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May 24, 2022

The Center for Urban Waters along the Foss Waterway in Tacoma">

New paper describes PSI’s support of ecosystem-based management

Right now, researchers across Puget Sound are carefully measuring the salinity and temperature of the water, searching for harmful algal blooms and studying the feeding patterns of endangered orcas. They are testing the effects of ocean acidification, counting rockfish and checking the health of our declining kelp forests. Their scope includes salmon genetics and invasive […]

March 31, 2022

Map of Puget Sound">

Is it found in Puget Sound?

The Puget Sound and Salish Sea watersheds contain many incredible geographic features, but it’s not always easy to tell which ones are truly part of the region. Does Puget Sound really include three active volcanoes? (Yes! See above.) How far north does the Salish Sea extend? And does that reach as far as Canada’s wonderfully named […]

January 21, 2021

A tufted puffin gets a running start near Smith Island in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Washington. Photo: Mick Thompson (CC BY-NC 2.0)">

Will Puget Sound lose the tufted puffin?

Occasionally, this space includes reports and essays from guest writers on the subject of Puget Sound ecosystem recovery. Biologist and author Eric Wagner has this look at the federal government’s recent decision to decline special protection for the tufted puffin under the Endangered Species Act. While the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says that the […]

July 10, 2020


‘Outdoors Act’ would repair national parks, protect land and address recreation needs

UPDATE: July 23 The Great American Outdoors Act passed the House yesterday on a 310-107 vote. See Associated Press and news release from U.S. Rep. Derek Kilmer, D-Gig Harbor. —– It appears that the political stars are lining up for what some people are calling the most significant environmental legislation in decades. Billions of dollars […]

May 20, 2019

Salish Sea basin and water boundaries. The Salish Sea water boundary (blue) includes the Strait of Georgia, Desolation Sound, The Strait of Juan de Fuca, and Puget Sound. The larger watershed basin (green) is the area that drains into Salish Sea waters. WA Water Resource Inventory areas (WRIA) boundary lines are shown for reference. Map: Kris Symer. Data: Stefan Freelan; WAECY.">

Survey illustrates a lack of familiarity with the Salish Sea

Washington and British Columbia residents are largely unfamiliar with the Salish Sea. A recent study conducted by the SeaDoc Society and Oregon State University reveals a need to improve geographic literacy and familiarity with the Salish Sea among those communities who share and live alongside this integrated transboundary ecosystem. This is a guest blog from […]

January 29, 2018

One of the herring rescued by the staff at the Vashon Island Nature Center. Photo courtesy of Amy Carey.">

Dispatches: Herring rescue

A Puget Sound scientist’s work is never done. PSI’s Lead Ecosystem Ecologist Tessa Francis sent us this e-mail about a recent call to identify some wayward fish on Vashon Island. It didn’t hurt that she happens to study the same species of fish — Pacific herring — as part of her research at PSI. By Tessa […]

September 20, 2017

Wide angle view of commuters in city">

Interview: Can ’Silicon Valley North’ change the way we think about Salish Sea recovery?

By Jeff Rice, Puget Sound Institute A strong economy driven by a world-leading technology industry is expected to draw millions of new residents to the Salish Sea region within decades. This changing population brings with it new strains on the environment but also new perspectives. Incoming residents may not see Puget Sound the same way […]

February 18, 2016

Will Ballard Locks withstand a major earthquake?

Concerns are growing that an earthquake or major ship accident could cause a failure that would halt ship traffic — or, worse, drop water levels in Lake Washington and Lake Union by up to 20 feet. That could mean stranded boats, disabled bridges and big problems for salmon restoration. Read the story in Salish Sea […]