Stillwaters is an environmental science and education center in the Carpenter Creek watershed of Kingston, WA, on the shores of Puget Sound.
The Stillwaters wetlands are part of a larger system that includes forested, freshwater and emergent salt marsh communities. The salt marsh is part of the Apple Tree Cove Estuarine wetland system, which flows into Puget Sound. Carpenter Lake is just upstream from here, and we are part of the Carpenter Creek riparian zone.
Community citizens are joined by interns and graduate students from local universities in conducting field research and in monitoring and preserving the estuary, salt marsh, and the watershed. We are a volunteer-driven non-profit that welcomes new volunteers!
We use our field preservation and research work as a basis for community education, as well. We believe strongly in the need for community-building and creation of a sense of place for every person, wherever they live.
Our Strategic Plan
Healthy Puget Sound lowland streams and estuaries
Stillwaters advances scientific research, education, and restoration
on Puget Sound lowland streams and estuaries.
Our Strategic Plan – 2016 to 2020
Goal 1: Establish and operate Stillwaters as a science institute in the Puget Sound region focused on watershed research.
¨ Operate a professional scientific restoration and monitoring program focused on lowland streams and estuaries.
¨ Prepare the future generation of environmental scientists, using our restoration and monitoring work.
¨ Educate and engage citizen scientists of all ages using our restoration and monitoring work as a platform.
Goal 2: Protect and enhance the Carpenter Creek watershed and estuary.
¨ Leverage our science institute knowledge and data to advocate and partner with policy-makers and others for restoration and protection of the estuary and watershed.
¨ Monitor the effectiveness of restoration through water quality and other monitoring parameters in the estuary, salt marsh, and stream.
¨ Engage and support families, partners, and communities in advancing the health of the Carpenter Creek watershed.
Goal 3: Prepare Stillwaters to be a strong organization going into the future.
¨ Improve the campus to support Stillwaters’ science institute and to protect natural systems.
¨ Stabilize and increase the funding base and staffing of the organization.
¨ Increase and improve our Board, Staff, and Volunteers, in number, capacity, and skills.
Founded in 1999, by Naomi Maasberg, Joleen Palmer, and a small dedicated board, Stillwaters is situated on nine acres of forested, freshwater wetlands and emergent salt marsh along Carpenter Creek, in Kingston. The Stillwaters’ properties are surrounded by over 200 acres of preserved habitat, owned or protected by Kitsap County, Great Peninsula Conservancy, or the North Kitsap School District.
Since its inception, Stillwaters has been utilizing its inspiring natural setting to empower our community to make ecologically responsible decisions for the health of Puget Sound. Our educational and advocacy influence is amazingly broad for the size of our organization.
Our largest accomplishment is that we are proudly working with Kitsap County and State salmon recovery agencies to replace the two undersized culverts on South and West Kingston Roads as part of the Carpenter Creek Estuary Restoration. Our relentless work on this project since 2000 was honored by naming the first completed bridge the "Stillwaters Fish Passage." Our staff has been honored by Rep. Jay Inslee & by Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife for our work on this salmon recovery project.
The second culvert replacement is now funded and will be accomplished in 2017. A major focus of our work, now and into the future, rests on the fact that Stillwaters is responsible for the pre- and post- habitat monitoring for both bridge construction projects.
The Stillwaters Monitoring Program is critical for the restoration project, but it is also an excellent, active education for university interns, the citizen scientist volunteers, and the community. Our monitoring program has been featured at region-wide conferences as a model for citizen science and community-based restoration monitoring. We are very pleased that the monitoring program can be utilized for field placements and internships for university students from WWU – Huxley College of the Environment on the Peninsulas, and the U.W. Program of the Environment.
As in all our work in the past and the future, we continue our two-pronged approach: we will use the restoration and monitoring program as environmental education, while we, in turn, use education to protect our natural environment.