UW Tacoma’s Bonnie Becker and her students are working to return Olympia oysters to Puget Sound.
A combination of overfishing, poor water quality, and shoreline changes led to the commercial extinction of the Olympia oyster from Puget Sound. These oysters provided an important habitat for a large number of plants and animals, including salmon prey. UW Tacoma Associate Professor Dr. Bonnie Becker is working to restore the native oyster to the Sound. The work involves monitoring microscopic larvae to determine restoration sites that will be self-sustaining and are capable of naturally seeding the surrounding area with minimal human intervention.