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March 2020
Spring is right around the corner and the park is getting ready for a very busy season.  This issue of the CURRENT is full of opportunities to get involved in-from the Swing the Gates Fun Run/Walk to the start of the Beach Naturalist Program.  Read more and find out what is happening at your favorite park.

And remember to follow us on Facebook to get more information, more often!
Deception Pass State Park Restoration-Cornet Bay
by Paul Dinnel, PhD
Several phases of restoration work were carried out from 2012 to 2015  on Cornet Bay in Deception Pass State Park when about 1,000 ft (1.24 acres) of shoreline were restored to a more natural state by removing a creosote-treated bulkhead and the fill behind it and by planting native vegetation in the nearshore area. Read More...
Third graders get up close to a gray whale's skull while they learn about "gentle giants" at Deception Pass State Park
By Joy Kacoroski, Interpretive Specialist, Deception Pass State Park

Are you smarter than a third grader? Can you name a marine mammal that grows big, eats small and travels far? Third graders in the Oak Harbor and Anacortes school districts can!  Read More...

An Eye on the Pass….Three Inches too Long
-Excerpt from Exploring Deception Pass  by Jack Hartt

The building of the Deception Pass Bridge began in August of 1934 with the construction of the massive concrete pier footings.  The contractor built a concrete mixing plant on the Whidbey Island side for the south cantilever piers, using a 6000 foot pipeline from Cranberry Lake for water.  Read more...
Hello Beach Naturalists
As many of you are probably already aware we have some new and exciting changes planned for the Beach Naturalist Program this year.
To learn more about these changes, we invite all of you to join us on March 14th, 10am at the West Beach Shelter within the park for an informational meeting. During this meeting we will discuss the program changes and signup volunteers for trainings.

Swing the Gates, 5k Run/Walk will take place just before the campgrounds open and is a rare chance for runners/walkers to visit the campground before anyone else. 

Space is limited and we are almost at capacity for this event.  Sign up today!

Rig your poles, let’s go fishin’!

On April 18th, Deception Pass Park Foundation is hosting a new recreational event inspired by an age-old tradition for opening day. 
Keepin’ it Reel is more than a competition - it is a family event. We hope to provide a chance to explore local resources, enjoy refreshments and socialize with members of local stewardship organizations. There will be other opportunities and activities planned the day of the event which we hope will create lasting memories and new family traditions.

For more information and to register, please click here.

To learn more about WDFW fishing regulations and to get a license, please click here. 

Electric motor boats are welcome and all boats are subject to inspection before entering Cranberry Lake.

Hello Volunteers,
Spring is just around the corner, and we have many projects coming up around the park. Mark your calendars with the following dates:
March 14th, Sat-10am.  Join us at the West Beach Shelter (just south of the large parking lot at West Beach) to learn how you can become a Beach Naturalist Volunteer. For more information contact:
March 29th-This year Deception Pass Park is holding it’s inaugural Swing the Gates 5K Run/Walk on Sunday, March 29th, which is the last weekend before the park re-opens for the season. We need many volunteers for check-in, staffing the course, and handing out the goodies. Come be part of this event!

Click here for more info and sign up.
April 18th- Keepin it Reel Trout Fishing Derby. Many volunteers will be needed for this event. Look for volunteer sign up information soon.
Adopt a CCC Shelter-Bowman area still available.  If interested, please email us at

Message to Deception Pass Park Volunteers

New Volunteer Management System is Coming!

Some of you may have heard rumors that the Foundation and the Park will be implementing a new Volunteer Management System (VMS) soon.  Well, those rumors are true!

We are targeting April 1st to “go live”.  That means that event and volunteer activities that begin after April 1st will be managed with the new system and those prior will be “business as usual”.  For example, the Swing the Gate Fun Run that comes up on March 29th will be managed as before but the Keepin it Reel Fishing Derby on April 18th will be managed under the new system.   Volunteer activities that are ongoing or extend past April 1st will be migrated to the new system in the ensuing weeks.

So what does that mean for current Park volunteers?  It means that every active volunteer will have their own private portal on the system where they can get information about upcoming volunteer opportunities, check their schedule/assignments, verify/change their personal information and/or preferences, watch a training video, send a message to their team lead, download a form or other pertinent document, record time, and more...

So how will volunteers access this portal?  The private portal, called VicNet, can be accessed from any internet connected computer, tablet, or smartphone!  For example, say you are not sure whether you’re scheduled next Friday afternoon to help with an event?  No need to call, just use your device of choice, login and check it out!

So what happens to the existing volunteer information?  The short answer, most of it will be migrated to the new system.   When volunteers access the VicNet portal for the first time, they will be requested to carefully review all of their information and add to it with a expanded set of interest/experience areas, emergency contacts and other details.

Volunteers should expect to receive specific information about how to access and use the new VicNet portal within a few weeks.  Stay tuned and thank you for volunteering at Deception Pass State Park!

Great News for picnic fans!
As you may be aware, the park along with some great volunteers, are building CCC style picnic tables this Spring.  Thanks to the volunteers who are making this possible. The story has been picked up by KOMO News.  Click here to see more!
The U.S. Navy submitted a request to expand its Special Operations Training to 29 state parks. Parks staff is reviewing the Navy’s application and will provide a report to the Commission at an upcoming meeting.  To learn more and get involved, click here.

The Washington State Parks welcomes feedback from our friends groups, partners and the public.  You may provide comments through the website, email at or by mail to:
Washington State Parks and Recreation Commission
c/o Becki Ellison
P.O. Box 42650
Olympia, WA 98504-2650
The Deception Pass Half Marathon & Full Marathon
by Hosted by Destination Trails
Saturday, April 4th

The Deception Pass Half Marathon & Full Marathon explores the coastal trails around the famous Deception Pass Bridge on the North end of Whidbey Island. Enjoy stunning water views while running through deep green forests, rocky coastline, and some of the sweetest PNW single track!  For more information or to volunteer,
click here.
“Seal or Sea Lion? Pinnipeds of the Salish Sea”  Can you tell the difference between a seal and a sea lion? Did you know that pinniped means feather or winged foot? Come hear Dr. Cindy Elliser, research director of Pacific Mammal Research, takes us into a detailed look into our most common local pinniped, the harbor seal, and hear about the photo-ID work that PacMam is conducting to learn more about this species through the lens of the individual.  Friday, March 20, 2020. Northwest Ed. Services District Bldg., 1601 R Ave., Anacortes, WA.  7:00pm – 8:30pm. Sponsored by Friends of Skagit Beaches. Lectures are free and open to all ages. (Donations are welcome).  For more information about this and other upcoming Lecture Series topics please visit
Please contact us at:
To learn more, visit us at:
41020 State Route 20, Oak Harbor WA 98277

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Deception Pass Park Foundation · 41020 State Route 20 · Oak Harbor, Wa 98277 · USA

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