Environmental Threats

How Your Sunscreen Harms Water Quality

August 20, 2019

While you’re washing away the lingering sunscreen from the last beach day of summer, you’re probably reminiscing about carefree time with family and friends, and daydreaming about the sights and smells at the water’s edge. But have you ever thought about your sunscreen’s impact on water quality? 

Summer brings a whole host of human-made threats to water quality. Sewage, oil and debris get most of the press, but the products we use on our skin, ...

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WSG’s Meg Chadsey on the Impacts of Ocean Acidification to Seafood Security in Puget Sound

August 8, 2019

Last month WSG’s Meg Chadsey spoke to the Van Alen Climate Council — a group of built environment designers — about ocean acidification’s impacts to local seafood 

With bustling waterfronts, famous seafood markets, a robust culinary scene, and an estuary rich with marine life, the Puget Sound region seems to be the picture of seafood security. But look closer at the web of people, the sea, and the climate, and the fragility and vulnerability of ...

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New pumpout facility serves recreational boaters in the San Juan Islands

August 1, 2019

Facility funded by State Parks’ Clean Vessel Act program 

OLYMPIA – A new sewage pumpout for recreational boaters is now open at the Shaw Island General Store in the San Juan Islands. The facility is expected to serve hundreds of boaters this summer.

The idea to install a pumpout facility came from Terri and Steve Mason, longtime island residents and owners of the Shaw General Store.

“I grew up on Orcas ...

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Joint WSG, CIG and ESS Team Recognized for Outstanding Community Impact

May 8, 2019

The joint team from Washington Sea Grant (WSG), Climate Impacts Group (CIG) and Earth and Space Sciences (ESS) that released a report containing the best sea level rise projections yet for Washington’s coasts last summer received the UW College of the Environment Award for Outstanding Community Impact. The report is part of the Washington Coastal Resilience Project, a three-year effort funded in 2016 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

“The team has been instrumental in helping ...

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King Tides Help People Visualize Sea Level Rise Around Coastal Washington

March 26, 2019

Washington Sea Grant held viewing parties in Oak Harbor and Raymond in January to help local residents understand the effects of sea level rise  

Sea level rise has major implications for coastal Washington. The recent projections released by Washington Sea Grant, WA Department of Ecology, UW Climate Impacts Group, The Nature Conservancy, and other partners predict approximately one foot of sea level rise by 2050, and up to two feet by 2100.

Bridget Trosin, Coastal Policy Specialist at ...

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New Study: How to Save a Seabird

In the 1990s, the endangered status of the short-tailed albatross catalyzed efforts to reduce the number of birds accidentally killed as bycatch in Alaska, home to the country’s biggest fisheries. Marine fisheries scientist Ed Melvin, at Washington Sea Grant at the University of Washington, and research associate Kim Dietrich, an independent contractor, were at the forefront of a collaborative research effort that led to Alaska’s longline fisheries adopting streamer lines in 2002, a technology that is towed behind vessels ...

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Salmon may lose the ability to smell danger as carbon emissions rise

December 18, 2018

The ability to smell is critical for salmon. They depend on scent to avoid predators, sniff out prey and find their way home at the end of their lives when they return to the streams where they hatched to spawn and die.

New research from the University of Washington and NOAA Fisheries’ Northwest Fisheries Science Center shows this powerful sense of smell might be in trouble as carbon emissions continue to be absorbed by our ocean. Ocean ...

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Invasive green crabs poised to move to South Sound

King5 News covered the spread of invasive European green crab in a recent article.

“Since the first spotting in 2016, green crab have now been located at seven different sites. McDonald and others are worried that the crabs will get more challenging to remove if they’re able to make it to the south Sound, because the offspring in the area would likely stay in the area.”

Read more in the article.

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Local groups gang up on marine debris

September 5, 2018 

Collaborative effort produces a new marine debris action plan for Washington

Trash on our shorelines and in the ocean, also known as marine debris, is a persistent and growing global environmental issue.  A lot is at stake particularly in Washington State, where outdoor recreation, shellfish harvests and aquaculture, and commercial, tribal and recreational fisheries are all ...

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European green crab training webinar

August 27, 2018

The Washington State Invasive Species Council, part of the Recreation and Conservation Office, was created by the state legislature in 2006 to provide policy-level direction, planning and coordination to comabat harmful invasive species throughout the state. The council recently hosted WSG marine ecologist Emily Grason as part of their Washington Pest Watch training webinars to talk about the WSG Crab Team. It covers the history of the species and why we care about it, how do identify ...

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Selling Your Catch: Sea Grant Programs Release New Edition of Direct Marketing Guide

March 1, 2018

The Sea Grant programs in Alaska and Washington are releasing a new, updated edition of the popular Fishermen’s Direct Marketing Manual. As the business climate of the seafood industry evolves, many fishermen are choosing to directly market their catch in hopes of capturing more of its value so the publication’s release is timely.

Hard copies of the 5th edition of the manual, edited by Terry Johnson, are now available through Alaska Sea Grant’s online bookstore. The ...

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Updated Plan to Address Ocean Acidification in Washington State

December 20, 2017

Ocean acidification is threatening ecosystems, cultures and economies in Washington State – today. In 2012, Governor Jay Inslee recognized the importance of developing a strategy to address these challenges by creating the Washington State Blue Ribbon Panel on Ocean Acidification. After reviewing the scientific literature, the panel outlined a plan in its seminal report, Ocean Acidification: From Knowledge to Action.

The science on ocean acidification has come a long way over the last five years. Today, the Marine ...

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Invasive Green Crab Found at Dungeness Spit

April, 2017

A new population of invasive European green crab has been found at Dungeness Spit, near Sequim, Washington, rekindling concern over the potential for damage to local marine life and shorelines.

Staff and volunteers from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS), which manages Dungeness Spit National Wildlife Refuge (NWR), captured a total of 13 European green crab over the past two weeks as part of Washington Sea Grant’s (WSG) Crab Team early detection program. These numbers indicate that the invasive crabs are ...

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