WSG News Blog

Impacts from the Summer 2021 Heatwave on Washington Shellfish

July 21, 2021

The record-breaking heat that hit the Pacific Northwest from June 23 to 28, 2021, caused harm to many intertidal shellfish and invertebrate species on Washington beaches.

On many beaches, species such as cockles, varnish clams, butter clams, and native littleneck clams—normally buried out of sight—popped to the surface of the substrate in large numbers. Manila clams were also impacted in some areas. Surfaced clams were observed to be gaping, a sign of stress, or had already died from the ...

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Good News for Water Quality

New pumpout boat services expand this summer in South Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands

July 20, 2021

It will now be easier for recreational boaters to safely pump out vessel sewage and keep Washington’s waters clean with an expansion of mobile pumpout services in South Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands. The Read More

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Cool Critters: Opalescent Squid

June 25, 2021

Welcome to our Cool Critters series, where Marine Ecologist Jeff Adams shares the unique features of his favorite animals native to the Pacific Northwest. To wrap up Cephalopod Week, today’s Cool Critter is the Opalescent Squid!

The opalescent or market squid (Doryteuthis opalescens) is winter’s most colorful, family-friendly fishing! They are relatively small, ...

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Could a Tsunami Hit Puget Sound?

New tsunami hazard maps show how a Cascadia megaquake could impact Puget Sound

June 22, 2021
By Kathleen McKeegan, WSG Science Communications Fellow 

It’s not a matter of if, but when. New tsunami hazard maps published by the Washington Geological Survey and the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) show that a large earthquake on the Cascadia subduction zone (CSZ) off ...

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Cool Critters: Giant Pacific Octopus

June 18, 2021

Welcome to our Cool Critters series, where Marine Ecologist Jeff Adams shares the unique features of his favorite animals native to the Pacific Northwest. In honor of Cephalopod Week, today’s Cool Critter is the Giant Pacific Octopus!

The Giant Pacific Octopus (Enteroctopus dofleini) is the largest octopus species, reaching lengths of up to 16 ...

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Researchers Discover Yessotoxins, Produced by Certain Phytoplankton, to be a Culprit Behind Summer Mass Shellfish Mortality Events in Washington

June 17, 2021

Back in the summers of 2018 and 2019, the shellfish industry in Washington state was rocked by mass mortalities of its crops.

“It was oysters, clams, cockles — all bivalve species in some bays were impacted,” said Teri King, aquaculture and marine water quality specialist at Washington Sea Grant based at the University of Washington. “They were dying, and nobody knew why.”

Now, King and partners from NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center, Northwest ...

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Cool Critters: Giant Pink Sea Star

June 8, 2021

Welcome to our Cool Critters series, where Marine Ecologist Jeff Adams shares the unique features of his favorite marine animals native to the Pacific Northwest. Today’s Cool Critter is the Giant Pink Sea Star!

The Giant Pink Sea Star (Pisaster brevispinus) is one of the largest and heaviest sea stars in the world, and is possibly the prettiest pink the Pacific. This sea star can dig, and then stretch its ...

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Cool Critters: Aquatic Caterpillar

May 28, 2021

Welcome to our Cool Critters series, where Marine Ecologist Jeff Adams shares the unique features of his favorite marine animals native to the Pacific Northwest. Today’s Cool Critter is the Aquatic Caterpillar!

The Aquatic Caterpillar (Petrophila), also known as the Petrophila Moth, are generally found attached to rocks in warmer rivers and streams. The silken scabs harbor the caterpillars and chrysalises that are ...

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WSG Student Assistant Abby Rogerson Honored as a Husky 100

May 26, 2021

We are proud to announce that Abby Rogerson, a student assistant at Washington Sea Grant, has been chosen as a Husky 100 at the University of Washington! The Husky 100 recognizes undergraduate and graduate students who apply what they learn in the classroom to make a difference on campus and in their community. Abby was selected from over 1,700 nominations ...

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Cool Critters: Tiger Beetle

May 21, 2021

Welcome to our Cool Critters series, where Marine Ecologist Jeff Adams shares the unique features of his favorite marine animals native to the Pacific Northwest. Today’s Cool Critter is the Tiger Beetle!

The Tiger Beetle (Cicindelinae) is brilliantly colored and get their name of ‘tiger’ from their fierce appearance with their protruding eyes and large mandibles. They are shoreline ...

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New Indigenous Aquaculture Website

May 20, 2021

The Cross-Pacific Indigenous Aquaculture Collaborative has launched a new website to inform and bring communities together to enhance and grow sustainable coastal food systems. 

Visit the website here!

Did you know that Hawaiian fish ponds once produced 400-600 pounds of fish per acre each year? Sustainable indigenous aquaculture has endured for millennia, and these systems will continue to unite ecosystems and cultures, as well as expand our food connections throughout the Pacific.

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Looking Back on 50 Years: WSG Safety Training

May 14, 2021

In honor of the 50th anniversary of Washington Sea Grant, we’re digging through our photo archive to share moments from our program’s history throughout the coming year. Here is a photo from 1979 of one of WSG’s marine safety and first aid trainings, where the participants are practicing cold-water rescue. WSG helps Washington fishermen reduce risks ...

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