WSG News Blog

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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Governor Launches 2nd Phase of Washington Shellfish Initiative

January 20, 2016

Governor Jay Inslee announced the second phase of the Washington Shellfish Initiative, a partnership of local, state, and federal partners from government, business, tribes, and nonprofit groups. The Initiative’s efforts to tackle pollution in Puget Sound and coastal waters have successfully led to the reopening of shellfish beds and, through a new shellfish restoration hatchery, native shellfish restoration efforts are growing. Washington’s $184 million shellfish industry supports approximately 2,700 jobs.

Leaders from the partnership convened at the National Fish & ...

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Dr. John A. Knauss Passes Away

November 30, 2015

Dr. John A. Knauss, administrator of NOAA from 1989 to 1993 and an instrumental founder of NOAA’s Sea Grant program, died peacefully at the age of 90 on November 19 in Saunderstown, Rhode Island.

Knauss was widely known as an international leader in oceanography and marine policy for more than three decades. As such, the respected and highly successful John A. Knauss Marine Policy Fellowship was created in his name. In 1966, Knauss was instrumental in the formulation of the ...

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High School Juniors Get a Taste of Real Science Through Washington Sea Grant’s Outreach Program for High School Students

November 10, 2015

Meg Chadsey, WSG’s ocean acidifcation specialist, has teamed with scientists at NOAA ‘s Pacific Environmental Laboratory to provide hands-on seawater chemistry monitoring experience for several students from Eagle Harbor (on Bainbridge Island) and Garfield high schools. The students met at the NOAA Sandpoint campus on a recent cold November morning to analyze Puget Sound seawater samples they’d collected as part of their summer field work. The students conducted their first set of tests in a “container lab” — literally a shipping ...

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Gear, Not Geoducks, Impacts Ecosystem If Farming Increases

October 25, 2015

The equipment used to farm geoducks, including PVC pipes and nets, might have a greater impact on the Puget Sound food web than the addition of the clams themselves.

That’s one of the findings of the first major scientific study to examine the broad, long-term ecosystem effects of geoduck aquaculture in Puget Sound, published in the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea’s Journal of Marine Science.

The study also found that under one scenario, geoduck farming ...

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