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.

More: Science for policy

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

In laboratory experiments, a pteropod shell dissolved over the course of 45 days in seawater adjusted to an ocean chemistry projected for the year 2100. Photo: NOAA Environmental Visualization Laboratory

Rate of ocean acidification may accelerate, scientists warn

December 15, 2019

Last summer, scientists met at the University of Washington to address alarming findings concerning the rapid acidification of the world’s oceans. Experts at that symposium…

Job opportunity for postdoctoral research scientist

December 9, 2019

The Puget Sound Institute is hiring a post-doctoral research scientist. The listing from UW Human Resources is below.  POSTDOCTORAL RESEARCH SCIENTIST 2 Req #: 165198…

Rhinoceros auklets near Protection Island. Photo: Peter Hodum

Keeping watch on seabird health

December 9, 2019

Scientists are still trying to understand what caused the deaths of thousands of rhinoceros auklets in the Salish Sea in 2016. Some studies point to…

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…

Browse posts by keyword