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March 28, 2024

Test tube labeled 'estrogen.'">

Ask a scientist: Are human-derived hormones like estrogen harming fish in Puget Sound?

Hormones such as estrogens that humans create in their own bodies are entering Puget Sound through wastewater, raising concerns about their effects on fish and other wildlife. We spoke with Puget Sound Institute scientist Maya Faber about how environmental exposure to human-derived estrogen can alter the reproductive cycles of male and female fish. The effects […]

March 22, 2024

Water drop image courtesy of Bureau of Ocean Energy and Management">

Water affordability study approved by WA Legislature

Puget Sound residents struggling to pay high water utility fees could benefit from a study funded this month by the Washington Legislature. The legislation coincides with research sponsored by the Puget Sound Institute that quantifies wastewater utility costs for the region. The funding for the study is part of Senate Bill 5950, omnibus legislation passed […]

December 14, 2023


Survey looks at public knowledge of estuaries

“An estuary is a partially enclosed, coastal water body where freshwater from rivers and streams mixes with salt water from the ocean.” – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Think of it as Puget Sound’s secret recipe. Fill a large glacier-carved basin with salt water from the ocean. Add fresh water from some adjoining rivers. Stir vigorously. […]

June 23, 2023

Washington Department of Ecology has issued a new permit to control nitrogen at 58 treatment plants, including Bremerton's Westside Wastewater Treatment Plant. Ecology says the upgrades could increase sewer utility fees. Photo: Washington Department of Ecology">

Wastewater fee study reveals hardship for low-income households

Low-income households may need financial help to address the impact of rising wastewater bills, according to a study of current and projected sewage treatment costs published last month by the Puget Sound Institute. The study was initiated in support of the Marine Water Quality Implementation Strategy, a state and federal recovery plan addressing water pollution […]

June 14, 2023

A recently funded study at the Puget Sound Institute will look at the impacts of emerging contaminants on juvenile Chinook salmon. Photo: Roger Tabor/USFWS (CC BY-NC 2.0)">

New federal and state funding to study toxics in Puget Sound

The Puget Sound Institute (PSI) and its parent organization the Center for Urban Waters (CUW) are the recipients of more than $3.2 million dollars in grants this month from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Puget Sound Partnership. The funds will go toward understanding and reducing emerging threats from toxic chemicals in Puget Sound. The […]

April 22, 2023

Wearing safety goggles, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Deputy Administrator Janet McCabe (far left), Congresswoman Marilyn Strickland and Congressman Derek Kilmer watch Dr. Ed Kolodziej as he demonstrates the innovative methods researchers at UW Tacoma's Center for Urban Waters used to identify tire derivative 6PPD-quinone as a killer of coho salmon. Photo by Jeff Rice.">

Ed Kolodziej among finalists for Frontiers Planet Prize

Puget Sound Institute affiliate Dr. Ed Kolodziej is one of 20 finalists for the prestigious Frontiers Planet Prize honoring “impactful research breakthroughs” in global sustainability science. Kolodziej was selected by an international jury as the United States representative earning him the title of National Champion and advancing him to compete for a prize of one […]

February 21, 2023

The U.S. Capitol building">

PUGET SOS brings new funding and a federal makeover

Recently passed federal legislation has increased funding to protect Puget Sound while also changing the way ecosystem recovery efforts are organized. The legislation includes key provisions of the PUGET SOS Act and establishes a national office for Puget Sound recovery based at the Environmental Protection Agency in Seattle. The end of 2022 marked a seismic […]

February 7, 2023

From left right: Nisqually Tribe Chairman Willy Frank III, Jim Wilcox of Wilcox Family Farms, and Nisqually Tribe Natural Resource Director David Troutt are shown in a still image from the TVW/Collaborative Leadership Project.">

A new oral history project looks at the unique development of natural resource policy in Washington state

Our affiliates at the Center for Urban Waters and external partners will examine 50 years of collaborative leadership in the state leading to groundbreaking outcomes on forest, fish, wildlife, land, and water management. Funding secured to date includes generous gifts and pledges from Anchor QEA, the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, the Nisqually Tribe, the Puget Sound […]

December 14, 2022

Tacoma Narrows Bridge viewed from Gig Harbor side">

A network of computer models is predicting the future of Puget Sound

A new $4.8 million dollar project led by the Puget Sound Institute links together a series of computer models to explore future scenarios across the watershed. Some of Puget Sound’s biggest concerns hold the greatest uncertainties.  Will we have clean water? Can the ecosystem sustain species like endangered salmon? How can the region continue to […]