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Washington Sea Grant receives $1.1 million in federal funding for aquaculture research

Square shaped oyster beds in the mud abutting a larger, open bod of water.

Aquaculture has been a mainstay of Washington’s economy since the state’s founding, and there is still potential for more growth. Three federal grants announced this week will provide total funding of $1.1 million to Washington Sea Grant, based at the University of Washington’s College of the Environment, for research that will sustainably further shellfish and finfish aquaculture in the state. The grants were awarded through two competitions designed to identify projects that will lead to the responsible development of the domestic shellfish, finfish and seaweed aquaculture industries. 

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Study points to win-win for spotted owls and forest management

Two spotted owls sitting on a tree branch.

Remote sensing technology has detected what could be a win for both spotted owls and forestry management, according to a study led by the University of California, Davis, the USDA Forest Service Pacific Southwest Research Station and the University of Washington. For 25 years, many forests in the western United States have been managed to protect habitat for endangered and threatened spotted owls. 

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Catching a diversity of fish species — instead of specializing — means more stable income for fishers

Fishing boats against a white sky.

For people who make a living by harvesting natural resources, income volatility is a persistent threat. Crops could fail. Fisheries could collapse. Forests could burn. These and other factors — including changing management regulations and practices — can lower harvests and depress incomes. But the ways that these forces interact to impact income, especially at the level of the individual worker, have been difficult to track. 

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Probiotics help poplar trees clean up toxins in Superfund sites

The darker, taller poplar trees shown at the test site at the end of their third season were inoculated with microbes, while the shorter, lighter-green trees (center row) were not given the bacteria.

Trees have the ability to capture and remove pollutants from the soil and degrade them through natural processes in the plant. It’s a feat of nature companies have used to help clean up polluted sites, though only in small-scale projects. Now, a probiotic bacteria for trees can boost the speed and effectiveness of this natural cycle, providing a microbial partner to help protect trees from the toxic effects of the pollutants and break down the toxins plants bring in from contaminated groundwater. 

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