Wetland consulting business opens on Orcas

Ted Tidrington is opening Salish Environmental Consulting.

He’s always been an outdoorsman.

Now Ted Tidrington gets paid to study the Orcas Island environment.

“I went back to school to provide better opportunities for myself,” he said. “I also wanted to be an example to my kids.”

Tidrington has opened Salish Environmental Consulting after receiving an AA degree in technical arts and environmental conservation from Skagit Valley College. He is offering wetland assessment and delineation.

“In San Juan County, if the county maps indicate a wetland is near or on your property, you’ll need a wetland specialist to evaluate the characteristics of the wetland and delineate a boundary in the event you apply for a building permit,” he explained.

Each wetland is given a rating based on its quality, which determines how big of a buffer is required to protect it. Over the summer, Tidrington worked with Oregon State University wetland specialist Dr. Paul Adamus, who was hired by the county to oversee the best available science wetland report for the Critical Areas Ordinance (CAO).

“I began following the CAO as part of a school assignment and realized I wanted to focus my degree in this area. I pursued and received an optional micro-certification in Advanced Wetland Delineation that was built in to the degree,” Tidrington said. “There was an advertisement in the paper for a wetland internship position. It was as though it were written for me … there were applications from across the country, but they chose to hire locally. It was a great opportunity to work with someone who is so respected in the wetland community.”

Tidrington has finished his first job under his new business, completing wetland delineations for an Orcas client. The report was just approved by the Department of Ecology and San Juan County.

Prior to working in environmental conservation, Tidrington was a waste water treatment plant operator for Eastsound Sewer and Water. Most recently, he offered home maintenance.

Tidrington, who moved to Orcas in 1995, is an avid hiker and kayaker. He also spends time with his four children: Liam, 10; Evan, 12; Ariahna, 14; and Chad, 25.

“As a result of my returning to school, my oldest has returned to school as well,” Tidrington said. “He is studying environmental engineering.”