WSG News Blog

2016 Washington Sea Grant-Funded Projects

December, 2016

Shoreline armoring removal: synthesis and assessment of restoration effectiveness in Puget Sound

Jeffrey Cordell, Jason Toft and Emily Howe, UW School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences; Megan Dethier, UW Friday Harbor Laboratories

Local officials, state resource managers and conscientious property owners have shown growing enthusiasm for removing bulkheads to restore natural shorelines and shore habitats. The Puget Sound Partnership’s 2014/15 Action Agenda identifies shoreline armoring as a significant threat and restoration as a main strategic goal. But monitoring of restoration sites ...

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SeaFeast Festival Connects Community to Fishing Industry

October 1, 2016

“When we appreciate and understand all of the benefits of our locally produced seafood, we’ll be motivated to ensure that future generations can enjoy them as well.”– Deb Granger, SeaFeast General Manager

The first inaugural SeaFeast event in Bellingham aimed to introduce the community to the thriving, but little-known seafood industry and culture of Bellingham Bay.

To that end, organizers of Bellingham SeaFeast 2016 unveiled a variety of events, including seafood sampling, boat rides on Bellingham Bay, cooking demonstrations, contests and ...

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State and Researchers Respond to Invasive European Green Crabs Found in Northern Puget Sound

September 23, 2016

In late August 2016, a team of volunteer monitors caught an invasive European green crab (Carcinus maenas) in Westcott Bay, San Juan Island, marking the first confirmation of this global invader in Washington’s Puget Sound. A few weeks later, an additional green crab was found in Padilla Bay by staff of the Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve (Padilla Bay NERR).

After the discovery in the San Juan Islands, a rapid response action to determine the size of the population ...

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Small Spills, Big Problems, Sound Solutions

July 25, 2016

To paraphrase an old saying, “There’s no use crying over spilled oil.” Yet many are concerned with oil pollution in Puget Sound and in the San Juan Islands.

What people don’t realize is that the biggest source of spills so far in the region has not been tankers and freighters, but small recreational and commercial vessels. Small spills, such as oily bilge discharge, account for 75 percent of the oil dumped into local waters over the last 10 years.

In ...

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Tides of Change: A Capitol Hill Briefing

June 30, 2016

Senator Cantwell’s office recently hosted a Capital Hill briefing called Tides of Change on economic and social changes resulting from our changing oceans. The briefing featured a panel of experts, including WSG’s Social Scientist Melissa Poe, who spoke to a room filled with 60 legislative staff, federal agencies, and non-governmental organizations and several Sea Grant fellows.

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To Be Sustainable, Conservation Needs to Consider the Human Factor

April 12, 2016

International researchers urge including the social sciences in ecosystem management, highlighting indicators of human well-being developed by Washington Sea Grant and the Northwest Fisheries Science Center.

For too long, sustainability goals and environmental management have failed to consider the human side of conservation—how decisions affect people’s lives, and how human culture, values, and equity affect conservation outcomes. Social science can contribute significantly to advancing and assessing conservation efforts. These are the conclusions of a paper published April 1 in ...

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All Pumped Up: Boaters Set New Record for Protecting Local Waters

March 29, 2016

Pumpout boats, public education, and collaboration with marinas divert 8 million gallons of onboard sewage to onshore treatment in 2015.

In 2014, Pumpout Washington, a joint project of Washington Sea Grant and Washington State Parks, helped divert a record 6 million gallons of raw sewage from Puget Sound, Lake Washington, and other state waterways. Now the 2015 numbers are in and they blow 2014’s record away. More than 8.3 million gallons that would previously have been dumped into vulnerable ...

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Washington Team Awarded Grant to Build Community Resilience to Coastal Hazards

March 7, 2016

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office for Coastal Management announced today that Washington Sea Grant will be awarded $879,255 for a three-year project to assist coastal communities in Washington State facing significant risk from the impacts of sea level rise, storm surge and shoreline erosion.

With 3,067 miles of coastline and more than 45 coastal cities, Washington needs to prepare people, infrastructure, and fish and wildlife habitat for these hazards, which is anticipated to worsen over time.

Washington Sea ...

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Local Conservation Expert to Lead Washington Sea Grant Outreach

March 1, 2016

When Paul Dye focuses on marine conservation, change happens. Dye now brings that focus to Washington Sea Grant, where he recently began serving as the new assistant director for outreach for the marine research, education and outreach organization.

Dye’s previous work in Washington has conserved fish and shellfish habitat, supported fisheries innovations to create sustainability, helped coastal communities adapt to climate change, and reduced the risk of oil spills.

Dye has 30 years experience in the conservation field, spanning protection ...

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WSG Staff Collaborates with Ocean Tipping Points Project

February 22, 2016

Washington Sea Grant Social Scientist Melissa Poe recently spent a week on Haida Gwaii interviewing Native knowledge holders. She is collaborating with the Ocean Tipping Points project and local partners Gwaii Haanas Parks Canada and the Council of the Haida Nation, in a social-ecological study to assess the cultural importance of Pacific Herring in Haida Gwaii.

Together with Haida Gwaii collaborators, Melissa conducted ethnographic interviews with knowledge holders about traditional practices and livelihood uses of herring. Results are expected to ...

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Orca Bowl: A Gateway to a World of Water


The dryland underdogs in this year’s high school ocean-sciences tournament beat the odds with upbeat attitude.

“We live in a world of water,” Dean Lisa Graumlich proclaimed, welcoming high school students, teachers, families and fans, together with UW scientists and other volunteers, to the 19th annual Washington Regional Ocean Sciences Bowl. That world embraces even the dry side of the Cascade Divide. Four of the 20 teams competing came from Eastern or Central Washington: two from Ellensburg, one from White Swan ...

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WSG Researcher Honored by Seattle Aquarium

January 22, 2016

The Seattle Aquarium recently recognized UW School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences research scientist Jeffrey Cordell for his innovative work on restoring marine habitat along Seattle’s Elliott Bay seawall at their annual Chairman’s Award dinner.

Jeff led the long-term research, funded by Washington Sea Grant and the City of Seattle to design, install, and monitor large-scale test panels at three locations along the Seattle waterfront as part of the Elliott Bay Seawall Project. Jeff and his team tested the ...

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