Environmental Threats

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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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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