Back in the late ‘90s, a teacher made a boo-boo. After completing a lesson on crayfish, the teacher dumped them into Pine Lake. Unfortunately, these weren’t ordinary crayfish. Well, not ordinary for this part of the country. And so, the red swamp crayfish started taking over the crayfish niche in the lake, according to Julian Olden, a freshwater ecologist with the University of Washington. Now Olden, with the help of volunteers from around the lake, aims to stop them. Read more about this effort in the Sammamish Review.
At least one scientist monitoring the shoreline surrounding the ever-evolving mouth of the Elwha River has started to see modest beach growth as sediment held back by two gargantuan dams for nearly 100 years is released during the dams’ removal. As sediment from the destruction of Elwha Dam and the ongoing removal process of Glines Canyon Dam 8 miles upstream flows toward the Elwha River mouth, it accumulates in sand bars that are shaped nearly every day by the flow of the river, said Ian Miller, a coastal hazards specialist and one of the scientists surveying beaches to the east and west of the river mouth. Read more.
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service on Tuesday announced that $20 million in grants will go to 24 coastal wetland projects throughout the United States. Fully one-third of those grants will go to Washington state, and seven of the eight will be used for projects in the Puget Sound region. Read more about this and what it means for our nearby 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.
David Montgomery, a UW geologist, is the author of a new book that explores the long history of religious thinking on matters of geological discovery, particularly flood stories such as the biblical account of Noah’s ark. Read more about his book here.
Check out this video on the removal of the Elwha River dams and the ecosystem restoration to follow. Learn about what scientists are doing to better understand how the river functions now and how it will change in the future. You can watch the nine-minute video here!