After a decade of litigation, NOAA Fisheries and EPA will prepare a biological opinion on harm caused by Atlantic salmon net pens

From the Wild Fish Conservancy Press Release this morning. It’s unfortunate that those of us concerned about this issue needed to spend 10 years trying to force them to get to this simple issue. NOAA Fisheries have been one of the biggest boosters of net pen Atlantic salmon, never studying the wider effects of pens beyond a few hundred yards away from them. There has never been a wholistic approach to studying the effects of fish waste, food waste, chemicals added to the water, fish escapement, nor the issue that wild fish are attracted to the pens by food. What we learned from the net pen collapse last fall, was that the claims of the industry, repeated by spokesmen for Taylor Shellfish (who support net pens), that there was no way that Atlantic salmon would survive after escapement, were nothing but wishful thinking. Atlantic salmon from the pens were found far up the Skagit River basin and along the north outer shore of Vancouver Island. The misinformation campaigns of these industries that put profit ahead of environment are stunning in their audacity.


After a decade of litigation, NOAA Fisheries and EPA make the 11th hour decision to prepare a biological opinion on harm caused by Atlantic salmon net pens to ESA- listed salmon and steelhead.

The agencies have finally begun formal consultation under the Endangered Species Act (ESA) to evaluate the potential harm caused by Atlantic salmon net pens in Puget Sound October 11th, 2018

Duvall, WA – On the eve of court proceedings over a legal battle Wild Fish Conservancy initiated in 2015, NOAA Fisheries and EPA have entered into formal consultation under the Endangered Species Act, consultation that will lead to the issuance of a biological opinion.

Under the Endangered Species Act, a biological opinion evaluates the extent of harm a proposed action will have on threatened or endangered species and whether such harm could jeopardize the continued existence of the species. Biological opinions also include conditions for monitoring and reducing harmful impacts to protected species.

Considering the abundant scientific evidence that open-water Atlantic salmon aquaculture may harm threatened and endangered salmonid species, Wild Fish Conservancy first argued that formal consultation and a biological opinion was necessary back in 2008, when we argued against the agencies’ decision that Atlantic salmon net pens were ‘not likely to adversely affect’ threatened and endangered species. We won that case in 2010, with the court ruling that NOAA and EPA had failed to use the best available science when making their decision and must reconsider whether a biological opinion is necessary.

Less than one year later, after a brief consultation, NOAA and EPA again decided that a biological opinion was unnecessary. This decision was shortly followed by a large-scale disease outbreak in Atlantic salmon net pens off the coast in Bainbridge Island in 2012, which killed over 1 million pounds of farmed Atlantic salmon during a time when juvenile wild salmon were out-migrating through Puget Sound.

Wild Fish Conservancy again challenged the agencies’ decision to avoid a biological opinion in 2015, a case that prompted NOAA and EPA last week to announce their intention to re-initiate consultation and finally prepare a biological opinion. That decision came only after the Court soundly rejected the agencies’ efforts to dismiss the case and ruled that the duty under the Endangered Species Act to re-initiate consultation does apply to EPA’s underlying action.

Since the case was filed in 2015, we have learned far more about the potential for harm the Atlantic salmon net pen industry presents to wild salmon and steelhead. In 2017, a collapsed net pen off the coast of Cypress Island released over 260,000 farmed Atlantic salmon into Puget Sound, nearly all of which are estimated to have been infected with Piscine Reovorius, a highly contagious and potentially lethal virus that may infect wild salmon. A study in 2018

demonstrated that PRV leads to debilitating disease in Chinook salmon, the primary food source of endangered Southern Resident killer whales.

This case comes at a time when key provisions of the Endangered Species Act are under threat in the United States Congress and underscores the monumental importance of the ESA, an act that has been critical in providing key protections to over one thousand threatened and endangered species across the country.

“While it shouldn’t have taken ten years of litigation for our agencies to realize the necessity of a biological opinion,” said Kurt Beardslee, Wild Fish Conservancy’s Executive Director, “I am glad to hear they have decided to change course, and I am hopeful that a biological opinion will lead to conditions and terms that will limit and monitor the harm caused by net pens to ESA-listed salmon and steelhead.

“Taking the utmost precaution is necessary to avoid the extinction of imperiled Pacific salmon and steelhead species, especially when considering the dire plight of Chinook salmon and the Southern Resident killer whales that are starving due to their struggling population.”

Contact

Kurt Beardslee, Executive Director, 425.788.1167/kurt@wildfishconservancy.org

About

Wild Fish Conservancy is a science & research conservation non-profit dedicated to the preservation, protection & restoration of wild fish ecosystems in the Pacific Northwest. We are headquartered in Duvall, WA. Learn more at wildfishconservancy.org

Wild Fish Conservancy is represented in this matter by the law firm of Kampmeier & Knutsen, PLLC, with offices in Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington.

In WSU Stormwater Runoff Research, Coho Salmon Die Quickly,Chum Survive

More data that shows how complicated the salmon recovery effort is.

On April 20, 2018, the Columbia Basin Fish and Wildlife News Bulletin reported that Washington State University (WSU) scientists discovered that different species of salmon have varying reactions to polluted stormwater runoff.

In a recent paper published in the journal Environmental Pollution, scientists found that coho salmon became mortally ill within just a few hours of exposure to polluted stormwater. But chum salmon showed no signs of ill- effects after prolonged exposure to the same water.

The study can be found at

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S026974911734527X?via%3Dihub

“It really surprised us,” said Jen McIntyre, an assistant professor in WSU’s School of the Environment. “Not that the coho were affected so quickly, but how resistant the chum were. We saw no impact at all in the chum’s post-exposure blood work.”

Stormwater is toxic to fish because it can include carcinogenic hydrocarbons, metals, and other organic compounds, most of which have yet to be identified.

McIntyre and her team collected stormwater runoff in large tanks from a highway in western Washington. Then they placed salmon in that water for four hours or until the fish showed signs of illness. Blood samples were then taken from all of the fish.

Only a few coho lasted four hours before having to be removed. In blood tests, the team found a significant increase in lactic acid concentrations and their blood was much thicker. Their blood pH was thrown off and the amount of salt in their plasma decreased significantly.

The chum test results showed none of those changes, all these fish lasting the full four hours without showing any signs of distress or sickness.

 

“These fish are very closely related,” said McIntyre, who works at WSU’s Puyallup Research and Extension Center. “They’re the same genus, but obviously something is significantly different physiologically. We just don’t know what that difference is yet.”

The study was done at the Suquamish Tribe Grovers Creek Salmon Hatchery, with fish donated by the Suquamish Tribe.

McIntyre worked on the project with fellow WSU scientists, along with colleagues from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) National Marine Fisheries Service and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

McIntyre and her team noticed a few clues for where to start their next round of investigations: studying what makes the chum nearly impervious to toxic runoff. One is that the coho appeared hypoxic, meaning they weren’t getting enough oxygen. But the water had plenty of oxygen, so they’ll look at blood circulation issues, how the fish metabolize oxygen in their muscles, and a few other areas.

“We don’t know if the thicker blood is a symptom of the problem, or if that’s the initiating event that then causes the oxygen deprivation,” McIntyre said. “There’s a lot of work still to come, but this really narrows down where we need to look.”

They’re also hoping that looking further into chum will turn up clues about how they resist the effects of toxic runoff.

In a later study, not included in this paper, McIntyre and her team conducted a prolonged exposure test on chum. Those fish swam in the stormwater runoff for four days and none of them got sick.

“We’re still trying to understand how they’re unaffected,” she said. “It’s actually really impressive.”

Another problem for the coho is that scientists don’t know what particular contaminants in the runoff are causing the problems.

“There’s a whole variety of heavy metals and hydrocarbons in that water,” McIntyre said. “And a whole bunch of chemicals we are working with scientists at the University of Washington in Tacoma to identify so that we can protect more delicate species like coho salmon from the effects of human pollution.”

McIntyre’s research is part of a grant from EPA.

For more information, Jen McIntyre can be reached at jen.mcintyre@wsu.edu.

Source:    http://www.cbbulletin.com/440562.aspx

 

 

Atlantic salmon, caught in Skagit 8 months after escape from pen, had eaten a fish – Seattle Times

For years, we’ve heard the assumptions from NOAA scientists and the supporters of the Net Pen industry, claiming there was no way an escaped Atlantic salmon could survive and posed “no threat” to native salmon. I have heard the representative from Taylor Shellfish berate me in front of the Marine Resources Committee as well as attack Kurt Bearsley for this just two months ago in front of a room full of people at the Jamestown S’Klallam Red Cedar House in Blyn at a gathering of the Puget Sound Partnership’s Strait LIO meeting, over the “fact” that these Atlantic salmon “couldn’t survive”. Well, once again, their made up stories to support their own industry turned out to be just so much B.S. I’d expect aquaculture P.R. people to make up anything to further their own industry. But shame to the NOAA scientists who seemed to have been bought by the industry over the last three decades. Your names are on the ‘studies’ you claimed were scientific.

Upper Skagit tribal fishermen caught a lively Atlantic salmon more than 40 miles up the Skagit River Tuesday, eight months after Cooke Aquaculture’s Atlantic salmon net pen collapsed at Cypress Island and sent more than 300,000 Atlantics into the home waters of Washington’s Pacific salmon. The Atlantic caught Tuesday had bones in its stomach, indicating it had eaten some kind of fish. Lynda Mapes reports. (Seattle Times)
Atlantic salmon, caught in Skagit 8 months after escape from pen, had eaten a fish

UW gets NOAA grant to begin testing new forecast for toxic shellfish

Will be reporting on the waters off the Olympic Peninsula.

News and Information

A new NOAA-sponsored University of Washington project brings together academic, federal, state and tribal scientists to develop forecasts for toxic harmful algal blooms in the Pacific Northwest, like the massive bloom that closed Pacific Northwest beaches to shellfish harvesting in summer 2015.

ezgif-com-gif-maker2-149x300

S. Giddings UCSD

 

A UW-developed model simulates how toxic organisms at the mouth of the Strait of Juan de Fuca (red dots) can travel toward the Washington coast.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in August has awarded a five-year, $1.3 million grant to start working on the forecasts. The new early warning system will transition to operation starting in 2017.

Once up and running, the forecasts will help coastal communities from Neah Bay, Washington, to Newport, Oregon, target their shellfish monitoring and fine-tune decisions about closing beaches to shellfish harvesting to have more advance warning and potentially avoid some beach closures.

“This will be a sort of weather forecast for Pacific Northwest harmful algal blooms,” said Parker MacCready, a UW professor of oceanography and member of the UW Coastal Modeling Group.

Forecasts will be produced by the UW’s LiveOcean model, which creates three-day forecasts for Washington and Oregon coastal waters. The model provides results for open-ocean beaches as well as complex protected waterways — including Willapa Bay and Grays Harbor — that are home to many of the region’s shellfish beds.

Up-to-date monitoring of offshore conditions will be provided by Vera Trainer, a biologist at NOAA’s Northwest Fisheries Science Center, and members of the Makah Tribe. Starting this spring, they will collect samples by ship every two weeks in an eddy near the mouth of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, which has been identified as a source of toxin-producing algae that can reach local beaches. The team will then analyze water samples within a day at the Makah Tribal lab in Neah Bay.

Read the rest of the story at:

http://www.washington.edu/news/2016/09/29/uw-gets-noaa-grant-to-begin-testing-new-forecast-for-toxic-shellfish/?menu2=http://www.washington.edu/news/category/science/

 

July 2015 was warmest month ever recorded for the globe – NOAA

The data is in from NOAA, and it’s not good.  In addition, January-July 2015 also had record warm temperatures and globally the oceans heated up. From South America, through Africa, the data points to the highest temperatures recorded since record keeping in 1880.

(graphic from NOAA)
These numbers simply belie the fact that moving to clean energy is crucial to having any success in reversing this trend, or mitigating it. The numbers however, don’t show the facts on the ground, where drought, massive and unprecedented wildfires, and ocean destruction are impacting us now, and into the future. There is no time left to push solutions into the future.

Here in Jefferson County, there appears to be no backup plan if we get another winter without snowpack. I have heard nothing from County or City leaders, on what will be done if the water from the rivers is not present. That situation is happening now, and will not likely break until midwinter. Lots of talk about September through November water rationing, but scientists are predicting a very dry winter.

http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/summary-info/global/201507

Toxic algae flourishes in warm water from California to Alaska, closing valuable fisheries – AP

More reasons to demand international work cooperation on climate change. As our fishing and shellfish industry continues to get hammered by the effects of a heating planet, many political leaders continue to stick their heads in the sand and their hands in the pockets of individuals and businesses who are working to stop any progress on this.  While this particular ‘blob’ may eventually dissipate if and when the weather patterns change, the trend is definitively moving towards planetary conditions that could make this a new normal, not an aberration.

A vast bloom of toxic algae off the West Coast is denser, more widespread and deeper than scientists feared even weeks ago, according to surveyors aboard a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration research vessel. This coastal ribbon of microscopic algae, up to 40 miles wide and 650 feet deep in places, is flourishing amid unusually warm Pacific Ocean temperatures. It now stretches from at least California to Alaska and has shut down lucrative fisheries. Shellfish managers on Tuesday doubled the area off Washington’s coast that is closed to Dungeness crab fishing, after finding elevated levels of marine toxins in tested crab meat. Phuong Le reports. (Associated Press)

http://registerguard.com/rg/news/33367837-76/toxic-algae-flourishes-in-warm-water-from-california-to-alaska-closing-valuable-fisheries.html.csp

More time to comment on feds’ plan for Puget Sound salmon hatcheries – Skagit Valley Herald

There has been some controversy in the last year over steelhead and the hatcheries. I’ve covered the issue here if you wish to search for background info.

The public will now have until 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 23, to comment on the draft environmental impact statement for Puget Sound hatcheries. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced the public comment period extension Thursday. The agency decided to grant the extension in response to a formal request…. The draft report is available online at http://www.skagit.ws/NOAAsalmon. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

http://www.goskagit.com/all_access/more-time-to-comment-on-feds-plan-for-puget-sound/article_551deb80-70e8-11e4-b050-6737e129fea8.html

Mussels Unlocking Secrets to What’s In the Water – KOMO News

This short story by KOMO on the efforts of various environmental groups to carry out a federally funded program to test waters for pollutants via filter feeders, or mussels. The good news is that high levels of pollutants were not found in more remote areas (like Jefferson County), but that where the high levels were found, we are still seeing problems from PCBs, paint toxins and other chemicals that were banned decades ago.

Port Angeles and Hood Canal have been part of the program, but apparently Hood Canal was not tested in 2008. PA appears to be not polluted enough to worry about.

The one thing to remember is that these filter feeders do collect toxins. If you want to protect yourself while eating filter feeders, always ask where they were harvested.

If you’d like to explore the results of the program nationally, including all the sites in the Salish Sea, go to this web site:

http://stateofthecoast.noaa.gov/musselwatch/welcome.html

This program has been ongoing for 20+ years, so we are able to now see long term trends in the analysis of the data.

KOMO story is here:

http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Mussels-Unlocking-secrets-to-whats-in-the-water-267569071.html

60 Minutes documents BC salmon farming

And the industry does not come off well. While the opening interview with salmon farming manager Ian Roberts paints a ‘normal’ picture of the industry, much to their credit, 60 minutes Dr. Gupta works in Alexandra Morton and her concerns, along with Alaskan wild salmon supporters. When he finally gets around to interviewing a government official, Brian Wallace, he comes off totally inadequate to the task of defending the government’s inaction in the face of real scientific concern.

Based on this, and the rest of the scientific information that we have presented here over the last years, is it any wonder why our county commissioners have fought to create a moratorium on salmon farming in our county until more science is brought to the table on this issue?

Or is it any wonder why we have been so critical of the Washington State Department of Ecology and NOAA in their bureaucratic stance that net pen aquaculture is fine, based on 25 year old science?  The recently resigned Ted Sturdevant, highlighted here just yesterday, was a typical bureaucratic supporter of the industry, and stonewalled county efforts to bring even a moratorium over the last five years.

Watch the 60 Minute segment here:

http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/saving-the-wild-salmon/

Feds weigh protecting orcas off Pacific coast – Komo & San Juan Journal

Setting up for a showdown with the military over protecting the Orca?  

http://www.komonews.com/news/local/Feds-weigh-protecting-orcas-off-Pacific-coast-256578531.html

NOAA Fisheries is weighing whether to protect endangered orcas in the waters off the West Coast. The federal agency said Thursday it would consider a petition by the Center for Biological Diversity seeking to expand the critical habitat for southern resident killer whales. NOAA has already designated inland waters of Washington as critical to orca conservation, but the group’s petition says offshore areas from Cape Flattery, Wash., to Point Reyes, Calif., should now be added as critical habitat. Such a designation would require federal officials to limit activities that harm the whales.

(Associated Press) See also: Fate of orcas? Depends on fish—and lately, both have been scarce http://www.sanjuanjournal.com/news/256441941.html (San Juan Journal)

NOAA: Coastal ocean aquaculture can be environmentally sustainable little to no effects

This came out in December but was just brought to my attention. I think this officially opens a political battle. Prior to this, NOAA was pretty much not actively taking sides in this. With this campaign on their part, they appear to becoming a wing of the public relations people of the fish farm industry. To be clear: NOAA is a huge agency, with lots of different departments, and they are under the Department of Commerce, not environmental protection. This comes interestingly enough, at a time when there is a great deal of criticism of NOAA for it’s policies on net pen aquaculture here in the state.

http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2013/20131218_aquaculture.html

NOAA web site on fish farming

NOAA: Coastal ocean aquaculture can be environmentally sustainable –

Little to no effects on coastal ocean environment seen with proper safeguards, planning.

Olyopen.com says: “This report does nothing to change our belief that the lack of significant research into long term effects of net pens on wild stocks, the issue of sea lice infestation and antibiotic use, is of great concern. Over 20 years of net pen useage have gone on without these issues being investigated. “

Specific types of fish farming can be accomplished with minimal or no harm to the coastal ocean environment as long as proper planning and safeguards are in place, according to a new report from researchers at NOAA’s National Ocean Service.

The study, led by scientists at National Ocean Service’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS), evaluated the environmental effects of finfish aquaculture, including interactions with water quality, benthic habitats, and marine life across various farming practices and habitat types.

Olyopen.com says: However, the study is simply an update on existing knowledge. The core questions that are being raised by Alexandra Morton and others, just north of us in British Columbia, are not addressed.  Here’s where we find that the research is missing. Wording directly out of the summary of the report: 

A knowledge gap continues to be how  dissolved nutrients are dispersed and assimilated  over large marine areas, and how ecosystem  productivity may be affected under increasing production from multiple farms.

At  moderately impacted  farms, effects may extend to 100 meters beyond the farm edge

The far-field effects of aquaculture to the ecological functionality of food webs and secondary production have not been studied, are difficult to ascertain and should be an area of future monitoring and research efforts.

Wild fish and other marine life often aggregate around fish cages and this may be considered a beneficial impact to marine life at some locations. As fish are attracted to farms, the potential for negative and positive interactions with human fishers may increase and farm management or regulatory steps should be considered to minimize conflicts. Likewise, marine fish and mammalian predators may also be attracted to farms. Little research has documented the extent to which marine predators target wild fish around farms, but this would be useful for understanding ecological interactions between farming and marine life.

 

NOAA Releases Marine Mammals Protection Regulations for Navy Training- Navaltoday.com

We’ll see if we can contact USNB Bangor and find out how they may relate to our waters.

Final regulations requiring the United States Navy to implement protective measures during training and testing activities off the coasts of California and Hawaii and on the high seas of the Pacific Ocean to reduce the effects on marine mammals have been released, NOAA Fisheries announced yesterday.

Read the whole story here:

http://navaltoday.com/2013/12/17/noaa-releases-marine-mammals-protection-regulations-during-navy-training/

Report from the Front: Dan Tonnes on Rockfish Recovery & Critical Habitat in Puget Sound

From the 2013 NW Straits Annual Meeting. Dan Tonnes has worked for NOAA as a biologist since 1999, where he has focused on diverse issues, ranging from long-term watershed habitat conservation plans to fisheries management and research on nearshore estuary environments. Dan has a US Coast Guard Inalnd Master 100 Gross Tons Merchant Marine License and has worked as a boat captain on sport fishing boats in the Puget Sound and Alaska, as well as on passenger ferries and oil spill response vessels. He received his bachelor of Science in Environmental Planning from Seattle Pacific University and a master’s in Marine Affairs from the University of Washington. He is a Kinship Conservation Fellow.

Dan covered the spectrum of issues related to rockfish protection.

Report from the Climate Change Front – Will Stelle’s (NOAA) talk at the NW Straits Conference

Continuing our coverage of the NW Straits Annual Conference: For the “Big Picture” of what is happening on the West Coast, Will Stelle was asked to share his thoughts. Will is the Western Regional Administrator for NOAA fisheries. He handles fisheries management and is also involved in land management issues surrounding the Endangered Species Act. This is really critical listening for anyone wanting to better understand how the Federal Government interacts with the State and local jurisdictions. Will discusses the latest issues with flood insurance, FEMA, habitat loss, flood plain functions, herbicides in the environment and their impact on salmonids, water quality standards, road culverts, watershed management, along with climate change and it’s effects on electricity generation.

Will brought humor and deep understanding of the issues that the West Coast is facing. He takes us from California to our local Washington issues. Sometimes NOAA seems like a friend of the environment, and sometimes it’s a big bureaucracy that that appears to be manipulated by political and business forces. After hearing Will, I think you will agree it’s a bit of both. At least he was funny and left us in an upbeat mood. Very unusual and refreshing in a bureaucratic administrator!

You can either listen to this from this web page or download the file and play it locally. It’s about 45 minutes long. A good idea if you want to take this along for a walk or exercise routine.

If you wish to attend any of the monthly MRC meetings in your area, check their local web sites. All meetings are open to the public and are advertised in advance. You can also support the work of the NW Straits Initiative, by donating to the NW Straits Foundation. Their web site is http://www.nwstraits.org and http://www.nwstraits.org/Foundation/About.aspx.

2013 NW Straits Conference Overview

Just got back from a great two days at the NW Straits conference, held in Bellingham. The good folks that steer our Marine Resource Committees always put together a  conference worth attending, and the only unfortunate thing is that they can’t invite the world at large.

Pictured below, Caroline Gibson and Sasha Horst from the NW Straits Commission greet attendees, while Jefferson County Commissioner and ex-fisherman, Phil Johnson discusses net pens.

2013 NW Straits Collage

This year, Washington State Senator Kevin Ranker and Dr. Terrie Klinger started off by giving an update to the state of the science and legislative activity around  Ocean Acidification.  Washington State is at the forefront of global science on this emerging issue, and the Governor has taken the step to create a commission to look into it and get some actions going on this.

Funding for research and data collection is underway, and we were told that funding for educational activities is not,and pressure needs to be exerted to get this to the schools as new curriculum.

Hugh Shipman of the Washington State Department of Ecology spoke on Sea Level Rise in the Puget Sound basin, and Tina Whitman of Friends of the San Juans along with Andrea MacLennon of the Coastal Geographic Services brought people up to speed on how the scientists and policy makers are measuring and planning for sea level rise in San Juan County.

Kathleen Herrmann of the Snohomish County MRC gave a very interesting talk on a new method for gaining public acceptance of MRC goals, using Collective Impact, which is a model framework applied here for marine conservation. Kathleen has done a great job of researching this and applying it to their issues.

Will Stelle, who is the west coast regional administrator for NOAA Fisheries, closed out day one, with a really entertaining overview of the issues facing the west coast. I would have to say that this overview should be mandatory for all of us trying to get a good overview of the state of affairs right now. It’s a huge span of work. Will presents it with humor and passion.

Conservation biologist Thor Hanson was the after dinner speaker, giving an overview on his new book, Feathers. Thor’s enthusiasm for his work is quite funny and, yes, I bought the book.

On day two: there was tracks on Tools for Promoting Ocean Acidification (O.A.) Literacy, and in another room, an overview of Nearshore Habitat Restoration: From Idea to Reality, Advice from Local Experts. In the O.A.literacy program, Alexis Valauri-Orton, the Thomas J. Watson Fellow presented a really interesting look at her recent research work in talking to various cultures around the world being affected by O.A. Paul Williams of the Suquamish Tribe updated us on their efforts to teach the issue, and Meg Chadsey of Washington Sea Grant also presented.

After lunch, in addition to an overview of evaluating metrics and outreach projects, Dan Tonnes and Helen Berry gave great insight into Rockfish recovery efforts and Kelp monitoring and management in Puget Sound.

Will Stelle – NOAA West Coast Fisheries Administrator on Fisheries and Furloughs – 45 minutes long. Download the audio file and listen.  http://sdrv.ms/17Z2Kzi

All these presentations will be put up in both audio and video formats for download within the next week.  Check back for the links to them. 

$3.7M in NOAA fish-habitat grants awarded to 3 NW states – Seattle Times

he National Marine Fisheries Service announced $3.7 million in grants Tuesday for fish-habitat restoration in Washington, Oregon and Alaska. The largest grant, $1.4 million, goes for three projects to restore nearly 500 acres of flood-plain habitat on Puget Sound. An additional $1 million with Snohomish County will help restore nearly 330 acres of wetland in the Snohomish River estuary.

http://seattletimes.com/html/localnews/2021652443_noaagrantsxml.html

NOAA: Puget Sound Killer Whales To Stay Protected – AP

NOAA throws out the claims by the Pacific Legal Foundation (a conservative legal action organization that fights against environmental laws, among other issues), that that the Puget Sound Southern Resident pod was not unique. The people that funded this ought to replace their lawyers, who might have warned them that the argument was absurd and a waste of time and money.

SEATTLE (AP) — Killer whales that spend their summers in Puget Sound are a distinct population group and will remain protected under the Endangered Species Act, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced Friday.

Read the whole story at:
http://bigstory.ap.org/article/noaa-puget-sound-killer-whales-stay-protected

The Good Drones – Scientific and Environmental Missions

We like these drones.

They’re the tools of modern-day warfare: unmanned aircraft systems better known as drones. They’re also being tested to help carry our important scientific missions, including surveys of wildlife and marine debris in the National Marine Sanctuary off the coast of the Olympic Peninsula. In the marina at La Push aboard the research vessel Tatoosh, two pilots dressed in dark blue uniforms run a pre-flight check on a Puma unmanned aircraft system. They’re with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency, the federal science agency that studies changes in our environment.

Bellamy Pailthorp reports. Feds testing drones for scientific and environmental missions

http://kplu.org/post/feds-testing-drones-scientific-and-environmental-missions

Event:”Ocean acidification in WA State” June 15th in Port Townsend

“Ocean acidification in WA State: An exploration of its chemical, biological, and societal impacts”
PTMSC presents this lecture by NOAA Research Ecologist Shallin Busch. Busch helped develop NOAA’s Northwest Center state-of-the-art lab for studying the impacts of ocean acidification, hypoxia, and temperature change on coastal marine organisms. She conducts experiments on economically and ecologically important species and uses this research to explore potential impacts of ocean acidification on entire food webs and fisheries. In 2012, Busch served as a member of the WA State Blue Ribbon Panel on Ocean Acidification. The lecture is this Saturday, June 15th at 4pm in the Fort Worden State Park JFK Building.  No park pass necessary (note: PTMSC is paying in advance so audience doesn’t have to buy a pass, but if you already have one, please bring and display it on your dash). Admission is $7 adults/$5 adult members/$3 youth/$2 youth members
%d bloggers like this: