Puget Sound Integrated Modeling Framework

Tacoma Narrows Bridge viewed from Gig Harbor side
Tacoma Narrows Bridge seen from Gig Harbor looking east toward Tacoma, WA and Mount Rainier in the Cascade Range. Photo by Tom Collins.
Heron at Mukilteo Ferry Terminal near Everett, WA. Photo by Cindy Shebley.

The future of Puget Sound

How will climate change, population growth, and development affect Puget Sound and the natural resources we care about?

Growing human population and changing climate threaten habitats and species, as well as the social and economic systems that depend on them. A major challenge is to understand how future conditions, and our decisions to manage them, will affect the interconnected natural and human systems and minimize trade-offs across multiple regional goals.

The challenge

How can we make decisions in the face of an uncertain future?

The connections among terrestrial, freshwater, marine and social systems are poorly understood and the Puget Sound region lacks the tools to make well-informed choices. Effective decision support tools must span the terrestrial-freshwater-marine gradient and human systems while accounting for future changes from climate, land conversion, and population growth.

Background image: Padilla Bay with Anacortes and San Juan Islands in the distance. Washington State Department of Ecology.

Our approach

Create a coupled environmental and human systems modeling framework for the entire Puget Sound Basin.

A connected terrestrial-freshwater-marine-human system modeling framework will help us understand the interactive effects of future threats to our region, and evaluate their impacts on ecological, social, and economic objectives.

Linked models with high spatial and temporal resolution will simulate exchanges of water, carbon, nutrients, contaminants, sediments, and organisms across habitats, under current and future conditions.

This tool will support decision makers and inform recovery planning for Puget Sound.

Want to learn more about each of the component models? Click on the infographic pieces at right.

Watch our team describe the project goals and how each of the models fit together.

Video produced by Ryan Moriarty

Meet the team

News & events

December 14, 2022

University of Washington Tacoma publicly announces the project via press release.

November 15, 2022

Project kickoff meeting held at Center for Urban Waters in Tacoma, WA

Orcas of Puget Sound mural on the Seattle waterfront. Photo by Jay Galvin.

Partners & funders

NOAA Fisheries, US EPA, Long Live The Kings, Puget Sound Institute, Salish Sea Modeling Center, Paul G Allen Family Foundation, PNNL, CSIRO, Puget Sound Partnership