Provide funding to the Washington Department of Natural Resources to monitor zooplankton to better inform and coordinate forage fish and Chinook conservation efforts with state, federal, academic, and tribal partners.
The Governor should fund the Puget Sound zooplankton sampling program, which samples and analyzes the zooplankton community every 2 weeks at 16 sites. The program leverages the work of tribal, county, state, federal, academic, and other entities, and is essential to better manage Chinook and forage fish populations. The data help determine how much restoration actions and marine drivers increase the populations and help forecast forage fish abundance, which is used to make decisions for whales and the fishing industry. Funding should be provided through the Department of Natural Resources and leveraged with non-state funds to enable the continuation of the program.
- In 2021, the Department of Fish and Wildlife received $280,000 for ecosystem monitoring and $553,000 from a National Estuary Program grant to support the Puget Sound Zooplankton Monitoring Program. In addition, the Legislature set aside $2.5 million ($1.5 million to Puget Sound) for the Coastal and Freshwater Monitoring program, which will include monitoring of zooplankton in Puget Sound.
- In the 2019, the Washington Department of Natural Resources received funding for monitoring and $500,000 was given to the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife for zooplankton monitoring.
More details may be found in the progress reports in the resources library.