ocean ecosystems

Bellamy Pailthorp photo / KPLU News

Scientists examining the health of Puget Sound have uncovered a new mystery involving the very bottom of the food chain.

A new study from the state Department of Ecology shows toxins in sediments have declined over the past decade. But it also found declining health of the creatures that live in the sediment. 

zenobia_joy photo / Flickr

With its eelgrass beds and rocky beaches, Puget Sound’s shoreline is frequented by hundreds of species of fish and other creatures. State and federal agencies spend hundreds of millions of dollars on its restoration.

But Amy Carey, Executive Director of a new group called Sound Action, says the marine ecosystems that support sensitive species are still declining.

Bellamy Pailthorp / KPLU News

SEATTLE (AP) — Gov. Chris Gregoire has signed an executive order directing state officials to work on the problem of ocean acidification.

Photo courtesy of Washington State Dept. of Ecology

Carbon emissions are threatening Washington’s shellfish industry. That’s the concern of the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Panel on Ocean Acidification, which meets today in Seattle.

In British Columbia on Thursday, Canadian scientists will testify about the decline of salmon in the Fraser River. 

Even if you don’t like fish, advocates say you should still be concerned.

Suresh A. Sethi/U of Washington

The most widely-used way of measuring the health of ocean ecosystems is wrong as often as it's right.

And that can lead to thinking that fisheries are sustainable when they're really not.