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Whidbey spartina conference set

Whidbey residents will have the chance to learn everything about spartina they might want to know.

An educational conference focusing on the scourge of spartina will be held May 21-22 at the Cornet Bay Environmental Learning Center near Deception Pass State Park.

According to Judy Feldman, Island County's 4-H coordinator, the conference participants will include students, volunteers and noxious weed professionals.

Three sessions will be held each day, beginning at 8 a.m. when participants will have their choice of sessions each day, with options appropriate for K-12 students, university students, professionals in the field, and community members interested in learning more about spartina and the impact of invasive aquatic species.

Langley Middle School seventh-grade Service Learning students will be participating.

Spartina is one of several invasive, non-indigenous species threatening Puget Sound. Allowed to grow uncontrolled, it has the potential to invade every mud flat and salt marsh in the state, Feldman said.

The Spartina Eradication and Education Project is funded by Washington Sea Grant Program Partners: Langley Middle School, South Whidbey School District, Island County Noxious Weed Control Board, Island County 4-H, Washington State Department of Agriculture, Camano-Stanwood School District and SEA Service-Education-Adventure.

There is no cost for daily student participants, a $5 fee for all adult participants. For groups/individuals that would like to spend the night and participate in both days of the conference, there will be a $20 fee, which will include dinner the first evening, breakfast and lunch the second day.

There are additional fees for those signing up for clock hours or credits.

For more information on the conference contact organizers Susie Richards at srichards@ sw.wednet.edu or 221-5100, Chris Burt at cburt@whidbey.com or 331-6034, Feldman at JudyF@co.island.wa.us or 321-5111.

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