In 2015, Bainbridge Beach Naturalists received a grant from the Rose Foundation for the placement of a cage of mussels as part of a Puget Sound-wide study of pollutants associated with stormwater and other runoff into the marine environment conducted by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Washington Department of Ecology. BBN now marshals 24 trained citizen scientists to monitor seven sites in total as part of this on-going program to determine whether efforts to clean up runoff are improving the situation or making a difference. This grant will support mussel monitoring at two new sites: a new site at a property owned by Washington State University (WSU) at Meyer’s Point in south Puget Sound and a repeat placement at Burley Lagoon in central Puget Sound. The WSU site is of interest due to the proximity to both an active oyster growing operation and the nearby Nisqually Reserve. This is an area that should be relatively pristine, but without testing, it is not possible to determine what the bivalves in the area are adsorbing. The location will also enable students from WSU Vancouver to become engaged with citizen science through this study. The Burley Lagoon site is under pressure to be converted to an industrial geoduck operation, and significant preparatory work for the conversion has already been performed in the lagoon. The fresh study will allow comparison with 2015 results to assess the impacts of the conversion in disturbing sediments and increasing pollution loads in the mussels.
Bainbridge Beach Naturalists
Puget Sound Mussel Monitoring Program 2019-2020
Puget Sound Stewardship and Mitigation Fund, 2019