Home » Blog posts

New NSF grant supports toxics research

Our partners at the Center for Urban Waters have received a $797,107 National Science Foundation grant for the purchase of new equipment that will identify toxic contaminants in Puget Sound. University of Washington Tacoma professor Ed Kolodziej is the project’s principal investigator. Co-principal investigators include David Beck, Allison Gardell, Jessica Ray, and Andy James, all …

PSI Director Joel Baker elected to Washington State Academy of Sciences

Puget Sound Institute Director and University of Washington Tacoma Professor of Environmental Science Joel Baker has been elected to the Washington State Academy of Sciences, an advisory group established by the Washington State Legislature to inform public policy and increase the impact of scientific research in the state. Baker is one of 38 new members …

Can biologists estimate the massive loss of shellfish caused by low tides, high temps?

The putrid smell of rotting shellfish on some beaches in Puget Sound and elsewhere along the West Coast were a clear sign that large numbers of clams, mussels, oysters and other intertidal creatures were killed from exposure to extreme low tides, record-breaking temperatures and a blazing hot sun. The total losses of shellfish that perished …

Young orcas appear to develop friendships, not unlike primates — including humans

UPDATE, FRIDAY, JULY 2: K pod arrived in the San Juan Islands yesterday, so the wait is over for the Southern Residents to arrive this summer. The whales came south through Rosario Strait yesterday morning, according to reports, and then they traveled along the south side of Lopez Island and over to the west side …

Golden-crowned kinglets in Puget Sound have seen a steep decline since 1968

Golden-crowned kinglet (Regulus satrapa). Photo: Minette Layne (CC BY-NC 2.0)

The number of golden-crowned kinglets in the Puget Sound watershed has declined by more than 91% over a recent 50-year period, according to data from the North American Breeding Bird Survey. The data was reported by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, which tracks the information for the Puget Sound Partnership’s terrestrial bird indicator. …

Puget Sound Partnership takes closer look at human well-being and environmental justice

Amid the struggle to save salmon and orcas and restore the Puget Sound ecosystem comes a renewed effort to consider not only how humans affect the environment but how the environment affects the lives of humans. The Puget Sound Partnership, which is overseeing the recovery of Puget Sound, has been developing a series of strategies …

International conference at UW will focus on emerging contaminants

Fluoxetine hydrochloride. Photo: Meg (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) https://www.flickr.com/photos/disowned/1125134972

This year’s International Conference on Emerging Contaminants will be hosted virtually at the University of Washington from September 13-14 in partnership with the Center for Urban Waters, the Puget Sound Institute and the Washington Stormwater Center. Abstracts are due June 16th and the deadline for early registration is July 1. The full announcement is available …

Voluntary removal of BPA from food cans leaves state regulators with a key decision

As Washington state regulators contemplate a ban on the chemical BPA from food and drink cans, a manufacturers organization insists that BPA has already been removed voluntarily from nearly all food cans. Washington Department of Ecology is engaged in Phase 3 of the Safer Products for Washington program, which is evaluating five groups of chemicals …

Mercer Island student honored in national art contest for her painting of Arctic char

A 16-year-old Mercer Island High School artist, Jingyi “Alana” Yang, received multiple awards this month in the annual Art of Conservation Fish Art Contest, sponsored by the conservation group Wildlife Forever. Her painting showed an Arctic char in its natural cold-water surroundings. Alana said she was inspired to paint the colorful fish during a family …

Mathematical tools to aid in the interpretation of coronavirus testing

New mathematical equations co-developed by Puget Sound Institute affiliate research professor Marc Mangel are designed to help health officials interpret coronavirus test results for better risk assessments.  As more people in the U.S. are vaccinated and mask restrictions loosen, public health officials hope that the coronavirus pandemic has reached a turning point. Even so, the …

As in a pandemic, the battle against invasive species may well depend on early actions

As Americans, we have become all too familiar with the spread of a deadly virus and the terrible consequences of a delayed response to an outbreak. As a result of our experience, I’m wondering if some of us might have a more visceral sense about the need to control invasive species. I’m not saying that …

A mile of shellfish beach near Hoodsport has been declared safe for harvesting

Efforts to clean up the waters near Hoodsport in southern Hood Canal are paying off with increased shellfish-harvesting opportunities for the Skokomish Tribe, private property owners and recreational harvesters. The final step in the cleanup effort involved tracking down sources of pollution, including eight failing septic systems, which then were either repaired or replaced. After …