Study Shows Alarming Decline in Bellingham Bay Marine Life

Posted: January 9, 2014  |  By: John Stark [The Bellingham Herald]

BELLINGHAM, Wash. - Creatures that live on the bottom of Bellingham Bay are showing clear signs of stress that is probably linked to toxic pollution.

So says a new report from the Washington Department of Ecology, relying on extensive survey of bay sediments and the creatures that live in them. The survey tests found "unusually low" numbers of clams, snails, sea stars, crabs, shrimp and other sea life, according to an Ecology press release. The surveys also found that organisms least sensitive to pollutants were the most abundant, while the most sensitive organisms were scarce.

"This is a strong indicator that the sediment quality in the bay is declining," said Valerie Partridge, lead author of the Ecology report. 

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