Series:

Themes from the 2014 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

About the series

A 10-story series covering major science themes presented at SSEC14 in Seattle, WA. Sponsored by U.S. EPA and the Puget Sound Partnership.

In this first Salish Sea Currents series, we offer 10 stories exploring major research themes presented during the 2014 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference.

2014 special report for Puget Sound policymakers (PDF)

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United States Environmental Protection Agency logo Puget Sound Partnership logo 2014 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference logo

Latest story posted: 1/23/2015

Related stories

Seattle's central waterfront at sunset. Photo: Michael Matti (CC BY-NC 2.0) https://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelmattiphotography/9090323308/

Brighter future for salmon at downtown seawall

The decaying seawall along Seattle’s waterfront is providing scientists with an opportunity to improve long-lost habitat for migrating salmon. It could also show the way for habitat enhancements to crumbling infrastructure worldwide. One University of Washington researcher describes the project.


Species and food webs, Fishes, Marine habitat, Nearshore habitat, Shoreline Habitats, Salish Sea Currents magazine, Salmonids, Invasive species, Shoreline armoring

Stormwater flowing into catch basin carries contaminants to our waterways. Photo: Ben McLeod (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) https://www.flickr.com/photos/benmcleod/420158390

Citizens now the leading cause of toxics in Puget Sound

New research presented at the 2014 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference shows that some of the greatest dangers to Puget Sound marine life come from our common, everyday activities. These pervasive sources of pollution are so woven into our lives that they are almost invisible to us, but it’s becoming impossible to ignore their effects.


Water quality, Species and food webs, Birds, Fishes, Marine habitat, Estuarine habitat, Nearshore habitat, Freshwater habitat, Sewage and fecal pollution, Contaminants of emerging concern, Persistent contaminants, Salish Sea Currents magazine, Stormwater, Salmonids, Monitoring, Toxic contaminants

Nisqually Reserve Fish Sampling March 2012. Photo: Michael Grilliot, DNR (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) https://www.flickr.com/photos/wastatednr/6834386824

No salmon left behind: The importance of early growth and freshwater restoration

The growth and survival of young salmon in streams, river deltas and floodplains are seen as crucial pieces of the salmon recovery puzzle. In part two of this two-part series, researchers at the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference in Seattle say the complexities of the salmon life cycle require new coordination among scientists.


Species and food webs, Fishes, Estuarine habitat, Nearshore habitat, Freshwater habitat, Salish Sea Currents magazine, Salmonids, Species of concern

Inside the Eelgrass beds. Photo: Eric Heupel (CC BY-NC 2.0) https://www.flickr.com/photos/eclectic-echoes/7654885752

Shedding new light on eelgrass recovery

Scientists say eelgrass, an unassuming flowering plant found just off shore in Puget Sound, is vital to the health of the ecosystem. They also say the plant is declining. New and increasingly urgent efforts to restore it brought a group of researchers to the 2014 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference.


Water quality, Species and food webs, Plants, Mammals, Fishes, Invertebrates, Marine habitat, Estuarine habitat, Nearshore habitat, Salish Sea Currents magazine, Salmonids, Forage fish, Shellfish, Shoreline armoring, Eelgrass

Western grebe. Public Pier, Blaine, WA. Photo: Andrew Reding https://www.flickr.com/photos/seaotter/10298390254

Declines in marine birds trouble scientists

Why did all the grebes leave? Where did they go? And what does their disappearance say about the health of the Salish Sea? Seasonal declines among some regional bird species could hold important clues to the overall health of the ecosystem.


Species and food webs, Birds, Marine habitat, Estuarine habitat, Nearshore habitat, Freshwater habitat, Terrestrial habitat, Salish Sea Currents magazine, Monitoring, Species of concern, Herring, Marine birds

2014 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference logo

About the Salish Sea Currents series

Last spring, the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference in Seattle brought together more than a thousand of the region's leading scientists and managers with one clear goal: To better understand the state of the ecosystem and to look to the future. It was the premier showcase for the science driving Salish Sea recovery, and a rare opportunity.