Outreach, Environmental Threats, Volunteer Programs

Crab Team: Green Crab Monitoring Program

Jeff Adams, Marine Ecologist

The European green crab (Carcinus maenas) is considered one of the world’s 100 worst invasive species. Its impacts on the Washington Coast appear to have been minimal to date, but its potential effects on inland ecosystems are uncertain.

Following the discovery of green crab just west of Victoria, B.C., in 2012, WSG teamed up with the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife and other partners to establish a volunteer monitoring program — the Crab Team — in Puget Sound, the San Juan Islands and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. This program works in tandem with an outreach campaign to increase the likelihood of detecting green crab infestations early.

Volunteers captured additional green crab in Westcott Bay, San Juan Island, and in Padilla Bay in September 2016. This is the first confirmed capture of a green crab along Washington’s inland shorelines, which was shortly followed by three additional findings in Padilla Bay, underscoring the value of a large scale, long-term monitoring program. Such early detection offers the best chance for controlling the green crab and protecting important natural resources.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer monitor: