Our long term goal is to define genetic stock structure and create a digital photo inventory for a variety of vertebrate, invertebrate, and plant species in the Salish Sea. A multi-species inventory will identify any concordant or unique zoo-geographic boundaries as well as centers of biodiversity. As stocks may respond differently to environmental or man-made changes, whether sudden or gradual, these data are used to contribute to managing the ecosystem for intra-/ inter-species diversity in marine protected areas (MPA), provide a tool to monitor ecosystem response to environmental change, and identify representative stocks for experimental work regarding ocean acidification and climate change.
This program is integrated with an ongoing genetic survey of English sole, a high school/summer program being conducted at the Mukilteo Genetics Laboratory funded by NOAA Teacher in the Laboratory/Teacher at Sea. We are also coordinating with the NOAA’s Honolulu Laboratory to deploy benthic settling plates for long-term assessment of biodiversity.