At the Salish Sea Research Center, students, and faculty conduct environmental research that supports healthy, clean, and vibrant environments that sustain tribal communities. Projects include Manilla Clam Growth, Manilla Clam Diets, and Bioassys to Study Water Quality. Furthermore, NWIC research supports the health of the Salish Sea’s waters and shorelines.
A major concern in the Pacific Northwest are Harmful Algae Blooms (HABs) that can cause paralytic shellfish poisioning. Part of the lab's research is to measure the biotoxin concentration in Bellingham Bay.
Research includes seasonal and spatial diet changes of clams based on fatty acid and stable isotopic biomarkers. Also, the lab studies the impact of tide flat sediment geochemistry on clam growth rates.
Longfin smelt, also known as hooligans, are an important resource for the Lummi Tribe. Studying habitat and collecting data on populations will help conserve this species for future generations.