2014 Surf smelt and National Geographic in the Elwha nearshore. Jenna Moore, Central Washington University/Peninsula College and CWI intern
On July 28, 2014, the Coastal Watershed Institute team was joined in our Elwha nearshore surf smelt sampling by the National Geographic Young Explorers! Carol Holman, Dave Parks, Dan Penttila, Nicole Harris, and Anne Shaffer continued our long term surf smelt spawn study and mapped beach sediment along west Elwha nearshore along with the help of CWI interns Tara McBride, Jenna Moore, and Jesse Wagner, and National Geographic students and leaders from around the world. Landowners and staff provided critical access and support so we could work up samples in a group on site.
National Geographic and Central Washington University/CWI students sampling newly transformed beach for surf smelt spawn 28 July 2014
A number of CWI supporters donated backpacks for carrying samples, and photos to document the day.
What did we find? Surf smelt are spawning on the brand new river delta. A year ago this habitat didn’t even exist! The addition of sediment is allowing for greater nearshore habitat for many fish species, in the Elwha nearshore including the vital surf smelt. Our adage for Elwha nearshore function-build it and they will come (as soon as it’s available)-holds. And our bottom line?
There are heroes in our world. Here are a few of them.
See national geographic blog for student http://trips.ngstudentexpeditions.com/pacificnorthwestb2014/