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July 1, 2022


Green crabs in Hood Canal raise questions about invasion; further response is coming

For the past six years, a volunteer crew has been diligently visiting Nick’s Lagoon near Seabeck on Hood Canal, checking the waters for the destructive European green crab. The three citizen scientists have caught and released lots of native crabs — including thousands of hairy shore crabs. But, until May of this year, they never […]

May 24, 2021


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 […]

March 29, 2021


Invasive mussel triggers widespread talks, increased coordination with pet stores

Baby zebra mussels, no bigger than a grain of rice, provoked an emergency response across the country in early March, and now state and federal officials are contemplating changes to protect the Northwest from an invasive species that some people have unknowingly invited into their fish tanks. Nothing official has been proposed, but experts are […]

June 5, 2020


Hornets, crabs and rodents: setting traps to locate and contain invasive species

While media reports were raising alarms about an invasion of dangerous “murder hornets,” Washington state entomologists were quietly planning a trapping program, which will mark the beginning of a search-and-destroy mission against the Asian giant hornets. Trapping has become a primary tool in the early detection of invasive species. Traps are often used to control […]

September 23, 2016

Second invasive green crab found in Puget Sound

Last month, Puget Sound Institute senior writer Christopher Dunagan’s series on invasive species in Puget Sound highlighted some of the state’s worries about the arrival of the European green crab. The article noted that “the threat could be just around the corner.” It could not have been more timely. Several weeks after the article was published, volunteer crab spotters led by Washington Sea Grant […]

August 3, 2016

New in Salish Sea Currents: Invasive stowaways threaten Puget Sound ecosystem

Invasive species are among the three greatest threats to the environment worldwide, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature. Species ranging from microscopic viruses to larger creatures like rodents and non-native fish can alter the balance of entire ecosystems. The threat is well-known in Puget Sound and the Salish Sea, which face their own unique challenges. This week, our […]

January 12, 2012

Still no zebra mussels in Washington

Hard to tell if this news is positive or foreboding, but the Puget Sound region starts another year with a clean bill of health on at least one front. The Washington Invasive Species Council reports that Washington is one of only five Western states remaining with no invasion of zebra mussels. That’s good for Washington […]