and is enthusiastic about working more closely with the local Marine Resources Committees.

Imagine a Touch Pool Experience

Thanks to generous donors and the "Taste of Padilla Bay" fundraiser last August, we are moving ahead with exciting plans for a touch pool in the aquarium room. The conceptual design is ready. Stay tuned for ways you can contribute to this long-anticipated project!

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