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New steelhead strategy would include increased fishing and more hatcheries

Strategies to keep steelhead fishing alive while restoring steelhead populations to rivers in Puget Sound are spelled out in the “Quicksilver Portfolio” (PDF 2.3 mb), a document unveiled today before the Washington Fish and Wildlife Commission. After three years of study, the Puget Sound Steelhead Advisory Group announced that it was ready to solicit public …

Young artists show creativity in a plea to reduce harmful trash in the ocean

Student artists from across the country are calling attention to the hazards of human trash that washes into the ocean, killing sea creatures large and small. Each year, hundreds of young artists submit colorful drawings and paintings in the annual Marine Debris Art Contest, sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Marine Debris Program. …

Washington has received big money from federal wetlands grants program

A little-known funding program to protect and restore coastal wetlands across the United States has been very, very good for Washington state. Over the past five years, Washington state has received $26.9 million to purchase and restore wetland properties as part of the National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant Program. That’s a surprising 28 percent of …

Kolodziej wins UWT’s 2020 Distinguished Research Award

Distinguished Research Award recipient Ed Kolodziej.

Puget Sound Institute collaborator Ed Kolodziej is the recipient of this year’s University of Washington Tacoma Distinguished Research Award for his work to identify toxic contaminants in the Puget Sound watershed. The annual award “recognizes a faculty member who has achieved a record of notable scholarship or creative activity, who has generated new knowledge or …

Warm-water ‘blobs’ significantly diminish salmon, other fish populations, study says

It’s no secret that salmon and other Northwest fish populations are expected to shrink as a result of a warming Pacific Ocean. But a new study suggests that the resulting decline in commercial fishing by 2050 could be twice as great as previously estimated by climate scientists. The higher estimates of population declines were calculated …

Earth Day events go online because of virus

Canceled! Canceled! Canceled! Participants in this year’s Earth Day activities won’t be rallying in large groups, participating in environmental festivals or coming together to clean up the Earth. On the 50th anniversary of Earth Day — Wednesday of next week — the environmental movement will be uniquely digital, with many people celebrating from their home …

Research in the time of the coronavirus

An endangered southern resident orca leaps out of the water in Puget Sound. Photo courtesy of NOAA.

As the state’s stay-at-home order drags on, much of the work to recover Puget Sound has shifted online. Funding schedules for the state and federal Strategic Initiatives remain on track and events like the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference are going virtual next week with presentations by video conference. But researchers face an entirely different situation …

The coronavirus has been found in Tacoma sewage. It could help scientists track the pandemic

An illustration of the coronavirus. Image courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Researchers at a non-profit biotech startup in Tacoma have found traces of the novel coronavirus in the city’s sewage, opening up new possibilities for tracking and monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic. The testing is being led by Center for Urban Waters collaborator David Hirschberg who directs the RAIN biotech incubator in Tacoma, along with RAIN’s principal …

Salmon expeditions challenge old beliefs

Long-held assumptions about where salmon go during their years of swimming in the Pacific Ocean may need to be revised, according to Dick Beamish, a Canadian salmon researcher who helped organize two scientific expeditions into the Pacific Ocean. For example, sockeye salmon have been caught in nets farther south than conventional wisdom would suggest, Beamish …