A catalyst for ecosystem recovery

The University of Washington Puget Sound Institute provides analysis, research and communication to inform and connect the science of ecosystem protection.

The big picture: Our comprehensive approach

Ecosystem management in Puget Sound has become increasingly complex. Scientists now recognize that what happens on the land is intricately tied to the health of the water. We face climate change and unprecedented population growth, and researchers have identified thousands of different human-caused pressures on the ecosystem. Given limited resources, how can managers and policymakers make informed decisions about where to focus their recovery efforts?

More: About PSI


The Puget Sound Institute provides expertise across three major areas:

1. Science for policy

Technical assistance to resource managers and policymakers
PSI and our partners receive major funding from the Environmental Protection Agency to support and enhance new strategies for improving the health of Puget Sound.

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United States Environmental Protection Agency

Puget Sound Partnership

human wellbeing indicator wheel
The human wellbeing indicator wheel was developed to provide a social science perspective on ecosystem management.

2. Research

Scientific studies
Our expertise is strongly grounded in original research. Since 2010, PSI scientists along with our collaborators at the Center for Urban Waters have published on a range of topics, including the ecology of forage fish, stormwater, microplastics, social science and emerging contaminants.

More: Research and products

3. Communication

Trusted, decision-critical information
We bring together scientific findings from around the region through synthesis, study panels, technical peer-reviews and publications such as the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound and Salish Sea Currents.

More: Connecting the science

Browse: Encyclopedia of Puget Sound

A collection of Salish Sea Currents printed flyers.
Salish Sea Currents stories are published online in the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound and also printed as annual booklets and flyers.


Recent blog posts

Puget Sound 'Day on the Hill' promotional image courtesy of the Puget Sound Partnership

Puget Sound advocates take their message to Congress

May 22, 2019

Delegates stressed the need for a federal partnership with state and local governments to save salmon, orcas and Native American culture. Puget Sound Institute senior…

Salish Sea basin and water boundaries. The Salish Sea water boundary (blue) includes the Strait of Georgia, Desolation Sound, The Strait of Juan de Fuca, and Puget Sound. The larger watershed basin (green) is the area that drains into Salish Sea waters. WA Water Resource Inventory areas (WRIA) boundary lines are shown for reference. Map: Kris Symer. Data: Stefan Freelan; WAECY.

Survey illustrates a lack of familiarity with the Salish Sea

May 20, 2019

Washington and British Columbia residents are largely unfamiliar with the Salish Sea. A recent study conducted by the SeaDoc Society and Oregon State University reveals…

A southern resident killer whale breaches in Puget Sound. Photo courtesy of NOAA.

Federal lawmakers optimistic about Puget Sound funding

May 17, 2019

By Christopher Dunagan WASHINGTON, D.C. — Optimism, as related to a possible increase in funding for Puget Sound recovery, permeated discussions this week, when 80…

Rep. Derek Kilmer speaks to Puget Sound groups during a previous 'Day on the Hill' event. Photo by Tessa Francis.

Puget Sound ‘Day on the Hill’ kicks off in D.C.

May 14, 2019

Puget Sound Institute senior writer Christopher Dunagan is in Washington, D.C. covering this week’s “Puget Sound Day on the Hill” event. By Christopher Dunagan WASHINGTON,…

The U.S. Capitol Building. Photo by Martin Falbisoner. CC BY-SA 3.0

Puget Sound groups prepare for ‘Day on the Hill’

May 9, 2019

Watch for reports from our senior writer Christopher Dunagan at this year’s Puget Sound Day on the Hill in Washington, D.C.. The May 14-16 event,…

Derelict fishing gear with animal carasses found by the USFWS Puget Sound Coastal Program. Photo: Joan Drinkwin/USFWS https://flic.kr/p/8TX8CQ (CC BY 2.0)

Ghost nets still fishing in the deep waters of Puget Sound

April 26, 2019

Lost and abandoned fishing nets, which have killed millions of sea creatures in Puget Sound, still lurk in deeper, darker waters, where they continue to…

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