A very rare visit by three orca to Port Angeles Harbor definitely deserves consideration on this blog. I've seen Gray Whales in the harbor before, but Orca do not come around here often. I certainly hope that they were after salmon, as this would bode well for local salmon populations. These three were transients though, who have a penchant for seals. Apparently nobody amongst the hundreds of on-lookers saw them actually eating anything.
Our dive surveys are over, and I am wrapping up my last week in Port Angeles with more beach work. In August I inserted almost 300 "PIT" tags into beach cobbles from the beaches around the mouth of the Elwha River. Since that time I've been tracking their movements. Surprisingly, those rocks really move, even during summer, when wave energy at the Elwha is minimal.
As the Coastal Hazards Specialist for Washington Sea Grant I spend my time on research, education and outreach on topics like chronic erosion, climate change, tsunami and other coastal hazards. Current projects include:
1) monitoring the shoreline of the Elwha River delta to detect changes due to the Elwha Dam Removal
2) Assessing the influence of climate change on the resources of the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary
3) Evaluating the impact of debris from the Tohoku tsunami on the shorelines of the Olympic Peninsula