Shellfish Research and Information
Services for the U.S. West Coast

Our Work

Where We Work
Outreach & Education


Student Opportunity Photo

Internships with PSI

Intern or volunteer on one of PSI's research projects or outreach campaigns.


Featured Photo

The man with a plan

PSI researcher, Andy Suhrbier helps shellfish growers adapt to changing ocean conditions.

What's Blooming in Budd?

Track Budd Inlet water quality and plankton communities at these City of Olympia Stream Team sponsored events.

Citizen Science Phytoplankton Monitoring

Join Stream Team and PSI biologists at the Port Plaza dock this summer to get up-close-and-personal with some of the smallest organisms in the sea –phytoplankton. Drop a net into the rich waters of Puget Sound to collect a jar of nutritious plankton soup. Prepare to be amazed as a drop of water comes to life under the microscope. Grab a clipboard and record water temperatures, salinity, water clarity and weather conditions. See how many other creatures you can find living among the pilings – barnacles, jellies, sticklebacks, mussels, and more!

Port Plaza Dock
Thursdays, June 23-Sept 22

LOTT’s WET Science Center
Thursdays, June 23-Sept 22

For the complete taxonomic experience, journey over to LOTT’s WET Science Center to see live plankton projected onto the Big Screen. Learn why biologists monitor plankton and then help create a complete species list. Keep your eyes peeled for three species capable of producing powerful biotoxins. Data will be shared with other monitoring programs including NOAA’s SoundToxins, Washington Dept. of Ecology’s Eyes Over Puget Sound, and Washington Department of Health’s Biotoxin Program.

Thank you to those that joined us down at the dock yesterday! The afternoon started with clouds, but ended with sunshine and a comfortable 70 degrees. Surface water temperature was 61 degress and salinity was 10.8 ppt at the surface. Plankton abundances are starting to wane, with fewer daylight hours as we move toward the winter season. Nevertheless, we found some interesting diversity in our samples.

Thank you to everyone who participated this season. Yesterday's sampling was the final one for 2016. Make sure to look for us down at the dock next summer!


More Information

Contact PSI's Aimee Christy or Mary Middleton (360-754-2741) or

Michelle Stevie at the City of Olympia Stream Team (360-753-8336)

Stream Team Logo


Learn More: Monitoring programs and plankton identification

Northwest Fisheries Science Center

NOAA/NWFSC SoundToxins

WA Dept. of Ecology Marine Water Quality Monitoring – Eyes Over Puget Sound

King County Puget Sound Marine Life Photos

NASA Earth Observatory

Univ. of British Columbia - Phyto'pedia

Dr. Rita A. Horner. A Taxonomic Guide to Some Common Marine Phytoplankton. Book contains photographs and descriptions of 134 local species.

Budd Inlet Snapshot --
What's Blooming Now?

Location: Budd Inlet Port Plaza
Dock Date:
September 22, 2016
Vertical Net Tow Depth: 3 meters
Dominant Species:
Chaetoceros spp.
Common Species:
Nitzschia acicularis
# of Species Observed: 33
Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) species: Dinophysis, Alexandrium, Pseudo-nitzschia
# of HABs per drop:
Pseudo-nitzschia: 34 cells, 202 cells/L. Dinophysis: 47 cells, 280 cells/L. Alexandrium: 1 cell, 6 cells/L.

See the Data

2016 Raw Data (Excel file)

2015 Raw Data (Excel file)

2014 Raw Data (Excel file)

2013 Raw Data (Excel file)

2013 Final Report (PDF)

2014 Final Report (PDF)