Hazards and Resilience and Climate Change

Monitoring the Damage in the Heat Wave’s Wake

From the Autumn 2022 Sea Star

Washington Sea Grant rapidly provided funding to two projects to survey the impacts of the historic June 2021 heat wave on intertidal marine life

By Samantha Larson, WSG Science Writer

In June 2021, the peak of an unprecedented heat wave coincided with extremely low tides in the Salish Sea, wreaking havoc on intertidal ecosystems. As a “heat dome” settled above the Pacific Northwest for several days and the temperatures climbed well above 100 degrees Fahrenheit, many ...

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Sea Levels are Rising in Washington. What will the Shorelines of the Future be like?

July 22, 2022

A new report from the Washington Coastal Resilience Project evaluates the trade-offs between various strategies to manage the impacts of sea level rise

As sea levels continue to rise, coastal hazards such as flooding and erosion will become increasingly common. According to recent assessments, over 14,000 homes and structures in Washington State — representing a current value of over 8 billion dollars ...

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How can we better prepare for natural hazards on our coasts? Inter-organizational collaboration to assist local efforts may be key

March 24, 2022

A newly completed project lays the foundation for a team to help Washington’s coastal communities be better prepared for floods, erosion and other coastal hazards

Floods. Erosion. Sea level rise. Tsunamis. All of these hazards threaten Washington State’s coasts — with potentially dire consequences. Although there have been many efforts and investments to respond to disaster events, geographically isolated communities on the state’s Pacific coast often lack sufficient capacity to undertake comprehensive planning efforts to ...

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New story map unites sea gardens around the Pacific and shows the importance of revitalizing Indigenous mariculture practices for food sovereignty and resilience

February 17, 2022

See the interactive, “living” story map at www.seagardens.net

Indigenous People have been stewarding the ocean for thousands of years. This stewardship has appeared in many different forms around the world, all of which represent a reciprocal relationship between humans and the sea rooted in deep place-based knowledge. From octopus houses in Haida Gwaii to fish ponds in Hawaiʻi, an Indigenous mariculture renaissance is making waves as groups across the Pacific seek to ...

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WSG Receives Funding to Build Coastal Resilience in the Columbia River Estuary

November 29, 2021

The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation (NFWF) and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has awarded $259,888 from the National Coasta­l Resilience Fund (NCRF) to the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership and partners, including Washington Sea Grant, for a project to develop community-based hazards and habitat resilience planning in the Columbia River E­stuary.

With this funding, WSG will conduct outreach and adaptation planning workshops to identify and prioritize site-specific project concepts to strengthen ecological and community resilience. The project ...

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Research, education hub on ‘coastal resiliency’ will focus on earthquakes, coastal erosion and climate change

September 7, 2021

The National Science Foundation has funded a multi-institutional team including Washington Sea Grant to work on increasing resiliency among Pacific Northwest coastal communities.

Led by Oregon State University and the University of Washington, the new Cascadia Coastlines and Peoples Hazards Research Hub, or Cascadia CoPes Hub, will serve coastal communities in Northern California, Oregon and Washington. The hub’s multidisciplinary approach will span geoscience, social science, public policy and community partnerships.

The Pacific Northwest coastline is at significant risk ...

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Impacts from the Summer 2021 Heatwave on Washington Shellfish

July 21, 2021

The record-breaking heat that hit the Pacific Northwest from June 23 to 28, 2021, caused harm to many intertidal shellfish and invertebrate species on Washington beaches.

On many beaches, species such as cockles, varnish clams, butter clams, and native littleneck clams—normally buried out of sight—popped to the surface of the substrate in large numbers. Manila clams were also impacted in some areas. Surfaced clams were observed to be gaping, a sign of stress, or had already died from the ...

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Could a Tsunami Hit Puget Sound?

New tsunami hazard maps show how a Cascadia megaquake could impact Puget Sound

June 22, 2021
By Kathleen McKeegan, WSG Science Communications Fellow 

It’s not a matter of if, but when. New tsunami hazard maps published by the Washington Geological Survey and the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) show that a large earthquake on the Cascadia subduction zone (CSZ) off ...

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New Video: Swinomish Community Visits a Clam Garden

April 28, 2021

“Our coast Salish people had methods of cultivating the natural environment to support the ecosystems but also to feed the people,” says Alana Quintasket, senator for the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community. “And a clam garden is one example of that.” However, clam gardens have been dormant for hundreds of years in many of places that they used to exist. The Swinomish Indian Tribal Community is currently working toward reviving the ancient mariculture practice in modern-day Washington.

Not only does this ...

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Planet Ocean Teaches Middle Grade Readers How to Speak Up For The Sea

March 31, 2021

We are thrilled to announce the release of Planet Ocean, a nonfiction book for middle-grade readers (ages 8 and up) written with an underwater perspective about how climate change and pollution affect the sustainability of our sea. In addition to some cool science, Planet Ocean readers discover our unbreakable connection to the sea. Writer Patricia Newman and diver/photographer Annie Crawley give voice to stories from inspirational scientists, Indigenous peoples, and kids and teens impacted by ocean changes and working to combat them.

Meg Chadsey, ...

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The Great East Japan Earthquake and Tsunami and the Legacy in Washington 10 Years Later

March 11, 2021

By Carrie Garrison-Laney, WSG Tsunami Hazards Specialist and PMEL Liaison

On March 11, 2011 the largest earthquake ever recorded in Japan — the 4th largest ever recorded worldwide — and the resulting tsunami devastated coastal areas of Aomori, Iwate, Miyagi, Sendai, and Fukushima in eastern Japan. The tsunami attained a maximum height of 133 feet (40 meters) — the height of a 12-story building. Some communities were completely washed away. The tsunami also caused a nuclear accident at Fukushima Daiichi when ...

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Cruisin’ the Fossil Coastline Virtual Opening Celebration

January 12, 2020

In case you missed it, here’s the recording for Cruisin’ the Fossil Coastline Virtual Opening Celebration from the Burke Museum, a special exhibit opening sponsored by Washington Sea Grant. Learn how artist Ray Troll and curator Dr. Kirk Johnson created a lifelong friendship and partnership that over the past decades has led to a brand new exhibit on view at the Burke Museum.

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