marine conservation

Environment
4:55 am
Fri February 1, 2013

Should Giant Pacific Octopus get special protections?

The giant Pacific octopus is native to western Washington. It can grow to 100 lbs in its 3-4-year lifespan and is a highlight for coldwater divers here.
Janna Nichols photo

The giant Pacific octopus is a relatively healthy and abundant creature among the native wildlife living in Puget Sound.

But it’s such an iconic species that the recent killing of one by a young diver near Seattle’s Alki point has others in the community calling for new protections.

The state is accepting nominations for an advisory group that will consider a range of conservation strategies.

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Microbes among us
3:51 pm
Fri February 3, 2012

Tech innovation unveils Puget Sound's secret natural recyclers

This graphical map shows how millions of strands of DNA form a tangle of information, from bacteria, archaea, and viruses -- and helps show which ones can be grouped together.
Vaughn Iverson UW

Scientists have deciphered some of the secrets of one of Puget Sound’s natural recyclers. It’s a microbe – which likes to eat sulfur and nitrogen – and might be found near any of our beaches.  

The technique they devised could open the door to a better understanding of microbial life that abounds everywhere – in the oceans, in soils, and in the human body.

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Environment
5:00 pm
Thu July 28, 2011

Campaign to protect precious lands in San Juan Islands

A grassroots campaign of local conservation groups is hoping to get federally owned land in the San Juans declared a National Conservation Area.
Courtesy of San Juan Islands National Conservation Area

The San Juan Islands are known for pristine natural beauty that includes a national wildlife refuge and several remote state parks.  

But they also contain about 1,000 acres of federally owned land that has been largely forgotten by authorities. Some islanders fear it might be sold off to developers.

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Saving Puget Sound
3:36 pm
Sun November 21, 2010

Cherry Point Reserve Ten Years in the Making

Cherry Point in Whatcom County. In view is a NOAA ocean observation system completed last year.
NOAA photo

There’s a stretch of shoreline north of Bellingham that hosts oil refineries and other heavy industry. It’s also a key feeding ground for salmon, shorebirds and killer whales. The new Cherry Point Aquatic Reserve – a decade in the making – is meant to thread the needle between protecting the environment and safeguarding family wage jobs.


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