Protecting Puget Sound with cleanups, testing, redeveloping

Testing sensors in Hood Canal

Personnel from the Alliance for Coastal Technologies (ACT) are working with the Hood Canal Dissolved Oxygen Program (HCDOP), Northwest Association of Networked Ocean Observing Systems (NANOOS) and sensor manufacturers to test a variety of surface ocean CO2 partial pressure (pCO2 ) sensors in Hood Canal.

ACT personnel will be staying in the area in order to access the Twanoh ORCA mooring each day to collect water samples and check on the various sensors being deployed from Aug. 20 to Sept. 20.

The Twanoh Oceanic Remote Chemical/Optical Analyzer (ORCA) mooring will provide one of the test-beds for determining the suitability of these sensors for testing the pH levels across regional marine waters.

The ORCA is an autonomous, moored profiler that was developed to sense a variety of chemical and optical properties in the upper water column. It is presently used to monitor water quality parameters in South Puget Sound — a largely undeveloped area subject to extensive future urbanization. ORCA profiles the water column and the data are recorded on the computer then transmitted to the lab automatically via cellular communications.

“This has implications in measuring ocean acidification rates in this region with applications set for other places,” explained Dan Hannafious, Assistant Director of the Hood Canal Salmon Enhancement Group (HCSEG).

“Based on measurements from recent PRISM cruises, pH levels in southern Hood Canal have raised concerns which may have implications on the crab populations.”

ACT will be using temporary lab space in one of the Pacific Northwest Salmon Center facilities provided by the HCSEG.

The HCSEG is involved in several on-going research studies. Visit to learn more about the group’s many efforts in the Hood Canal watershed.

Kathleen Byrne-Barrantes, Kitsap Penisula Business Journal, 31 August 2009. Full article.

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