Skip to main content


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. […]

March 29, 2023

Adult breeding rhinoceros auklet (Cerorhinca monocerata). Photo: Frostnip (CC BY-NC 2.0)">

A tale of two islands

By Eric Wagner Science is hard, but coming up with a title for a scientific paper is harder. Exhibit A: the paper some colleagues and I recently published in Marine Ecology Progress Series. Originally I wanted to call it, “A Tale of Two Islands: Disparate Responses to a Marine Heatwave at Two Pacific Seabird Colonies.” […]

February 28, 2023

Image of San Juan Islands from the Salish Sea Model">

Findings and reports: February 2023

Salish Sea Model provides insights on circulation and residence times The amount of time water circulates and “resides” in Puget Sound is of intense interest to regulators and emergency response officials who want to understand how quickly wastewater is flushed out of Puget Sound and into the ocean. A paper in the journal Estuarine, Coastal […]

July 24, 2022

PSI monthly roundup: July 2022

VIEW THE FULLY FORMATTED NEWSLETTER in your browser Low-oxygen problems to be scrutinized in talks about research, modeling efforts   For decades, researchers have been advancing their understanding of what causes the harmful and sometimes deadly low-oxygen problems afflicting some areas of Puget Sound. A series of 10 workshops on the subject will begin Tuesday, July […]

June 26, 2022

PSI monthly roundup: June 2022

VIEW THE FULLY FORMATTED NEWSLETTER in your browser Boundary spanning in Puget Sound Ecosystem-based management is often a large-scale collaborative effort involving many distinct groups. Boundary spanning organizations such as the Puget Sound Institute can help to support communication and policy development across institutions. In a new paper in the journal Environmental Science & Policy, we look […]

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

Recent papers from our group: 6PPD-Q updates and the ongoing hunt for contaminants

New papers this month 6PPD-Quinone: Revised Toxicity Assessment and Quantification with a Commercial Standard A 2022 article in the journal Environmental Science & Technology Letters revises previous findings on the environmental concentration and toxicity of 6PPD-Quinone, a novel compound lethal to coho salmon. The paper reports that 6PPD-Quinone, a chemical resulting from tire wear particles, […]

January 21, 2022


Scientists look for answers in methane bubbles rising from bottom of Puget Sound

In 2011, sonar operators aboard the ocean-going Research Vessel Thomas G. Thompson inadvertently recorded a surprising natural phenomenon, as the 274-foot ship traversed through Puget Sound while returning to port at the University of Washington. At the time, researchers on board were focused on a host of other projects. They might not have known that […]

May 25, 2021


Mathematical tools to aid in the interpretation of coronavirus testing

New mathematical equations co-developed by Puget Sound Institute affiliate research professor Marc Mangel are designed to help health officials interpret coronavirus test results for better risk assessments.  As more people in the U.S. are vaccinated and mask restrictions loosen, public health officials hope that the coronavirus pandemic has reached a turning point. Even so, the […]