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?

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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.

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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 Partnership issues biennial State of the Sound Report

December 3, 2019

The Puget Sound Partnership has released its biennial report on the most recent status and trends for Puget Sound recovery. The following is a reprint…

A harbor seal hunts for prey in kelp forests. Photo: Florian Graner (CC BY 2.0)

Kelp crisis? Decline of underwater forests raises alarms

November 26, 2019

At first, the decline of kelp in Puget Sound seemed unlikely. This signature, leafy algae was thought to be especially hearty and resistant to some…

The Brightwater Treatment Plant in King County. Image courtesy of King County.

PSI in the news: ‘Salmon on Prozac’ and more

November 7, 2019

PSI’s Andy James is collaborating with scientists at NOAA and Washington State University to understand how wastewater affects juvenile salmon in Puget Sound. The study…

EPA announces $27.5 million in funding for Puget Sound

November 4, 2019

The Puget Sound Institute is one of more than a dozen organizations in the state of Washington to receive funds this year from the Environmental…

A path through the maze of resilience thinking

October 31, 2019

‘Resilience thinking’ has exploded in recent decades to become a sprawling discipline, complete with debates and inconsistencies, and literature to match. The idea that ecosystems…

Report cover

Survey shows Puget Sound residents prefer natural shorelines to armored ones

October 23, 2019

By Jeff Rice, Puget Sound Institute Shoreline armoring not only damages the ecosystem, it may also impact our ‘sense of place’ and enjoyment of the…

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