Salish Sea Herring Highway Story Map
Update from Anne Shaffer, PhD of the Coastal Watershed Institute on tracking the importance and beauty of nearshore ecosystem functions.
This spring we finally got back to our work in the Elwha nearshore, just in time for the spring Salish Sea herring migration season. Herring adults are migrating off their spawning grounds and larvae off their natal beds to and along their nearshore Salish Sea pathways. So many elements of this critical migration are unknown. As we and our collaborators work to secure funding for understanding the nearshore herring migration corridor of the Salish Sea, we provide this living story to illustrate the connectivity of our Salish Sea.
The map at the end of the scroll provides a very basic snapshot to illustrate the geographic (and synergistic) linkages of herring across the Salish Sea. For each of these sites, we provide a few fun photos of (almost simultaneous) spawn events and hotlinks to place-based organizations dedicated to understanding and protecting these important foundations of our Salish Sea ecosystem. Please do contact them to learn about their work and how you can help. And remember, this is the first swing at a living document, so do let us know how you can help!
Thank you to Clinton Stipek, former Coastal Watershed Institute intern now CWI fellow and data analyst to the stars (literally) for building this map for us.
Click the image to view the story map!
Dr. Shaffer is the Executive Director and Lead Scientist of the Coastal Watershed Institute (CWI), a small, place-based environmental non-profit formed in 1996 that is dedicated to understanding, protecting, and restoring coastal ecosystems thru community-led scientific partnerships. Shaffer and her team conduct world-class ecosystem science and restoration with very modest resources and from a remote base of operations.
Dr. Shaffer and the talented team she leads at CWI are now informing dam removals planning and actions worldwide. Dr. Shaffer has authored over twenty scientific publications on nearshore ecology and dam removal science and regularly presents her scientific work internationally. Her work is featured in Hakai Magazine, National Geographic, New Yorker Magazine, Al Jazeera, PBS (Earth works), and National Public Radio. Dr. Shaffer and her team have received conservation science awards from the Seattle Aquarium, American Fisheries Society, and Society of Ecological Restoration for work on coastal ecosystem science, conservation, and restoration, including the Elwha.
Dr. Shaffer was born and raised in a large family and a small town of eastern Washington struggling to overcome the ravages of WWII. The solitude of wild intact remote coastal shorelines of northwest Washington provided rare moments of peace and healing and instilled a fierce dedication to conserving and restoring wild places. After their first round of graduate school Shaffer and her husband Dave Parks moved to the Olympic Peninsula where they raised two children. Dr. Shaffer then returned to school and earned a PhD in Marine Science from the University of Victoria in 2017. She and her family continue to thrive in their dedication to fight for what matters. Their future focus is to instill a passion in the next generation to do the same.
More information on Dr. Shaffer and her work with the Coastal Watershed Institute can be found at www.coastalwatershedinstitute.org.