Coastal Habitats in Puget Sound

Puget Sound is one of the largest estuaries in the United States. The area's unique geology, climate and nutrient-rich waters create and support biologically productive coastal habitats. Population growth has contributed to the degradation of Puget Sound, including declines in fish and wildlife populations, water quality issues, and changes in coastal habitats. The US Geological Survey has been conducting interdisciplinary studies in Puget Sound since 2006 through its Coastal Habitats in Puget Sound (CHIPS) project to address these challenges. Recently, the CHIPS program conducted research in Bellingham Bay to understand contaminant transport, biological uptake, and toxicity. This talk will cover the findings of these studies and the implications for the Sound's ecosystem.

About the Speaker

The speaker with research equipment on a boat near the shoreline
Andrew Spanjer
Hydrologist, US Geological Survey

Andrew Spanjer is a hydrologist at the US Geological Survey Washington Water Science Center, where he researches the occurrence, fate, and biological effects of aquatic contaminants. He grew up in Port Angeles, WA and currently lives in Bellingham. Through working with local communities and tribes, Andrew’s work focuses on legacy and emerging contaminants in rivers, estuaries, and the nearshore and their impacts on Pacific salmon, forage fish, and benthic communities. He received his undergraduate degree from Western Washington University’s College of the Environment and completed his graduate work at the University of Washington’s School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences.

Environmental Speaker Series

The Environmental Speaker Series is hosted by the College of the Environment at Western Washington University.

The Series is free and open to the public. Talks are held each Thursday at 4:30 pm in Academic Instructional Center West room 204 - AW-204. Talks will also be streamed via zoom. Register with the Alumni Association for the zoom link. Paid parking is available in lot C.

Learn more about the Environmental Speaker Series
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