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.

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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

Close up of oil on water collected behind an oil boom. Photo: WA Department of Ecology (CC BY-NC 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/2f25AiG

Risk of a major oil spill generates action in Olympia

March 20, 2019

This week, our magazine Salish Sea Currents takes an in-depth look at ongoing legislative activity to prevent oil spills in Puget Sound. PSI senior writer…

Guide cover

A guide for oil spill response

March 19, 2019

Puget Sound’s ports are expected to grow rapidly in coming years, on pace with the region’s urban areas. More ships on the water could mean…

Former feeder bluff with sediment impounded by armoring. Photo by Hugh Shipman.

Meeting will address shoreline armoring in Puget Sound

March 19, 2019

The Shoreline and Coastal Planners Group spring meeting will focus on shoreline armoring in Puget Sound and will feature a presentation by Puget Sound Institute…

Olympia oysters. Photo: VIUDeepBay (CC BY 2.0) https://www.flickr.com/photos/viucsr/5778358466

Grant funding to study climate change risks to shellfish

March 11, 2019

The Environmental Protection Agency’s National Estuary Program has issued a call for proposals for research into climate change risks to Puget Sound shellfish, marine water…

Puget Sound Institute Director Joel Baker

PSI Director to present lecture at “Superheroes of Science” series

February 28, 2019

PSI director Joel Baker will present “Water in the City: Let’s Get Better At This” at the RAIN Superheroes of Science lecture series on April…

Six-month-old Olympia oyster (Ostrea lurida) seed. Photo: Benjamin Drummond/benjandsara.com

Return of a native: Olympia oysters are making a comeback

February 21, 2019

Prior to European settlement, dense assemblages of Olympia oysters covered as many as 20,000 acres, or 26.7% of Puget Sound’s intertidal zone. Today they occupy…

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