You may have read about the stormwater study in the Puget Sound involving the use of mussels to help determine the toxics brought into the waters by run-off from impervious surfaces such as roof tops, parking lots and roads. The Bainbridge Beach Naturalists and members of the Bainbridge Island Watershed Council are participating in this study by deploying the mussel cages, keeping an eye on them for the three months they are in our waters, and then retrieving the cages and getting the mussels to a lab in Olympia for analysis.
We collaborate with Washington Dept. of Fish and Wildlife on the mussel study which initially provided three cages of mussels that were placed around Bainbridge Island and monitored during their deployment. In January, 2013, the mussels were retrieved and were analyzed for toxic chemicals they ingested during their stay in our waters. Since 2015-16, we have been responsible for a total of seven sites on Bainbridge Island.
Sea Star Wasting Syndrome
With the arrival of the sea star wasting syndrome, Bainbridge Beach Naturalists have been monitoring selected sites to document the devastation of all of the species of sea stars locally, and to watch for possible recovery.
Invasive Green Crab Monitoring
The newest monitoring in which the Bainbridge Beach Naturalists are participating is the Washington Sea Grant green crab monitoring project, where we have a site at Blakely Harbor that is being monitored for this invasive species, as well as collecting baseline data on the crab and fish species in the innermost part of the harbor. An excellent source for information about the green crabs and the monitoring program can be found here.