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

Sharing info, as changes in ocean chemistry affect Northwest waters at alarming pace

January 13, 2020

It was fairly alarming, even to scientists, to hear the latest research regarding ocean acidification — a powerful change in ocean chemistry that results from…

PSI senior writer Christopher Dunagan.

PSI launches “Our Water Ways” blog

January 7, 2020

We are pleased to announce that we are launching a new blog from veteran environmental journalist Christopher Dunagan. Chris has been a senior writer at…

Welcome to ‘Our Water Ways,’ a blog about Puget Sound and all things water-related

January 7, 2020

Welcome to “Our Water Ways,” a new blog I’m writing for the Puget Sound Institute with a name that will sound familiar to some. For…

2020 NEP funding announced

January 6, 2020

Three inter-agency teams at the state of Washington have announced their recommendations for the distribution of more than $10.9 million dollars in National Estuary Program…

William Ruckelshaus is sworn in as the first head of the EPA in 1970. Photo courtesy of the Nixon Library.

Remembering Bill Ruckelshaus

December 18, 2019

It is one of the most famous examples of the influence of science on environmental policy. In 1972, the first head of the EPA, William…

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…

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