AK | CA [USC, CA] | HI | OR | WA
Alaska Sea Grant
Program seeks new blood for fisheries
- With Sea Grant's help, a movement is afoot among Alaska educators and agencies to connect more young people from rural regions with careers in fisheries science and management.
- Every Alaska coastal community depends on its fisheries, yet care and oversight of the resource have been entrusted to biologists and decision-makers from outside the region, or the state.
- "The question for years has been why young people from Kodiak or Bethel or Koliganek or Pelican aren't becoming these fishery scientists?" says Paula Cullenberg, director of the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program.
- Sea Grant has convened groups to identify roadblocks to attracting these recruits, and to coordinate plans to overcome them.
- The University of Alaska Fairbanks (with $5 million from the Rasmuson Foundation) is developing a fisheries degree program. Find more information, visit: http://www.sfos.uaf.edu
University of Southern California Sea Grant
Stakeholder workshop for San Diego, Orange and Los Angeles counties planned for September 18th, 2007
- Sea Grant programs in Washington, Oregon and California are working together to develop a Regional Research and Information Plan for the California Current Large Marine Ecosystem. An important step in this process is the prioritization of research and information needs for the West Coast.
- Sea Grant hopes to involve the broadest possible range of ocean and coastal interests in the process, including coastal residents, scholars and researchers; community organizations, marine conservation groups, state and local governments, resource managers at both the state and federal levels, and any person or group who depends on ocean resources for livelihood or recreation.
- The workshops will be organized with a panel discussion in the morning followed by break-out groups in the afternoon.
- Description of the themes to be covered and more information about the workshop can be downloaded from the USC Sea Grant website: www.usc.edu/org/seagrant/RegionalPlan.html There will be three other workshops in California (Northern California, Central Coast and Bay Area).
California Sea Grant
Black abalone withering towards extinction
- California's native black abalone are in jeopardy of withering into extinction. Once the most abundant large marine mollusk on the rocky intertidal coast, the species is now a candidate for protection under the federal Endangered Species Act.
- Because black abalone populations have continued to dwindle despite the closure of the black abalone fishery in 1993, efforts by Sea Grant and its partners to prevent the species' extinction are becoming incredibly high-tech.
- Researchers are trying to understand the genetic basis of resistance to a chronic, progressive wasting disease that has become the bane of abalone recovery efforts, both in hatcheries and the wild.
- Because withering syndrome is so lethal and appears to be spreading northward as coastal temperatures warm, the scientists have suggested breeding disease-resistant specimens for out planting in the wild in Southern California.
- A member of the Sea Grant team is developing captive rearing techniques for black abalone in anticipation of out-planting experiments.
Hawai'i Sea Grant
Free natural hazard preparation guidebook available
- Hawai'i Sea Grant developed a free guidebook for homeowners outlining effective ways to significantly lower serious risks to lives and property, called the Homeowner's Handbook to Prepare for Natural Hazards.
- Authors Dr. Darren Okimoto and Dennis Hwang note that the handbook fills an important information gap for homeowners by showing how to plan and prepare for multiple hazards such as hurricanes, tsunamis, flooding and earthquakes.
- According to Hwang, "It takes complex information traditionally used by scientists, engineers and architects and simplifies it so that the homeowner can make informed decisions and implement the simple and cost-effective measures."
- The guidebook is free of charge and available at: www.soest.hawaii.edu/SEAGRANT/communication/publications
Oregon Sea Grant
Wave energy test site set for possible mooring deployment in August
- Researchers from Oregon State University are preparing to launch of the first ocean wave energy test site off the Oregon coast, known as the OSU Wave Energy Small-Scale Test Berth Site.
- The researchers have been developing wave energy extraction devices for the past two years with a $270,000 grant from the National Science Foundation and additional money from Oregon Sea Grant.
- In spring 2005, OSU wave energy researchers and representatives from Oregon Sea Grant forged a partnership with commercial fishermen and crabbers to create a team of experts.
- Now known as Fishermen Involved in Natural Energy (FINE), this 19-member advisory played a key role in the test site selection process.
- Kaety Hildenbrand, a marine fisheries educator with Oregon Sea Grant Extension said this collaborative effort has prepared OSU researchers and the local fishing fleet for the ocean testing.
- Together, they determined the best testing site, duration of testing, navigation, mooring, state and federal permitting, and more as they worked to craft "a workable and reasonable plan" for everyone.
Washington Sea Grant
Reef of glass sponges found off of Washington coast
- A Washington Sea Grant researcher discovered a reef of glass sponges for the first time in U.S. waters off the Washington coast.
- The sponges are part of a deep sea oasis some 650 feet below the surface, and are rich with marine life, housing a diversity of starfish, crabs, shrimp, rockfish, worms and snails.
- Captured in the fossil record, they were thought until fairly recently to have gone extinct 100 million years ago.
- An intriguing twist on the researcher's finding was the presence of natural gas, or methane. The methane is seeping out of the ocean floor, feeding strands of bacteria which the glass sponges feed on.