This hungry invader has been found along Whatcom’s shores. Here’s why we don’t want it here
Washington Sea Grant's anti-invasion Team volunteers are on a mission to protect the Salish Sea from one of the world’s worst invasive species. By University of Washington
A hungry invader that poses a threat to the region’s marine life has been found in Whatcom County, most recently in Drayton Harbor where the shell of a European green invader was discovered in August.
It’s not the first time one has been found within Whatcom, but scientists, tribes and volunteers are working to keep the non-native pests from making a home here and elsewhere in the state’s saltwater shorelines.
Three live invaders were found in a trap in Chuckanut Bay in July, and the remains of one were found in Squalicum Harbor in Bellingham in May, marking the first confirmation of the invasive species’ presence in Whatcom County, according to Washington Sea Grant at the University of Washington.
In all, five have been found in Whatcom County since monitoring intensified in 2016 in collaboration with the Washington state Department of Fish and Wildlife and with the help of volunteers.
Five? That’s not so many.
“How much damage can they do?” acknowledged Emily Grason, a marine ecologist and the anti-invaderTeam Program manager for Washington Sea Grant, of a common question.