Collection Data

Page Contents: Section | Significance | Background | Location & Dates | Taxonomic Contents | Documentation | Description of Collection | Collection Inventory | Collection Assets

Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary 2001–2002

Section Responsible for Processing



Dr. Mary Sue Brancato (Resource Protection Specialist, NOAA-Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary) led 2 rapid assessment surveys of the Sanctuary coastline in 2001 and 2002. Twenty four taxonomists and 17 generalists/support personnel participated in the surveys, including NHMLAC Polychaete Collection Manager Leslie Harris who did field and laboratory identifications for both surveys.

The primary objective was to identify invasive species in different habitats along the 135 miles of shoreline within the sanctuary and Neah Bay, and to establish baseline conditions for that point in time. A second objective was to compile an inventory of native species in the intertidal area of the sanctuary to contribute to the species inventory and voucher collection of invertebrate and algae species within the Sanctuary. A third objective was to compare the information from the outer coast to that available for Puget Sound (Cohen et al. 1998), Hoods Canal and Willapa Bay, a coastal estuary to the south of the sanctuary (Cohen et al. 2001).

Due to tidal constraints and the logistics of sampling an extensive coastline which often required backpacking or boat trips for access, the two surveys were insufficient to cover the entire expanse of the Sanctuary. A third trip with the same core personnel is planned to fill in the gaps.

All polychaetes found during the 2 surveys were brought back for the museum by Harris. Unsorted debris and algal samples rich in polychaetes were brought back as well.


Principle investigator was Dr. Mary Sue Brancato. Funding came from NOAA and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. Organisms collected are housed at the home institutions of the respective taxonomists.

Collection Location and Dates

For maps of the OCNMS see below.

An account of the surveys by Bracato et al. (pp.29-35 & appendices) can be found in deRivera, C., et al., 2005. Broad-scale nonindigenous species monitoring along the West Coast in National Marine Sanctuaries and National Estuarine Research Reserves Report to National Fish & Wildlife Foundation. 125 pp. The report is available below.

Samples were collected in August 2001 and August 2002 from 18 main sites between Neah Bay and Point Grenville, Washington. They were taken from the intertidal, floating docks, or sediments directly below floating docks.

Taxonomic Contents

695 field identified lots were brought back by Harris.
655 lots are polychaetes. The remainder contained crustaceans (33 lots), molluscs (2), hydroids (1), plus 4 with mixed contents. There are approximately 2 dozen unsorted debris or algae-associated samples as well.


Field notes, species lists, and electronic files are held by Harris in the Polychaete Section. Station information is available here from the Marine Biodiversity Processing Center database.

Description of Collection

All samples were preserved wet, in either 5-10% formalin, 70% ethanol, or 95% ethanol. Polychaetes were field identified to species whenever possible. Some material has been further identified or verified at NHMLAC. The field separated lots are currently in the Polychaetes/MBPC office. After processing (transfer to museum quality glassware, labels, and fresh preservative) they will be shelved in the Polychaete Collection Room or given to the appropriate section. The unsorted lots are in the Polychaete Collection Room.

Collection Inventory

695 lots in 2-ml and 5-ml plastic vials held in vial racks. Approximately 2 dozen lots of unsorted material in 16-oz glass jars.

Collection Assets

Date View or Retrieve File Information
11/07/2014 Retrieve [4763.8 kB] deRivera, C. E. et al. 2005. Broad-scale non-indigenous species monitoring along the West Coast in national marine sanctuaries and national estuarine research reserves. Report to National Fish & Wildlife Foundation.
11/07/2014 Retrieve [4477.6 kB] Study area map.
11/07/2014 Retrieve [107.9 kB] Cohen, A., et al. 1998. Report of the Puget Sound Expedition September 8-16, 1998. A rapid assessment survey of non-indigenous species in the shallow waters of Puget Sound for the Washington State Department of Natural Resources, Olympia, WA, United States Fish and Wildlife Service, Lacey, WA, November 1998.
11/07/2014 Retrieve [427.8 kB] Cohen, A., et al. 2001. Washington State Exotics Expedition 2000: a rapid survey of exotic species in the shallow water of Elliott Bay, Totten and Eld Inlets, and Willapa Bay for the Nearshore Habitat Program, Washington State Department of Natural Resources, Olympia, WA, October 2001.
11/07/2014 View [72.7 kB] Atlas map of the Washington State coastline Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary.
11/07/2014 View [69.6 kB] Bathymetric and topographic features in and near Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary.

Curatorial Status (Click to view)