Sound Water Stewards of Island County, WA
Working for a healthy, sustainable Salish Sea marine environment
Hosted this month by Camano
10:00 am – 10:30 am: Sound Water Stewards Business Meeting
10:30 am – featured speaker Tabitha Jacobs-Mangiafico on Molt Search, Green Crab Molt Identification & Reporting
11:30 to noon – breakout rooms for Camano and Whidbey Islands
Camano is Host
First Stewards Acknowledgement
PUBLIC IS INVITED!
European green crabs (Carcinus maenas) threaten marine resources in Washington. Early detection is critically important! Washington Sea Grant and Washington State University Extension have teamed up to launch a new volunteer-based early detection program. It is called Molt Search. This summer, Sound Water Stewards will teach volunteers and the public what to look for and how to report the presence of European green crab molts along inland shorelines. These molts can serve as an early indicator of the presence of European green crab in an area so that the Washington Dept of Fish and Wildlife can take action to seek and eliminate invasive crabs.
The European green crab is a hardy and voracious predator native to Western Europe and Northwestern Africa. This species has invaded intertidal zones around the globe and, according to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, it is considered one of the world’s worst invasive species.
European green crab were first detected in the Washington area of the Salish Sea in 2016 – they were found in at Westcott Bay on San Juan Island and in Padilla Bay. Since 2018, the crab has been found in an increasing number of places and in 2021, European green crab numbers expanded dramatically in the Lummi Nation’s Sea Pond, and in outer coastal areas such as Grays Harbor, Makah Bay, and Willapa Bay.
This invasive crab threatens shellfish, juvenile Dungeness crab, eelgrass beds which provide critical habitat for juvenile salmon, the food supply for shorebirds, and the overall health of Washington’s marine waters.
The Crab Team (WDFW, Washington Sea Grant, tribal co-managers, and partners including Sound Water Stewards on both Whidbey and Camano) currently monitor and trap European green crab at about 60 sites, but these only cover a small fraction of the suitable nearshore habitat for this animal. The detection of European green crab molts could serve as an early indicator of the presence of European green crab in the area. If citizen scientists, volunteers, shoreline landowners, and beachgoers knew what to look for, they could provide valuable information that would help to guide future Crab Team monitoring and trapping efforts.
At this June 12 meeting, we will teach to properly identify the European green crab, how to take measurements of the invasive crabs as well as Dungeness crabs, and how to report your findings using a MyCoast mobile app.
Camano Meeting Agenda