The level of human activity in the Salish Sea region both partly springs from and leads to extensive use of nearshore ecosystems. Access to shipping, fishing and other commercial and recreational endeavors makes the region an attractive location for human settlement. Expanding settlement and human activities exerts growing pressures on the ecological system. In the Driver-Pressure-State-Impacts-Response (DPSIR) conceptual model, nearshore human activities are represented as “Drivers” (Figure 3). Because shoreline modification is a consequence of these driving activities, the threat is represented as a Pressure in our review.
Puget Sound has over 4,000 km (2,500 miles) of shorelines, ranging from rocky sea cliffs to coastal bluffs and river deltas. The exchange of water, sediment, and nutrients between the land and sea is fundamental to the formation and maintenance of an array of critical habitat types. Terrestrial-aquatic exchanges generally occur at two distinct interfaces between freshwater and saltwater environments: 1) marine shorelines, and 2) river-mouth estuaries.
Sound Science: Synthesizing ecological and socioeconomic information about the Puget Sound ecosystem. Published 2007. Used by permission.
Tim Essington1, Terrie Klinger2, Tish Conway-Cranos1,2, Joe Buchanan3, Andy James4, Jessi Kershner1, Ilon Logan2, and Jim West3
Pinto abalone are the only abalone species found in Washington State.
Many types of bivalves, both native and non-native, flourish in Puget Sound. These species are a crucial part of the Puget Sound ecosystem and are also important for commercial fisheries.
Forage fish occupy every marine and estuarine nearshore habitat in Washington, and much of the intertidal and shallow subtidal areas of the Puget Sound Basin are used by these species for spawning habitat.
King County contains four major marine habitats: backshore, intertidal and shallow subtidal, deep subtidal, and riverine/sub-estuarine. Descriptions of each of these habitats and the types of flora and fauna associated with them are provided below.
More then 700 miles of Puget Sound shoreline is considered to be "armored," and as much as four miles of new armoring is added each year.
Puget Sound has over 4,000 km (2,500 miles) of shorelines, ranging from rocky sea cliffs to coastal bluffs and river deltas. The exchange of water, sediment, and nutrients between the land and sea is fundamental to the formation and maintenance of an array of critical habitat types.