Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

Mount Vernon, WA, United States

Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve

Mount Vernon, WA, United States
SEARCH FILTERS
Time filter
Source Type

News Article | April 27, 2017
Site: phys.org

Staff and volunteers from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, which manages Dungeness Spit National Wildlife Refuge, captured a total of 13 European green crab over the past two weeks as part of the UW-based Washington Sea Grant Crab Team early detection program. These numbers indicate that the invasive crabs are more abundant at Dungeness Spit than at the two other known locations in Washington's inland waters. The first discovery of this globally damaging invasive crab in Washington's Salish Sea was made by Crab Team volunteers last August on San Juan Island, followed quickly by a detection at the Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve, near Mt. Vernon. In both cases, rapid-response trapping and removal by a joint-agency team showed that the crabs were present, but still very rare in those locations. "This is a very different situation," said Crab Team program coordinator Emily Grason. "In Padilla Bay, the crabs we found were too far apart to find and mate with each other, but at Dungeness Spit, multiple crabs are being found at the same site, over successive days of trapping. This indicates a situation where the population could grow very quickly, if we don't intervene." Experts immediately responded to the initial detection with a rapid-response trapping effort and are currently working on a plan with local stakeholders for ongoing response and removal efforts for the area. "Directly addressing the threat of green crab requires both early detection and rapid response, with the goal of finding isolated populations when they are still rare and reducing or eliminating them," said Allen Pleus, the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife's aquatic invasive species unit lead. European green crab is one of the most globally successful invasive species, and established populations are problems in Australia, South Africa and the east coast of the U.S. In places where the crab has become abundant, it has been blamed for damaging shellfish harvests and decimating sea grass beds. Research on the west coast has indicated that native organisms such as shore crabs, young Dungeness crabs and shellfish could be harmed by invasive green crab. The nearest known population of green crab to Washington state is just across the Strait of Juan de Fuca, west of Victoria, British Columbia, in Sooke Inlet. The sites at Dungeness Spit are part of the Washington Sea Grant Crab Team's rapidly expanding early detection network, which currently numbers 36 sites, maintained by volunteers, tribes and agencies. Concerned citizens can help by keeping a lookout for European green crab when visiting salt marshes and pocket estuaries. For information on how to recognize the crab and likely places to look, visit the Crab Team website: wsg.washington.edu/crabteam. Anyone who thinks they have found a green crab should leave the crab in place and email photographs to the Crab Team at crabteam@uw.edu. Explore further: Invasive green crab found on San Juan Island by citizen science volunteers


Nesbitt E.A.,University of Washington | Martin R.A.,University of Washington | Martin D.E.,University of Washington | Apple J.,Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
Marine Pollution Bulletin | Year: 2015

Foraminiferal assemblages in sediment grab samples were utilized to evaluate the impacts of anthropogenic activities on benthic habitats in Bellingham Bay, Washington State, U.S.A. Seventy-three samples taken in 1987, 1997, 2006 and 2010 yielded 35 species of foraminifera from 28 genera. Assemblage composition and diversity data indicate a marked deterioration between 1987 and 2010, contrary to the published Chemical Index, but analogous to the situation with macrobiota. Correlation of diversity with chemical pollutants and metals did not identify any significant correlations, however, an unrelated but highly relevant study of bottom water dissolved oxygen concentrations and pH in Bellingham Bay suggests eutrophication with accompanying hypoxia and acidification may be part of the cause. Thus, the metrics of contamination alone do not adequately characterize habitat viability, and benthic foraminiferal assemblages provide insight into the health of coastal ecosystems. © 2015.


PubMed | Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and University of Washington
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Marine pollution bulletin | Year: 2015

Foraminiferal assemblages in sediment grab samples were utilized to evaluate the impacts of anthropogenic activities on benthic habitats in Bellingham Bay, Washington State, U.S.A. Seventy-three samples taken in 1987, 1997, 2006 and 2010 yielded 35 species of foraminifera from 28 genera. Assemblage composition and diversity data indicate a marked deterioration between 1987 and 2010, contrary to the published Chemical Index, but analogous to the situation with macrobiota. Correlation of diversity with chemical pollutants and metals did not identify any significant correlations, however, an unrelated but highly relevant study of bottom water dissolved oxygen concentrations and pH in Bellingham Bay suggests eutrophication with accompanying hypoxia and acidification may be part of the cause. Thus, the metrics of contamination alone do not adequately characterize habitat viability, and benthic foraminiferal assemblages provide insight into the health of coastal ecosystems.

Loading Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve collaborators
Loading Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve collaborators