2017 Science Saturday Free Family Event
The family event February 25th titled "Food Webs Can Be Fishy" offered hands-on activities for children and three presentations for adults.
Phil Dionne, Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, gave a presentation on the importance of forage fish and Bob Boekelheide, Olympic Peninsula Audubon Society, presented on seabirds feeding on forage fish. Ed Bowlby, chair of Clallam MRC, rounded out the presentations by discussing the Clallam MRC's current pigeon guillemot project and informed the audience about volunteer opportunities including participation in the monthly forage fish spawning surveys.
The event also offed hands-on demonstrations for the adults of forage fish spawning surveys and the laboratory egg analysis. The event was attended by 31 adults and kids from the community.
2017 February Meeting
Lorenz Sollmann from the Dungeness Wildlife Refuge gave a presentation on the green crab survey efforts the Refuge has been conducting for the last 12 years. The green crab, an invasive species from Europe, has for years been present in Sook Harbor, Canada, and was last year discovered in the San Juan Islands and in Padilla Bay.
2016 October Meeting
Geoff Baran, the Response Equipment Specialist for the Department of Ecology Spill Prevention, Preparedness and Response Program, gave a presentation on the current status of the oil spill response trailers at John Wayne and Boat Haven Marina. After the presentation Geoff encouraged the Clallam MRC to apply for the new equipment grant provided by Department of Ecology. The presentation is available here.
2016 Speaker Event: Our Marine Resources Facing Climate Change
The speaker forum and panel discussion was held at the Red Lion Hotel conference room September 28th. The speakers examined the ecological impacts of ocean acidification, the impacts of ocean acidification on local shellfish, water availability on the North Olympic Peninsula, and how individuals can be involved to help make a difference. Ginny Broadhurst, Executive Director at the Northwest Straits Commission, facilitated the event and the panel discussion. Ms. Broadhurst also outlined actions that individual citizens can take to help reduce the impacts of ocean acidification. The presentation is available here.
Anna McLaskey, PhD student at University of Washington, discussed the ecological impacts of ocean acidification. A member of the West Coast Ocean Acidification 2016 Cruise, Ms. McLaskey introduced the cause and chemistry of ocean acidification. Ms. McLaskey’s research focuses on the impacts of ocean acidification on crustacean zooplankton such as krill and copepods. The presentation is available here.
Bill Dewey, Director of Public Affairs for Taylor Shellfish, explored the impacts of ocean acidification on oysters and other shellfish. He travels around the world speaking about ocean acidification, how ocean acidification impacts the shellfish industry, and how it will impact the ocean food web. Taylor Shellfish started as a family business in 1890 and today they are the largest producer of farmed shellfish in the country. The presentation is available here.
Ann Soule, Resource Manager at City of Sequim, described future water availability on the North Olympic Peninsula. Based on future weather predictions with drier, warmer summers and wetter winters. She has worked extensively on surface water and stormwater, and water quantity and quality issues in the Dungeness watershed and Clallam County and she explored potential relationships between freshwater supplies and marine resources. The presentation is available here.
A panel discussion followed the presentations engaging the audience in a discussion about ocean acidification and water availability on the North Olympic Peninsula. The speaker event was well attended with 73 in the audience.
2016 Dungeness River Festival
The 17th Dungeness River Festival was held September 23-24, 2016 and once again Clallam MRC participated in the festival with an educational booth. The display at Clallam MRC’s booth focused on the importance of good habitat and clean water for healthy shellfish populations. Live geoducks, Olympia and Pacific oysters provided a way to talk about water quality and other essentials of marine habitat. Many of the visitors were also interested in learning about the biology of geoducks. The geoducks were provided by Clallam MRC member Ralph Riccio from Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe and the Olympia and Pacific oysters were on loan from Feiro Marine Life Center.
Clallam MRC members Alan Clark, Kathy Cooper, Mike Doherty, Jeff Ward, Bob Campbell, Lyn Muench, Ed Bowlby and Clallam MRC staff staffed the booth during the two day event and potential reached about 2,500 festival participants of which 1,000 were 3-5 grade school students. The festival was featured in Sequim Gazette and in Peninsula Daily News.
2016 June MRC Meeting
Cheryl Lowe, Jefferson Marine Resources Coordinator, presented at the joint MRC meeting with Jefferson MRC. Cheryl has for numerous years worked on Olympia oyster restoration in Jefferson County. She talked about the successful restoration in Discovery Bay and a new restoration effort starting this year in Quilcene Bay.
2016 May MRC Meeting
Anne Murphy, retired executive director for Port Townsend Marine Science Center, gave a presentation on a micro debris study conducted in Puget Sound between 2008 and 2010. Port Townsend Marine Science Center in collaboration with Department of Ecology lead the effort. The goal was to learn what types and quantities of micro debris were accumulating on beaches and to establish a baseline for future studies. The project started in seven counties and grew to include all twelve counties bordering the Salish Sea. To give a more complete picture of the distribution of micro marine debris Anne also talked about the surface water sampling effort conducted by Wallace Davis between Everett and Skagway, Alaska in 2011-12.
Anthropogenic debris was found in 90.3% of the areas sampled in the beach wrack. Foam was the overall dominating debris constituting 74.6% of micro debris and 51.6% of macro debris. Foam also dominated the debris found in the surface water samples with microfoam accounting for 94.7% of all anthropogenic debris collected with another 1.4% being macrodebris. Foam was particularly common in the vicinity of harbors and marinas throughout the Inside Passage and low in remote areas – no plastic was collected in Glacier Bay National Park. The peer reviewed paper describing the two studies is available here.
Hillary Burgess had to cancel her presentation on COASST's small marine debris project due to illness. The talk will be rescheduled at a later MRC meeting.
2016 March MRC Meeting
Jon Schmidt, the coordinator for the CoastSavers, gave a presentation on the current efforts of the organization. 2015 was a very successful year with about 2700 volunteers participating in beach cleanup removing 141 tons of marine debris. Over a 100 countries participated in the International Beach Cleanup in September and CoastSavers are now part of a network, “World Ocean Collective”, which focus on removing marine debris in the Pacific Ocean.
For the upcoming Earth Day event April 23 more than 600 volunteers have already signed up online. CoastSavers are working on introducing a new program “adopt a beach” which will work similar to the successful “adopt a highway” program. The first ever CoastSavers fundraising event will take place April 9 in Seattle.
2016 January MRC Meeting
At the first meeting in January 2016 Bob Simmons, the Olympic Region Water Resources Specialist at WSU Extension, gave a presentation on the Beach Naturalists and Watershed Stewards programs in Jefferson County. Participants in these courses receive comprehensive, science-based training through classroom lectures given by regional experts and local field trips.
After completion of the programs the participants are asked to give back to the community by becoming stewards, citizen scientists, or educators and volunteering a minimum of 40 hours.
Currently the WSU Extension, North Olympic Salmon Coalition and Feiro Marine Life Center have submitted a proposal to the Puget Sound Partnership requesting funding for similar programs in Clallam County.