By Liza Mayer
The Willapa Grays Harbor Growers Association (WGHOGA), a group based in Nahcotta, Washington, has named David Beugli as executive director.
Beugli, a fisheries and wildlife scientist, has been serving as the association’s project coordinator for the past six years.
He has been instrumental in coordinating scientific research into economically and ecologically friendly solutions to the growing infestation of burrowing ghost shrimp. He has also led and coordinated projects related to shellfish aquaculture, environmental monitoring, research, outreach, water quality issues and integrated pest management.
“It’s been my life’s work to study and understand the biology and ecology of coastal ecosystems. With WGHOGA, I can work to expand this knowledge within and beyond the communities that care for coastal sustainability and who rely on our healthy estuaries for their way of life,” said Beugli.
The association’s president, Ken Wiegardt, said Beugli’s commitment to sound science and responsive community engagement will help advance our vision for a sustainable rural economy and healthy, biodiverse estuaries.
Willapa Bay, along with Grays Harbor just to the north, represents the single largest oyster growing area in the US, and produces nearly 25 percent of all oysters in the entire country. The group represents 19 shellfish farms, which altogether represent nearly 95 percent of the sales in Willapa Bay and 75 percent of the sales in Grays Harbor.