The Nature Conservancy of Washington has just completed a tidal marsh restorationthat reconnects 4,000 acres of tidelands at the northern end of Port Susan Bay in Snohomish County to Puget Sound. The project included taking out 1.3 miles of a sea dike built in the 1950s to create more farmland. The conservancy built almost a mile of new dike roughly following the original shore to protect farmland. Read more about this project and what it means for Puget Sound ecosystems.
The Washington Department of Ecology (Ecology) has formally adopted changes to two state rules that will enhance protection of the state’s environment, economy and cultural resources from the impacts of a potential major spill. Ecology has calculated that a major spill could cost Washington’s economy $10.8 billion and adversely affect 165,000 jobs due to disruptions to maritime shipping and public port activities, recreation and tourism, and injuries to state fish, shellfish and wildlife. Read more about these changes.
It was three, maybe four o’clock in the morning when he first saw them. Grad student Jeff Bowman was on the deck of a ship; he and a University of Washington biology team were on their way back from the North Pole. It was cold outside, the temperature had just dropped, and as the dawn broke, he could see a few, then more, then even more of these little flowery things, growing on the frozen sea. Read more about what Jeff saw and the phenomenon that causes it.
A massive dock, possibly debris from the March 2011 tsunami that struck Japan, has washed ashore in Washington state’s Olympic National Park – read more.
A new analysis by dozens of scientists – including some from UW – provides a useful update on measured and anticipated impacts of human-driven climate change on ecosystems from western forests to coastal waters. The report, “Impacts of Climate Change on Biodiversity, Ecosystems, and Ecosystem Services,” is one of a suite of studies feeding into what will be the third National Climate Assessment, an overarching analysis of impacts on everything from transportation systems to public health. Read more about their report and findings.
Disintegrating ice, spectacular sunbursts and minuscule lizards are among 2012’s most striking pictures – check them out!
With a focus on science that serves society, NOAA scientists made new discoveries, collected valuable data, and provided information throughout 2012 to guide policymakers’ decisions. Here are some of NOAA Research’s top accomplishments of 2012.