Environmental Threats

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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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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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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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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Invasive Green Crab Monitoring Begins This Summer

July 5, 2015

In 2012, an established population of the globally invasive crab was discovered in Sooke Inlet, British Columbia, on the Strait of Juan de Fuca – the first time this species has been found in the Salish Sea. The presence of this invasive species within the Salish Sea increases the chances that European green crabs could invade further into inland Puget Sound shorelines, where habitat is plentiful for them to thrive.

Volunteering: Volunteers are being trained to conduct monthly (July–August) trapping and/or ...

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Nasty HABits Update

June 20, 2015

After several relatively quiet years, a massive bloom of Pseudo-nitzchia, the diatom responsible for amnesic shellfish poisoning, has shut down several West Coast shellfish fisheries. The largest in at least a decade, this bloom is the focus of studies by the College of the Environment’s Anthony Odell of the Olympic Natural Resources Center (a unit in the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences). WSG staff and investigators also have been involved in harmful algal bloom (HAB) ...

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