Just north of Edmonds is an amazing National Wildlife Refuge — Protection Island.
Nearly 70 percent of the nesting seabird population of Puget Sound and the Straits nest on the island, which includes one of the largest nesting colonies of rhinoceros auklets in the world and the largest nesting colony of glaucous-winged gulls in Washington. About 1,000 harbor seals depend upon the island for a pupping and rest area. This 364-acre island is covered by grass and low brush, with a small timbered area, high sandy bluffs for seabird nesting, and low sand spits on two ends of the island.
Puget Sound Bird Fest – in collaboration with Puget Sound Express – hosts a special expedition to Protection Island. This year’s cruise is scheduled on Sunday, September 12th from 4:00pm-7:00pm to get the optimal viewing of sea birds returning to their nests.
The three-hour cruise departs from the Edmonds Marina. Volunteer Bird Guides from the Puget Sound Bird Fest will be on board to share their knowledge about the birds and nature of Puget Sound. We will be using our high speed vessel the Chilkat Express to get to protection island, circumnavigate the island slowly, before returning to Edmonds. On-board we have inside seating, a snack bar and 2 restrooms available.
Note: Any change in the itinerary for weather is at the Captain’s discretion.