All Hands on Deck

Our 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, we’ve invested millions of dollars of private and corporate contributions in education, protection, and conservation across the seven-county region of the Northwest Straits.

Read our 2014-15 Report to the Community here.

The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever. -Jacques Yves Cousteau


We work in partnership with the Northwest Straits Commission and
the Marine Resources Committees to support restoration and education projects across the region.

Learn more about our partners: Northwest Straits Commission and Marine Resources Committees

Board of Directors

Simon Geerlofs

Board Member

Simon has lived, worked, and played on Puget Sound for most of his life (aside from two separate stints in Washington DC, where he worked for Senator Maria Cantwell and the Department of Energy's Wind and Water Power Program). He served on the Snohomish County MRC from 2010-2016, as vice chair for during the last three of those years. Before that, Simon was the Marine Programs Manager for the NWS Commission. These days, Simon stays busy as a Program Manager for Pacific NW National Laboratory's Marine Sciences Laboratory in Sequim. He splits his time between the Laboratory and running a small film production studio, Transect Films, with his wife, Faith. Simon, Faith, and their five-year-old daughter, Hala recently moved to Port Townsend, after years of battling traffic in Seattle and are still in the process of decompressing.

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Anne Murphy

Board Member

Anne Murphy, a first generation resident of the Salish Sea region, was born in the Ohio River Valley of Kentucky. She moved west to attend Oregon State University for a degree in Natural Resource Management. She migrated to the North Olympic Peninsula to engage in coastal issues, resulting in a 27-year career in the non-profit, education and conservation field. As Executive Director of the Port Townsend Marine Science Center, Anne developed education programs and exhibits featuring Salish Sea marine life and conservation. She promoted citizen participation in science by establishing a community research lab that became the backbone of one of the region’s strongest citizen science programs. Since retiring in 2013, she remains hands-on with conservation through the Jefferson Marine Resources Committee and personal projects.

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Betsy Lyons

Board Member

Betsy Lyons has over 17 years of experience working collaboratively on scientific research, policy and conservation efforts in the Pacific Northwest. She has worked on a broad range of issues including forest canopy research, rare plant conservation, natural area stewardship, native oyster restoration, water quality, shoreline and estuary restoration and climate change. Her interest is in bring together people, funding, technical resources and sound science to make informed decisions and strategic investments in Puget Sound. She believes healthy, functioning habitats are key to supporting vibrant and sustainable local communities. She values the Northwest Straits Foundation's commitment to informed policy through sound science, citizen engagement, public-private partnerships, and voluntary conservation. Betsy was an integral member of the Puget Sound Nearshore Ecosystem Restoration Program which created the state’s nearshore ecosystem restoration strategy for Puget Sound. She helped create and manage the Estuary and Salmon Restoration Program which provides funding and technical assistance for high quality nearshore restoration, protection and monitoring in Puget Sound. She has a BS in Botany from the University of Washington and a Master of Environmental Studies from the Evergreen State College.  She currently lives and works in the Seattle area.

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Lenny Corin


Lenny Corin retired to Whidbey Island in 2008 from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service in Alaska. Lenny received his bachelor’s degree from Cornell University in wildlife conservation and his master’s degree from Northern Michigan University focusing on wetlands management. He serves on the Island County MRC.

Shannon Davis


Shannon Davis holds a master’s degree in Urban Planning with an emphasis on natural resource management from the University of Washington. She spent five years as the owner and operator of a sailing and kayaking charter boat business in the San Juan Islands. Shannon was the first coordinator for the San Juan County Marine Resources Committee and is now a member of the Jefferson County MRC. She has been Development Director at Friends of the San Juans, a local environmental group in San Juan County since 2003.

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Ian Jefferds

Board Member

Ian Jefferds is general manager of Penn Cove Shellfish, LLC and has been farming mussels on Whidbey Island since 1975 when he and his family started a mussel farm in Penn Cove; since then, his farm has grown to be the nation's largest mussel farm. Jefferds holds a bachelor’s degree in marine resource assessment planning from Huxley College of Environmental Studies at Western Washington University. He’s also on the board of the Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers' Association, is an active member of the California Current Acidification Network (C-CAN), past chair of the Island County Marine Resources Committee, and enjoys skiing, fly fishing, photography, golf and mountain biking.

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Jay Lind


Jay Lind is a third generation seafood processor with experience in marketing, quality control, finance, plant management, and international trade. He has a business degree from the University of Puget Sound and is currently involved with importing squid products and trading in seafood from the North Pacific. Jay is a member of the Skagit Marine Resources Committee.

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Jerry Masters


Jerry Masters is general manager for Valley Supply, a regional building supply company, and has represented economic interests on the Snohomish MRC, including serving two terms as chair of the committee. He also serves as a gubernatorial appointee to the Northwest Straits Commission. Jerry is excited by the Initiative’s ability to accomplish work through voluntary actions and its sense that responsibility for environmental outcomes should be shared by all.

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Jeff Ward

Board Member

Jeff Ward is a marine ecologist who retired in March 2015 as Senior Program Manager at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Sequim. He has over 35 years’ experience designing, implementing, and managing multidisciplinary environmental projects that assess ecological and human health risk and explain the tradeoffs associated with various management actions. Throughout his career, Jeff has worked closely with federal, state and local regulatory agencies; industry; and other stakeholder groups to develop collaborative solutions to complex problems and challenges. He currently represents the Clallam County MRC on the Northwest Straits Commission and the Northwest Straits Foundation, and is the coastal energy representative on the Washington Coast Marine Advisory Council.

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Join the hundreds of volunteers who help us every year! Your work will help protect the Pacific Northwest’s natural beauty and marine resources.

Volunteer today!

Northwest Straits Foundation Staff

Caroline Gibson

Executive Director

Caroline comes full circle in the Northwest Straits Initiative, having spent six years managing programs for the Northwest Straits Commission and four on the Jefferson MRC. A self-professed aficionado of sharks, natural history dioramas, and Washington wines, she previously spent more than a decade in the nonprofit sector, much of it as External Relations Director with Pacific Marine Conservation Council.  Caroline is a passionate advocate for community-based conservation, and has served on a variety of regional advisory boards and committees. She holds extensive at-sea experience and studied marine sciences at Memorial University of Newfoundland and the University of Maine.



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Cathy Cameron

Chief Financial Officer

Cathy is a CPA with over 26 years of experience in financial, budget, and organizational management.  As a way of “giving back” to the community, she has focused her carrier in the nonprofit sector working with local, regional, and national environmental, arts and humanities organizations. Her work also includes higher education and international public accounting firms.  She has lead numerous trainings in budget development and has completed training with the national Baldridge Performance Excellence Program. Cathy has worked with the Northwest Straits Foundation since 2012.


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Lisa Kaufman

Nearshore Project Manager

Lisa manages shoreline restoration projects on behalf of the Foundation and MRCs. She was formerly the Restoration Manager for the Washington State Department of Natural Resources. She has worked on restoration projects around the region and was key to successful implementation of the Northwest Straits Initiative's creosote debris removal program and an important partner on many nearshore projects.

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Jason Morgan

Marine Projects Manager

Jason manages the Derelict Fishing Gear Program and Shoreline Restoration Monitoring. Prior to joining the Foundation, Jason worked for six years in commercial fisheries management. Jason gained extensive field experience in the West Coast Groundfish Observer Program, and was a key component to the successful start of the IFQ Catch Monitor Program. In addition to a busy professional life, he is an active volunteer devoting time to community outreach and environmental stewardship programs.

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Heidi Lehman

Administrative Coordinator

Heidi is an enthusiastic and dedicated professional with over 16 years of administrative experience and seven years of experience managing private Foundations. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Journalism with an emphasis in Public Relations and a minor in Communications from California State University Long Beach. When Heidi isn’t assisting the Foundation with its many grants and programs, she enjoys hiking, cooking, and studying improv comedy.

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Director of Snoozin’ and Treats

Murray has been with the Foundation since March 2016. When he isn't sleeping, he enjoys short walks and long snuggles. Come by the office and meet Murray...he's got a few party tricks up his sleeve that he would love to share with you!


Fourth Floor Greeter and Howler

Zeke joined the Foundation in January 2017. He was born and raised on Whidbey Island, and he now spends his free time chasing Bellingham's finest squirrels, cats and free range chickens. He loves joining his human on visits to our many beach restoration sites.


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