Coastal Café

Shoreline Monitoring Tools

(Airdate: September 1, 2021) Washington State boasts 3,000 miles of coastline that protects communities from ocean storms and provides important resources for local economies.  Shoreline monitoring is a critical tool for assessing the health of our shorelines and for evaluating the success of restoration projects along the shore. And anyone can do it! Host MaryAnn Wagner talks with Jason Toft, a principal research scientist at the University of Washington School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, who developed a Shoreline Monitoring Toolbox anyone can use and whose work focuses on Puget Sound shorelines.

The Art of Water

(Airdate: August 18, 2021) This week’s guest on Coastal Cafe is Barbara Krystal, a PhD candidate at the University of Washington, completing her interdisciplinary dissertation in marine biology and literature. Her work was recently awarded a grant to develop a public scholarship project that extends the guiding principles of community science into the realm of humanities. That public scholarship centers around the question: How do we know water – fresh, brackish, or salt – and how we express our relationships with water through an artistic lens.

Restoring our Shorelines

(Airdate: August 4, 2021) More than 25% of Puget Sound waterfront has “hard armor” – whether it’s a concrete bulkhead, rock seawall, or wooden pilings – which create bigger erosion problems for shorelines and negatively impact a host of species from salmon and seabirds to orca whales. MaryAnn Wagner talks with Jay Krienitz and Jenna Jewett of Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife’s Estuary and Salmon Restoration Program about an innovative program they manage called Shore Friendly. At Shore Friendly, they educate shoreline landowners on ways to remove hard armor, reduce erosion on their land and ultimately, restore natural shoreline habitats around the Sound.

Indian Island

(Airdate: July 21, 2021) This week’s Coastal Cafe is a conversation with the Commander Donald Emerson, Commanding Officer of Indian Island Naval Magazine and Bill Kalina, the island’s environmental manager. We talk about the operational and natural history of the island and magazine and some of the past and present environmental cleanup and restoration projects including the cleanup of a superfund site and the recent Kilisut Harbor project.

Sablefish Aquaculture

(First airdate: July 7, 2021) Sablefish, also known as black cod or butterfish, are native to the Northwest. With declining wild stock and steady demand, a sablefish aquaculture effort has the potential for providing economic, environmental and societal benefits. But much research is needed to find out whether it would be a sustainable effort. Learn more about a pilot project studying this topic.  

Oil Spill Task Force

(First airdate: June 23, 2021) This week’s Coastal Cafe is a conversation with Sarah Brace, Executive Coordinator of the Pacific States-British Columbia Oil Spill Task Force. The Task Force is a consortium of state, provincial and federal partners tasked with providing leadership for oil spill response activities in Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, California and Hawaii. Sarah describes how the various state, tribal and federal agencies work together to provide quick and effective response to small and major oil spills.

Kilisut Harbor Project

(First airdate: June 9, 2021) This week’s Coastal Cafe is a tribal perspective on the Kilisut Harbor restoration project which was the replacement of a restrictive causeway with a bridge between Indian and Marrowstone islands – an area of historic importance to both Jamestown and Port Gamble S’Klallam tribes. Speaking with tribal members Hans Daubenberger and Randy Johnson as well as Rebecca Benjamin of the North Olympic Salmon Coalition, we learn about the project’s impacts from both tribal and personal perspectives from key people involved with the project.

Lake Chelan Research Institute

(First airdate: May 26, 2021) Lake Chelan has some of the cleanest and clearest water of any lake in North America – providing the Columbia River with a constant source of cold and clear water that is essential for spawning salmon. This week’s Coastal Cafe is a conversation with Dr. Phil Long, director of the L:ake Chelan Research Institute. Dr. Long shares data and recent findings on Lake Chelan’s hydrology and water quality. 

Puget Sound Restoration Fund

(First airdate: May 12, 2021) Since 1997, Puget Sound Restoration Fund has been working collaboratively with many partners to restore marine habitat, water quality, and native species in Puget Sound. They do this by getting wet: literally diving in, scuba gear and all, to help restore key species and habitats from Olympia oysters to kelp forests. MaryAnn Wagner gets the inside story on this amazing organization with Deputy Director Jodie Toft.

Puget Sound Pilots, part 2

(First airdate: April 28, 2021) The Puget Sound Pilots carefully steer the largest ships in the world through the Salish Sea waters and safely into Port. Host MaryAnn Wagner interviews Captain Sandy Bendixen, the first woman Pilot in the history of the organization. Find out about the skills needed to do this challenging and important maritime work.

Western Flyer

(First airdate: April 14, 2021) This edition of Coastal Cafe is a discussion with the Executive Director of the Western Flyer Foundation, Chris Chase, about the history, restoration, and future of the historic fishing vessel Western Flyer. As the backdrop for John Steinbeck’s Log of the Sea of Cortez, Chris discusses the important role this vessel has, and will have in strengthening the connection between art and science.

Puget Sound Pilots, part 1

(First airdate: March 31, 2021) For over 150 years, the Puget Sound Pilots have been guiding the largest ships in the world through our waters and safely to the dock.  Their expertise has produced an unparalleled safety record of more than 200,000 sailings over the last 25 years without a major incident. Join us as host MaryAnn Wagner interviews Captain Eric von Brandenfels to find out how the Puget Sound Pilots do their important work and what it takes to be a Pilot. 

Port of PT Update

(First airdate: March 17, 2021) Today Coastal Cafe talked with Eron Berg, the Executive Director of the Port of Port Townsend. Eron gives updates on some of the Port’s ongoing and emerging priorities such as the breakwaters at Point Hudson and the Boat Haven as well as infrastructure improvements at the boatyard and Quilcene.

WA Boating Law Updates for 2021

(First airdate: March 3, 2021) This episode of Coastal Cafe is an update on the latest policy changes impacting recreational boating in Washington. Washington’s boating law administrator, Rob Sendak and host Aaron Barnett discuss personal floatation devices, human powered vessels, legislative activity, pumpouts, and the No Discharge Zone.

NAS Whidbey Cleanup Challenges

(First airdate: February 17, 2021) This week’s Coastal Cafe is a fascinating discussion with the Commanding Officer of Naval Air Station (NAS) Whidbey Island, Captain Matt Arny. Captain Arny and host Aaron Barnett talk about NAS Whidbey Island’s history and it’s legacy of contamination from training ordnance, petroleum products, and fire fighting materials. Listen and learn how the US Navy and Department of Defense have been cleaning things up at their installations.

DEI in the Salish Sea

(First airdate: February 3, 2021) Join Coastal Café host MaryAnn Wagner as she interviews two marine science and policy professionals who have dedicated much of their careers to creating a more Diverse, Equitable, and Inclusive (DEI) working environment for marine and environmental professionals – and for the communities they serve.
Find out what Melissa Watkinson-Schutten, Equity, Access and Community Engagement Lead with WSG, and Michael Chang, an associate and racial equity lead with Cascadia Consulting Group, are doing to make our communities along the Salish Sea more welcoming for all.

Handling Derelict and Abandoned Vessels

(Airdate: January 5, 2021) This week on Coastal Cafe, host Aaron Barnett speaks with the manager of Washington State’s Abandoned and Derelict Vessel Program, Troy Wood. We last spoke with Troy in Sept of 2020 and this update on the last year’s activities and legislative priorities for the program should be informative and interesting.

Maritime Center Deals with COVID-19 Challenges

(First airdate: January 6, 2021) Today we talk with Jake Beattie, the Executive Director of the Northwest Maritime Center in Port Townsend. Jake details how the Maritime Center has had to adapt to challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic. Listen in to hear about the new 360 Race and other exciting events and programs.

The Science of Rearing Oysters

(First airdate: December 23, 2020) Shellfish aquaculture is a banner industry in Washington – but growing oysters in the state is surprisingly complex. In this episode, we talk with shellfish hatchery manager Lizzie Nelson as she tells us about her journey to becoming a shellfish biologist, what her job involves, and the challenges that face the industry.

Aquatic Invasive Species

(First airdate: December 9, 2020) The European green crab is considered one of the world’s worst invasive species. Emily Grason and Jeff Adams are both experts in aquatic invasive species and as marine ecologists with the UW College of the Environment and Washington Sea Grant, they oversee a comprehensive program focused on early detection, monitoring and control of the green crab. Learn more about this invasive crab and what is being done to keep the crab out of Puget Sound.

Note: The repeat episode is rescheduled to air Tuesday 12/22 at 5:30pm (preempting Bioneers that day).

Ocean Conservation and the Seattle Aquarium

(First airdate: November 25, 2020) Erin Meyer is director of conservation programs and partnerships at the Seattle Aquarium, where she builds partnerships and advances innovative, long lasting solutions for our ocean from restoring coral reefs to saving endangered shark species.  Erin represents the aquariums of today… and of the future, where conservation along with education is a primary function.

S’Klallam Shellfish Growing Activities, part 2

(First airdate: November 11, 2020) This week’s Coastal Cafe is the second part of a conversation on shellfish growing activities at the Jamestown S’Klallam tribe with tribal member and grower Kurt Grinnell and UW shellfish researcher Brent Vadapoulos. Brent and Kurt dig deeper into the differences between the Pacific and Olympia oysters and some of the pros and cons related to each species.

S’Klallam Shellfish Growing Activities, part 1

(First airdate: October 28, 2020) This week’s conversation on Coastal Café focuses on the latest shellfish growing activities of the Jamestown S’Klallam tribe. Kurt Grinnell from Jamestown S’klallam and Brent Vadapolous, the sustainable aquaculture specialist from Washington Sea Grant talk about how a floating upweller system is used in the early stages of oyster farming and how sustainable aquaculture fits with tribal goals.

Beach Tours During the Time of COVID-19

(First airdate: October 14, 2020) The Pacific Northwest has a long history of offering educational beach walking tours on its beaches and along its shores, where families and naturalists alike learn about the wonders of our sea life. Marine Ecologist, Jeff Adams, with the University of Washington and Washington Sea Grant, works on a wide range of aquatic and watershed issues with colleagues from Washington State University and numerous other partnerships and particularly Jeff develops beach naturalist and watershed stewardship programs. Learn how Jeff and his colleagues continued their work and adapted beach tours during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Marine Debris in Our Backyard

(Airdate: September 30, 2020) Marine debris are often a threat to safe boating and water quality in our region. Most obviously, marine debris can be a major navigational hazard for boaters. Less obvious, but just as harmful is the smaller debris that can and do make their way into the seafood we eat. Andrew Mason is the Pacific Northwest Regional Coordinator and Pacific Region team lead for NOAA’s Marine Debris Program and shares what types of debris gathers in the Pacific Northwest and how boaters and beach goers alike can all help reduce the debris on our beaches and in our water. 

Coastal Cafe
A joint production of Washington Sea Grant at the College of the Environment, University of Washington and KPTZ 91.9 FM. Coastal Café explores the latest in marine science with researchers, policy experts and people who live and work along our coast.

Pump-Outs and Boater Sewage

(Airdate: September 16, 2020) Coastal Cafe host Aaron Barnett has a most interesting conversation about boater sewage with Catherine Buchalski-Smith. Catherine talks in great detail about pumpouts, boater sewage impacts and other elements of this small but important federal program.