Ecosystem-based management

The National Ocean Council defines Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM) as "an integrated approach to resource management that considers the entire ecosystem, including humans, and the elements that are integral to ecosystem functions. EBM is informed by science to conserve and protect our cultural and natural heritage by sustaining diverse, productive, resilient ecosystems and the services they provide, thereby promoting the long-term health, security, and well-being of our Nation." —National Ocean Council (2011)

Additional Information:

2012 Puget Sound Action Agenda

RELATED ARTICLES

A map of Marine Protected Areas within Puget Sound. Image courtesy of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
8/31/2018

Policy pivot in Puget Sound: Lessons learned from marine protected areas and tribally-led estuarine restoration

A 2018 paper in the journal Ocean and Coastal Management examines and compares planning approaches used to develop marine protected areas and estuary restoration projects in Puget Sound. It finds that management policies can benefit from increasingly collaborative planning with a focus on multiple benefits such as flood control, salmon recovery, recreation and resilience to climate change. 

Screenshot of Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference website from 6/26/2018. https://wp.wwu.edu/salishseaconference/
6/26/2018

2018 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

The 2018 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference took place April 4-6 at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle, WA. It featured 588 presentations across 17 topic areas.

A young resident killer whale chases a chinook salmon in the Salish Sea near San Juan Island, WA. Sept 2017. Photo: (CC BY-SA 2.0) https://flic.kr/p/21wV8rV
11/20/2017

Seals and sea lions may be slowing salmon recovery, hurting orcas

Increased consumption of Chinook salmon by seals and sea lions in the Salish Sea “could be masking the success of coastwide salmon recovery efforts,” according to a new study published in the journal Scientific Reports. Endangered resident orcas are said to be declining in part due to a lack of available Chinook, the orcas' preferred prey.

2017 State of the Sound report cover
11/2/2017

2017 State of the Sound

The 2017 State of the Sound is the Puget Sound Partnership’s fifth biennial report to the Legislature on progress toward the recovery of Puget Sound by 2020. The document reports on both the status of the Partnership's recovery efforts and the status of a suite of ecosystem indicators.

Screenshot of archived SSEC 2016 website at http://www.wwu.edu/salishseaconference/archived/2016/
8/10/2017

2016 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

The 2016 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference took place April 13-15 at the Westin Bayshore in Vancouver BC. Over 1100 scientists and policy experts attended.

Salmon smolts. Photo courtesy of Governor's Salmon Recovery Office
7/20/2017

State of the salmon in watersheds 2016

A biennial report produced by the Governor's Salmon Recovery Office provides stories and data about salmon, habitat, and salmon recovery in Washington, including Puget Sound.

Image courtesy of Nisqually Indian Tribe
3/1/2017

Final report for Nisqually Indian Tribe EPA capacity project

This report describes how funding from the Environmental Protection Agency's National Estuary Program provided fiscal support to allow the Nisqually Indian Tribe to participate in all aspects of the Puget Sound Management Conference. Activities included participation on the region's Ecosystem Coordination Board, The Puget Sound Salmon Recovery Council, a local South Sound LIO (AHSS), Treaty Rights at Risk efforts and various committees and meetings to support the outcomes of the Puget Sound Action Agenda.

Heartbeat line overlays Seattle Skyline from Alki Beach. Graphic: Puget Sound Institute w/ copyrighted images
12/7/2016

Implementation Strategies will target Puget Sound ‘Vital Signs’

New EPA-funded Implementation Strategies are designed to target Puget Sound recovery in the most direct and coordinated way ever conducted by state and federal agencies. We report on how these strategies will affect Puget Sound’s Vital Signs for years to come, and why you should care (a lot).

Steps in the Adaptive Management cycle. Figure 1 from  the article.
12/5/2016

Adaptive management: What, why, and how?

A "learn and adjust" strategy known as adaptive management plays a central role in state and federal Puget Sound recovery efforts. It is an approach that is gaining traction for ecosystem management worldwide. A December 2016 article from the Puget Sound Institute provides an overview of the concept and how it is being applied locally. 

The 2016 Action Agenda for Puget Sound cover page
11/12/2016

The 2016 Action Agenda for Puget Sound

The Puget Sound Actiona Agenda is a shared plan for Puget Sound recovery resulting from a collaboration by state and federal agencies, tribal governments, local governments, business and environmental groups, and others. 

Screenshot of Puget Sound Recovery Atlas view by Legislative District
11/1/2016

Puget Sound Recovery Atlas

The Puget Sound Recovery Atlas is a map-based, online tool that allows users to learn more about an important subset of Puget Sound restoration and protection activities.

Puget Sound Marine Waters 2015 report cover
9/27/2016

2015 Puget Sound Marine Waters Overview

The Puget Sound Ecosystem Monitoring Program released its fifth annual Marine Waters Overview this week. The report provides an assessment of marine conditions for the year 2015 and includes updates on water quality as well as status reports for select plankton, seabirds, fish and marine mammals.

Puget Sound Tribal Capacity Grant
3/23/2016

Building Squaxin Island Tribe capacity to implement the 2020 Action Agenda for Puget Sound and the EPA region 10 comprehensive conservation and management plan

This 2015 report from the Squaxin Island Tribe details the projects it undertook with funds received by the EPA for the implementation of the 2020 Puget Sound Action Agenda. These projects include the restoration of the Shelton Harbor shoreline and a pelagic food web study.

Young adult herring from Puget Sound.Margaret Siple/University of Washington
2/25/2016

Population diversity in Pacific herring of the Puget Sound

A 2016 paper in the journal Oecologia describes how individual herring populations in Puget Sound exhibit a portfolio effect, collectively influencing and stabilizing the region’s population as a whole. 

Early morning meal. Photo: jdegenhardt (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) https://www.flickr.com/photos/jdegenhardt/2771107305
2/24/2016

Food web connections beyond the marine areas of Puget Sound

Food webs are natural interconnections of food chains and depict what-eats-what in an ecological community. While Puget Sound represents a specific food web, the organisms that reside within that web often travel outside the region. In this way, one community's food web can be drastically affected by a change in a neighboring ecosystem.

2003 Seattle Marathon - Seward Park Photo: J Brew (CC BY-SA 2.0) https://www.flickr.com/photos/brewbooks/1282527696
2/17/2016

Cleaning up Lake Washington

Lake Washington was heavily contaminated by untreated sewage until extensive pollution controls by the city of Seattle. 

Bear eats salmon. Photo: Robert Voors (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) https://www.flickr.com/photos/robert_voors/1303192433
2/15/2016

Food webs

The health of an ecosystem is tied closely to the health of its food webs. This article provides an overview of the concept, origin, and characteristics of a food web and how predator and prey relationships are shaped in the Salish Sea.  

The Puyallup River outside Orting, WA. Photo: Lindley Ashline (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) https://www.flickr.com/photos/91625873@N04/22035924720
2/12/2016

Land cover conversion and ecosystem decline

Land cover conversion through human development was listed as a leading cause of ecosystem decline in the 2014 Puget Sound Pressures Assessment, a document supported by the Environmental Protection Agency and prepared by more than 60 of the region's scientists. 

Fig 1. The six projects assessed are located on both sides of the Canadian / United States border, which bisects the Salish Sea and its watershed.
1/4/2016

Evaluating threats in multinational marine ecosystems: A Coast Salish first nations and tribal perspective

A 2015 paper in the journal PLoS ONE identifies ongoing and proposed energy-related development projects that will increase marine vessel traffic in the Salish Sea. It evaluates the threats each project poses to natural resources important to Coast Salish first nations and tribes.

Birch Bay. Photo by Jeff Rice
12/21/2015

Birch Bay characterization and watershed planning pilot – taking action

A 2015 report from the Whatcom Conservation District and Whatcom County describes a pilot watershed characterization study focusing on the Terrell Creek and Birch Bay areas. The report and related appendices are available for download. 

Report cover for State of Knowledge: Climate Change in Puget Sound
11/16/2015

State of Knowledge: Climate Change in Puget Sound

A 2015 report from the University of Washington provides the most comprehensive assessment to date of the expected impacts of climate change on the Puget Sound region.

Woodard Creek Basin water resource protection study report cover
11/9/2015

Guiding growth-healthy watersheds: Woodard Creek Basin water resource protection study

An EPA-funded study by the Thurston Regional Planning Council identified recommended strategies and actions to protect and improve water quality and aquatic resources in the Woodard Creek  Basin. 

McLane Creek Basin water resource protection study report cover
11/9/2015

Guiding growth-healthy watersheds: McLane Creek Basin water resource protection study

An EPA-funded study by the Thurston Regional Planning Council identified recommended strategies and actions to protect and improve water quality and aquatic resources in the McLane Creek  Basin. 

Black Lake Basin water resource protection study report cover
11/5/2015

Guiding growth-healthy watersheds: Black Lake Basin water resource protection study

An EPA-funded study by the Thurston Regional Planning Council identified recommended strategies and actions to protect and improve water quality and aquatic resources in the Black Lake Basin. 

11/3/2015

2015 State of the Sound

The 2015 State of the Sound is the Puget Sound Partnership’s fourth biennial report to the Legislature on progress toward the recovery of Puget Sound by 2020. The document reports on both the status of the Partnership's recovery efforts and the status of a suite of ecosystem indicators.

A social norm curve showing desirability of seven development scenarios (and associated changes in eelgrass) on a Likert scale from –2 (completely unacceptable) to +2, (optimal state). The line depicts the average desirability of each scenario; the colors show the frequency distribution of responses to each scenario. (From Fig. 4 in the article.)
10/17/2015

Developing conservation targets in social-ecological systems

A 2015 paper in the journal Ecology and Society looks at interdisciplinary approaches to developing conservation targets in Puget Sound. 

2015 Puget Sound Fact Book report cover
10/2/2015

2015 Puget Sound Fact Book

The 2015 Puget Sound Fact Book brings together statistics and other information about the health and makeup of the Puget Sound ecosystem. Areas of focus include climate change, geography, water quality, habitats, human dimensions and regional species. The fact book was prepared for the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound with funding from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Puget Sound Partnership.

Pressures Assessment report cover
9/18/2015

The 2014 Puget Sound Pressures Assessment

The Puget Sound Pressures Assessment is an effort to better understand the pressures on the Sound’s freshwater, marine-nearshore, and terrestrial resources and identify the critical ecosystem vulnerabilities that should be addressed to ensure sustainable long-term protection and recovery.

2014 state of salmon in watersheds report cover
9/13/2015

2014 state of salmon in watersheds executive summary

This report documents how Washingtonians have responded to the challenges of protecting and restoring salmon and steelhead to healthy status. It also serves as a tool to summarize achievements, track salmon recovery progress through common indicators, and identify data gaps that need to be filled.

Conference proceedings cover image
9/1/2015

Puget Sound Water Quality Conference Proceedings

The Puget Sound Water Quality Conference was held in Seattle, Washington, on September 30 and October 1, 1983. It included prominent speakers from the Puget Sound region, other parts of the United States, and Canada.

Appendix 5. Map of Skykomish/Tye River Control Locations 2014
8/21/2015

Protection and enhancement of riparian buffers in WRIA 7 through restoration and stewardship

The final report on a knotweed removal and native plant project from grant PO-00J08401 to King County DNR for the grant entitled: Protection and enhancement of the riparian buffers in WRIA 7 through restoration and stewardship.

The shared marine waters of British Columbia and Washington report cover
7/28/2015

The shared marine waters of British Columbia and Washington

A scientific assessment of current status and future trends in resource abundance and environmental quality in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Strait of Georgia, and Puget Sound 

2008 Estuary & salmon restoration program annual report cover
7/28/2015

2008 Estuary and salmon restoration program

This 2008 report highlights the vision and accomplishments of ESRP in advancing an ecosystem restoration strategy in Puget Sound to restore the ecosystem processes that are essential for a self-sustaining coastal ecosystem.

2010 Estuary and salmon restoration program annual report cover
7/28/2015

2010 Estuary and salmon restoration program annual report

This report highlights the vision and accomplishments of ESRP in advancing an ecosystem restoration strategy in Puget Sound to restore the ecosystem processes that are essential for a self-sustaining coastal ecosystem.

7/28/2015

Human dimensions of Puget Sound and Washington Coast ecosystem-based management

A workshop report prepared for the Puget Sound Institute and Washington Sea Grant

Sound indicators report cover page
7/28/2015

Sound indicators: a review for the Puget Sound Partnership

By the end of 2010, the PSP Science Panel’s efforts had reached the stage where an independent review by the WSAS (Washington State Academy of Sciences) was timely and useful to help guide its future indicator development efforts.

Figure 1. Diagram of Go-Le-Hi-Te wetland system (page 13).
7/27/2015

The Gog-Le-Hi-Te Wetland System in the Puyallup River Estuary, Washington: phase V report

The work in 1990, which was the fifth and final year of U.S. Army Corps of Engineers permit-required monitoring, included continued systematic sampling of sedimentation, vegetation, fish, and birds.

Figure 1. The adaptive management process used in the Action Agenda and Science Plan for the Puget Sound Partnership (page 4).
7/27/2015

Biennial Science Work Plan for 2009-2011

This 2009-2011 Puget Sound Biennial Science Work Plan details the high-priority science activities required to: support the implementation of the Action Agenda; build capacity to revise and improve future Action Agendas; and enhance the Puget Sound Partnership’s ability to lead the ecosystem protection and restoration effort.

Figure 1.  General Conceptual Model of Puget Sound Recovery (page 2).
7/27/2015

Biennial Science Work Plan for 2011-2013

This report, Priority science for restoring and protecting Puget Sound: a Biennial Science Work Plan for 2011-2013, identifies priority science and monitoring questions needed to coordinate and implement effective recovery and protection strategies for Puget Sound.

2012 State of Salmon in Watersheds Executive Summary report cover
7/21/2015

2012 state of salmon in watersheds executive summary

Salmon recovery demands both dedication among people with different interests, and sustained resources. This biennial report tells the story of the progress made to date and the challenges ahead.

Action Plan agency list
7/21/2015

Puget Sound region federal agency action plan

This Action Plan (2012) describes the status of this inter-agency approach and highlights key actions agencies are taking.

Sound Science 2007 report cover image
7/21/2015

Sound Science 2007

Sound Science: Synthesizing Ecological and Socio-economic Information about the Puget Sound Ecosystem summarizes what we know about the greater Puget Sound ecosystem and what we think could happen in the future given present trajectories and trends.

State of the Sound 1986 report cover image
7/20/2015

1986 State of the Sound

This is the first State of the Sound Report. It summarizes much of what is known about the Puget Sound basin—its history, economy, human population, land uses and other factors influencing its water quality.

State of the Sound 2004 report cover image
7/20/2015

2004 State of the Sound

The State of the Sound 2004 provides answers about the health of Puget Sound and Washington State’s work to protect it. 

State of the Sound 2007 report cover image
7/20/2015

2007 State of the Sound

State of the Sound 2007 takes a scientific look at the health of Puget Sound and the status of its marine life, habitats, water quality and climate. The report tracks more than two dozen environmental indicators that provide insight into the health of the Sound and threats to that health.

2009 State of the Sound report cover image; Puget Sound Partnership
7/20/2015

2009 State of the Sound

In the 2009 State of the Sound report, the Partnership 1) documents the current status of the ecosystem, 2) explains the performance management system we are putting in place to manage recovery efforts in a systematic way and our progress to date in developing the system, and 3) presents an overview of funding and anticipated results for the 2009-11 biennium, as well as accomplishments in 2007-09 biennium.

Screenshot of archived SSEC 2014 website at http://www.wwu.edu/salishseaconference/archived/2014/
7/7/2015

2014 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

The 2014 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference took place April 30-May 2 at the Washington State Convention Center in downtown Seattle. Over 1200 delegates attended the conference.

2011 SSEC abstract book cover
7/7/2015

2011 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference

The 2011 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference was held October 25 to 27 at the Sheraton Wall Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia. This event brought together a diverse group of government officials, community leaders, First Nations and tribal members, environmental managers, scientists and academics to learn from each other about the state and threats to the shared ecosystem. Over 950 delegates attended.

The 2012/2013 Action Agenda for Puget Sound cover page
7/4/2015

The 2012/2013 Action Agenda for Puget Sound

The Puget Sound Action Agenda lays out the work needed to protect and restore Puget Sound into the future. It is intended to drive investment and action. The 2012 Action Agenda is the result of over a year of work with state and federal agencies, tribal governments, local governments, representatives of the business and environmental caucuses, and other interested partners. It builds on the first Action Agenda, created in 2008, and progress since then.

Salish Sea map
7/4/2015

1988-2009 Puget Sound Georgia Basin conferences proceedings

The 1988-2009 conferences Puget Sound Research and Puget Sound Georgia Basin are the predecessors of the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference.

7/2/2015

1988 Committee on Research in Puget Sound

This report presents the findings and recommendations of the Committee. The recommendations will be presented for comment and discussion by participants at the First Annual Meeting on Puget Sound Research, which will be convened in Seattle on March 18 and 19, 1988. 

The 2014/2015 Action Agenda for Puget Sound cover page
6/23/2015

The 2014/2015 Action Agenda for Puget Sound

The Puget Sound Actiona Agenda is a shared plan for Puget Sound recovery resulting from a collaboration by state and federal agencies, tribal governments, local governments, business and environmental groups, and others. 

Juvenile coho salmon. Photo courtesy of NOAA.
5/28/2015

Spatial and temporal patterns in smolt survival of wild and hatchery coho salmon in the Salish Sea

Scientists say low marine survival rates threaten Puget Sound coho salmon populations. A 2015 article in the journal Marine and Coastal Fisheries reports that wild cohos in the Salish Sea had higher smolt survival rates over a 30 year period than hatchery coho salmon. Smolt survival in the Strait of Georgia during that time declined faster than it did in Puget Sound. 

Yelloweye rockfish. Photo by Brian Gratwicke; Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license: http://www.flickr.com/photos/19731486@N07/5624404677
2/23/2015

Using stakeholder engagement to inform endangered species management and improve conservation

A 2015 paper in the journal Marine Policy examines surveys of Puget Sound anglers to provide baseline information related to rockfish conservation. 

Social scientists will monitor several of the Puget Sound Partership's "Vital Signs" including Healthy Human Population and Human Quality of Life.
2/3/2015

Recommended social indicators for the Puget Sound Partnership: A report summarizing lessons from three local case studies

A 2014 report from the University of Washington Puget Sound Institute identifies 23 potential indicators of human wellbeing in the Puget Sound region. These indicators will inform the adoption of Human Quality of Life "Vital Signs" by the Puget Sound Partnership.

Report cover photo by Victor Mesny.
1/29/2015

Climate change vulnerability and adaptation in the North Cascades Region, Washington

A 2014 report by the North Cascadia Adaptation Partnership identifies climate change issues relevant to resource management in the North Cascades, and recommends solutions that will facilitate the transition of the diverse ecosystems of this region into a warmer climate.

Report cover photo.
1/7/2015

Shellfish restoration and protection in Kitsap Public Health District

A 2014 report by the Kitsap Public Heath District describes the goals and achievements of the Shellfish Restoration and Protection Project including: increasing harvestable shellfish growing areas, establishing a routine shoreline monitoring program, improving water quality, and increasing education of water quality and shellfish protection.

12/17/2014

Development of a stormwater retrofit plan for Water Resources Inventory Area (WRIA) 9: Comprehensive needs and cost assessment and extrapolation to Puget Sound

A 2014 King County report projects the capital and maintenance costs of the stormwater treatment facilities that would be needed, within WRIA 9 and the Puget Sound region, to fully comply with the Clean Water Act. 

Biennial Science Work Plan for 2014-2016
12/16/2014

Biennial Science Work Plan for 2014-2016

Every two years, statute requires the Puget Sound Partnership to produce a Biennial Science Work Plan (BSWP). Its primary purposes are to I) assess how well ongoing research addresses decision-­‐critical uncertainties relating to the recovery of Puget Sound; II) identify additional science needs for recovery; III) make recommendations for priority science actions in the coming biennium; and IV) suggest how science can better support recovery. This document is the third BSWP to be produced in the series, covering the 2014-­2016 biennium.

Report cover.
12/14/2014

Reestablishing Olympia oyster populations in Puget Sound, Washington

A 2005 report from the Washington Sea Grant Program describing the history and current state of native Olympia oysters including their ecology, history with human interactions, prefered habitat, and reestablishment efforts in the Puget Sound region.

12/12/2014

A role for decision science in Puget Sound recovery

The field of decision analysis studies and develops rigorous and practical methods for improving how we make decisions. Over the past three years, the Puget Sound Partnership has invested in decision science expertise in its ongoing role of supporting effective Puget Sound recovery.  This paper describes some of these efforts and analyzes several decision support ideals.

Olympia oysters. Photo: VIUDeepBay (CC BY 2.0) https://www.flickr.com/photos/viucsr/5778358466
12/11/2014

Gifts from the sea: shellfish as an ecosystem service

The shellfish industry is a cornerstone of the Puget Sound economy, but the region's famed mollusks provide more than just money and jobs. They offer what are called ecosystem services—a wide variety of benefits that humans derive from an ecosystem.

Report cover.
12/10/2014

Native shellfish in nearshore ecosystems of Puget Sound

This 2006 technical report for the Puget Sound Nearshore Partnership describes how shellfish have high ecological, economical, cultural, recreational value, however human activity is threatening their existence by altering their native habitat with changes in land use, shoreline modifications, stormwater, sewage and industrial discharge.

Clam gardens, while all being characterized by a level terrace behind a rock wall in the lower intertidal, are diverse in their shapes and sizes. Photo: Amy S. Groesbeck.Clam gardens, while all being characterized by a level terrace behind a rock wall in the lower intertidal, are diverse in their shapes and sizes.
12/5/2014

Ancient clam gardens of the Northwest Coast of North America

Northwest Coast First Peoples made clam garden terraces to expand ideal clam habitat at tidal heights that provided optimal conditions for clam growth and survival, therefore enhancing food production and increasing food security.

Z. japonica at Padilla Bay in Puget Sound. Photo by Jeff Rice.
11/24/2014

Ecological effect of a nonnative seagrass spreading in the Northeast Pacific: A review of Zostera japonica

A 2014 literature review in the journal Ocean & Coastal Management suggests negative effects of nonnative eelgrass on the native species. 

Whatcom County’s Colonial Creek Campground site 85. Photo: Miguel Vieira  (CC BY 2.0) https://c1.staticflickr.com/7/6089/6063751537_49e65160f2_b.jpg
10/31/2014

Developing human wellbeing indicators related to the natural environment for Whatcom County

An October 2014 report examines the planning and monitoring of human wellbeing as a component of resource management in Whatcom County.

Blue mussel, Mytilus edulis. Photo: Andreas Trepte (CC BY-SA-2.5) http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/32/Blue_mussel_Mytilus_edulis.jpg
10/30/2014

Pierce County shellfish watersheds project

A report from the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department describes the results of a project to address threats to water quality in Pierce County, focusing on shellfish areas most at risk.

Seattle's central waterfront at sunset. Photo: Michael Matti (CC BY-NC 2.0) https://www.flickr.com/photos/michaelmattiphotography/9090323308/
10/29/2014

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.

report cover photo
10/24/2014

Monitoring and adaptive management of the Nisqually Delta after tidal marsh restoration: Restoring ecosystem function for salmon

This 2009 report by the Nisqually Tribe establishes key measures of restoration development, habitat processes, and Chinook salmon response for the largest delta restoration project in the Pacific Northwest.

Eastsound Constructed Wetland flyer
10/24/2014

Managing growth in island communities

A 2014 San Juan County report addresses sustainable growth planning, pollution prevention, and mitigation actions in the Eastsound and Westcott Bay areas.

Birds that dive and forage for fish in the Salish Sea, including this western grebe, are 11 times more likely to experience population declines than other birds in the area, a UC Davis study found. Photo courtesy of UC Davis. All rights reserved.
10/16/2014

Assessing ecological correlates of marine bird declines to inform marine conservation

Birds that dive for fish while wintering in the Salish Sea are more likely to be in decline than nondiving birds with less specialized diets, according to a 2014 study led by the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of California, Davis. The study, published in the journal Conservation Biology proposes that long-term changes in the availability of forage fish are pushing the declines.

2013 Puget Sound Marine Waters Overview
9/11/2014

2013 Puget Sound Marine Waters Overview

A report from the Puget Sound Ecosystem Monitoring Program provides an overview of 2013 marine water quality and conditions in Puget Sound from comprehensive monitoring and observing programs.

Nisqually Reserve Fish Sampling March 2012. Photo: Michael Grilliot, DNR (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) https://www.flickr.com/photos/wastatednr/6834386824
9/9/2014

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.

Chinook Salmon (juvenile) Photo Credit: Roger Tabor/USFWS. https://www.flickr.com/photos/usfwspacific/6093338474
8/28/2014

What is killing young salmon in Puget Sound?

Scientists say Puget Sound’s salmon are dying young and point to low growth rates in the marine environment as a possible cause. In part one of this two-part series, scientists consider threats facing young salmon in the open waters of Puget Sound.

Coastal Management journal cover
7/1/2014

Special issue of Coastal Management focuses on social sciences in Puget Sound recovery

The July 2014 issue of the journal Coastal Management focuses on the role of social sciences in Puget Sound ecosystem recovery. Articles range from political ecology to the development of human wellbeing indicators and directly address current Puget Sound restoration efforts. Guest editors include Encyclopedia of Puget Sound topic editor Kelly Biedenweg and Puget Sound Science Panel co-chair Katharine Wellman. The journal is co-edited by Patrick Christie of our editorial board. Extended abstracts of the articles will be available on these pages in coming weeks.

5/15/2014

Marine Protected Areas in Puget Sound

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) have been present in Puget Sound since the early 1900s, although most were established after the 1960s (Whitesell et al. 2008, Van Cleve 2009). By 1998 there were at least 102 intertidal and subtidal protected areas in Puget Sound, created and managed by at least 12 different agencies or organizations at the local, county, State and Federal level (Murray and Ferguson 1998).

Sockey salmon. Photo courtesy of NOAA.
4/10/2014

Measuring Socio-Cultural Values Associated with Salmon in the Quinault Indian Nation

A 2014 report describes a study of socio-cultural values associated with blueback salmon in the Quinault Indian Nation. The blueback salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka) is a unique strain of sockeye that returns primarily to the Quinault river system.

A 2010 documentary describes efforts to protect and restore the Puyallup watershed.
3/12/2014

Water Undone: The Efforts to Save the Puyallup River Watershed

A 2010 video by the University of Washington Tacoma describes efforts to protect and restore the Puyallup watershed. 

2/7/2014

The IEA framework in the Puget Sound Partnership Biennial Science Work Plan

The 2009-2011 Biennial Science Work Plan specifies the use of the IEA framework by the Puget Sound Partnership "to
 refine 
indicators, 
assess 
risks, 
and
 evaluate
 strategies,
 integrating 
marine, 
nearshore, 
and 
terrestrial 
efforts."

2/7/2014

Salish Sea Natural Area Conservation Plan

The Salish Sea Natural Area Conservation Plan is a project of the Natural Areas Conservation Program (NACP) established in 2007 by the Canadian government, which helps non-profit, non-government organizations protect sensitive areas. The process involves selecting biodiversity targets and determining measures of conservation success.

2/5/2014

Envision Skagit

Envision Skagit is a partnership between Skagit County and various local and regional organizations. The county is using a land use model as a tool to engage the community about natural resource planning and decisions. 

Chinook salmon. Image courtesy of NOAA.
2/5/2014

Lead Entities for salmon recovery in Puget Sound

Lead Entities are local organizations in Puget Sound that develop salmon recovery strategies and priorities for the region on a watershed-based scale.

Submerged marsh in Fisher Slough. Image courtesy of NOAA.
2/5/2014

Floodplains by Design

Floodplains by Design identifies floodplains in Puget Sound with multiple benefit potential and use information on flood risk to inform ecosystem restoration. 

2/4/2014

The Willamette Valley-Puget Trough-Georgia Basin Ecoregional Assessment

The Willamette Valley-Puget Trough-Georgia Basin Ecoregional Assessment considers 833 conservation targets identified by expert teams, proposing that if those targets are represented in an ecoregion, a majority of species, including those which lack data, will be included.

PSNERP logo
2/4/2014

Puget Sound Nearshore Ecosystem Restoration Project

The Puget Sound Nearshore Ecosystem Restoration Project (PSNERP) works to assess the health of Puget Sound nearshore environments and provides strategies for their protection and restoration. 

Fidalgo Bay Aquatic Reserve. Photo courtesy of the Washington Department of Natural Resources.
2/4/2014

Priority Marine Sites for Conservation in the Puget Sound

This 2006 report from the Washington Department of Natural Resources identifies areas of Washington's inland marine waters with high conservation value.

Puget Sound drainage area. Image courtesy of the Washington Department of Ecology.
2/3/2014

Puget Sound Watershed Characterization Project

This project is a coarse-scale, systematic characterization of different areas within the Puget Sound watershed, aimed at providing a framework for land use discussions.

A bald eagle in Padilla Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. Photo courtesy of NOAA.
2/3/2014

West Coast Governors' Alliance Integrated Ecosystem Assessment

The West Coast Governor's Alliance on Ocean Health, a regional collaboration to protect and manage U.S. West Coast ocean and coastal resources, was launched in September of 2006. This collaboration began an integrated ecosystem assessment (IEA) covering the entire coast, comprised of six regional IEAs (R-IEAs) in Washington, Oregon, and California. The R-IEAs evaluate a range of management objectives and establish “a harmonized set of standards and indicators for ocean health, including metrics for ecological integrity, ecosystem services, and socioeconomic conditions.” 

Black Scoter (Melanitta nigra). Photo by Dave Menke, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
1/28/2014

Marine and terrestrial bird indicators for Puget Sound

A December 2013 report identifies marine and terrestrial bird species for use as indicators within the Puget Sound Partnership's "Vital Signs" for ecosystem health. 

Camano Island State Park coastline. Image courtesy of WDFW.
1/24/2014

Lessons learned: Island Local integrating pilot process for selecting near term actions for the 2014 Action Agenda.

This report discusses lessons learned from the task of choosing near term actions (NTAs), activities and initiatives for achieving recovery targets for Puget Sound Vital Sign indicators. It focuses on efforts by Local Integrating Organizations in Island County, including Whidbey and Camano Islands. 

Deepwater Horizon oil spill, 2010. Photo courtesy of NOAA.
1/20/2014

Making science useful in complex political and legal arenas: A case for frontloading science in anticipation of environmental changes to support natural resource laws and policies

Scientists argue that environmental disasters are inevitable and that it is just a matter of when and where they will occur. "Our coasts and oceans routinely experience significant environmental crises," writes Dr. Usha Varanasi, who makes a case for staying ahead of the curve and "frontloading the science." Her 2013 paper in the Washington Journal of Environmental Law & Policy proposes a new model for ecological disaster planning and response, in which baseline ecosystem data and syntheses are collected in advance of possible incidents. 
 
Killer whales and boat in Puget Sound. Photo courtesy of NOAA.
1/12/2014

NOAA's draft guidance for assessing the effects of anthropogenic sounds on marine mammals

In December 2013 NOAA released what it classifies as a "Highly Influential Scientific Assessment" of the effects of anthropogenic sound on marine mammals. The comment period on the draft assessment extends until March 13, 2014. 

1/9/2014

Paper: Choosing and using climate-change scenarios for ecological-impact assessments and conservation decisions

This article appeared in the December 2013 issue of the journal Conservation Biology and addresses some of the challenges related to choosing and using scenarios of climate change for ecosystem-based assessments. Lead author: Encyclopedia of Puget Sound climate change topic editor Amy Snover.

Photo courtesy of USGS
12/30/2013

Report: Study panel on ecosystem-based management of forage fish in Puget Sound

Forage fish represent a critical link in the Puget Sound food web and help to sustain key species like salmon, marine mammals and sea birds. But the region’s forage fish may be vulnerable on a variety of fronts, according to a new study panel report from the University of Washington Puget Sound Institute. Download the panel's summary and proposed research plan.

Herring spawn research in Puget Sound. Photo courtesy of NOAA
12/12/2013

An inventory of scientific research associated with Puget Sound recovery from 2011-2013

Every two years the Puget Sound Partnership is required to assess the status of scientific research relating to the recovery of Puget Sound, in a document knows as the Biennial Science Work Plan (BSWP). Among other tasks, this entails making an inventory of all ongoing research projects in the current biennium (2011-2013). We are posting this (draft) inventory of recovery-relevant research projects here to make the information generally available.

Photo by Ingrid Taylar
12/12/2013

Cultural dimensions of socio-ecological systems: key connections and guiding principles for conservation in coastal environments

A November 2013 paper in the journal Conservation Letters examines the importance of cultural values to ecosystem-based management of coastal environments. Extended abstract by Melissa Poe of NOAA Fisheries and Washington Sea Grant, with Phil Levin and Karma Norman.

Geoduck (Panopea generosa). Image courtesy Washington Sea Grant.
12/8/2013

Effects of geoduck aquaculture on the environment—a synthesis of current knowledge

A November 2013 literature review by Washingtom Sea Grant synthesizes the state of the science of geoduck clams and the potential environmental impacts of geoduck aquaculture in the Puget Sound region.

Puget Sound Salmonid Habitat Monitoring Inventory and Recommendations
11/27/2013

Puget Sound salmonid habitat monitoring inventory and recommendations

An October 2013 report released by the Puget Sound Ecosystem Monitoring Program inventories and assesses monitoring activities of Puget Sound's ESA-listed salmon and steelhead stocks and habitats.

Book cover for "Elwha: A River Reborn" by Lynda Mapes
11/20/2013

Puget Sound Voices: Exhibit traces Elwha restoration

The Encyclopedia of Puget Sound spoke with Seattle Times reporter Lynda Mapes about the exhibit Elwha: A River Reborn, which opened at the University of Washington Burke Museum on November 23rd. The exhibit is based on the book of the same title by Mapes and photographer Steve Ringman, and tells the story of the largest dam removal in U.S. history.  

Beach near the Olympic Scuplture Park before restoration. Photo by Jason Toft
11/18/2013

Extended abstract: Ecological response and physical stability of habitat enhancements along an urban armored shoreline

This paper describes a multi-year effort testing whether shoreline enhancements at the Olympic Sculpture Park in Seattle have improved conditions for fish and invertebrates as compared to armored shorelines.

Cover image of the report Climate Change in the Northwest
11/6/2013

Climate change in the northwest— implications for our landscapes, waters and communities

This report is published as one of a series of technical inputs to the Third National Climate Assessment (NCA) report.

Hood canal watershed boundaries; image courtesy of the Puget Sound Partnership
11/4/2013

Developing human wellbeing indicators for the Hood Canal watershed

The University of Washington Puget Sound Institute and Stanford University in collaboration with the Hood Canal Coordinating Council report on efforts to select human wellbeing indicators relevant to natural resource management in the Hood Canal watershed.
2013 State of the Sound report cover
11/1/2013

2013 State of the Sound

The 2013 State of the Sound is the Puget Sound Partnership’s third report to the Legislature on progress toward the recovery of Puget Sound by 2020. The document reports on both the status of the Partnership's recovery efforts and the status of a suite of ecosystem indicators.

Photo courtesy University of Washington Center for Conservation Biology; conservationbiology.net
10/16/2013

Potential effects of the interaction between marine mammals and tidal turbines – an engineering and biomechanical analysis

A paper presented at the European Wave and Tidal Energy Conference in Aalborg, Denmark describes the potential effects of a tidal turbine strike on an endangered Southern Resident Killer Whale in Puget Sound (SRKW). A tidal turbine is proposed for deployment in Admiralty Inlet in Island County. 

The Seaeye Falcon used by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Photo courtesy WDFW.
10/15/2013

WDFW Remotely Operated Vehicle captures species and habitats on the sea floor

A camera on board a remotely operated vehicle scans the floor of Puget Sound capturing digital video of underwater marine life.  Selected clips of Plumose sea anemones, Pacific halibut, Pacific cod, Sea stars, and North Pacific spiny dogfish are now available for public viewing.

10/1/2013

Presentations: 2013 study panel on ecosystem-based management of forage fish in Puget Sound

Download presentations from the Study Panel on Ecosystem-based Management of Forage Fish held August 25, 2013 at the University of Washington’s Friday Harbor Lab, San Juan Island.

 Figure 1 from Masson and Perry 2013 identifies the area of focus for the Strait of Georgia Ecosystem Research Initiative.
9/23/2013

Report: Strait of Georgia ecosystem research initiative

A paper published in the August 2013 issue of Progress in Oceanography provides a summary and overview of the Strait of Georgia Ecosystem Research Initiative, an effort by Fisheries and Oceans Canada "to facilitate integrated research on the Strait of Georgia ecosystem."

The Seaeye Falcon used by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Photo courtesy WDFW.
9/4/2013

Remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) and autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs) in Puget Sound

Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) and Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) are underwater robotic vehicles used for a variety of ocean surveys and operations. Both are used for deep-sea observation, mapping of underwater environments, and surveys of biodiversity and water quality trends. While ROVs are tethered to the user by a cord called the umbilical, which provides power as well as control and video signals, AUVs are programmed for a specific course and then set loose, operating without a tether.

8/13/2013

2012 Puget Sound Marine Waters Overview

The Puget Sound Marine Waters 2012 Overview from the Puget Sound Ecosystem Monitoring Program synthesizes conditions measured in 2012 and has been expanded to include observations on seabirds that rely on marine waters. Read an excerpt below, or download the full report.

Screenshot of 2013 Health of the Salish Sea Ecosystem Report
7/19/2013

Report: 2013 Health of the Salish Sea Ecosystem Report

The 2013 Health of the Salish Sea Ecosystem Report was prepared jointly by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Environment Canada. View the complete report, or read the Executive Summary below.

 

Juvenile Manila clams. Photo: Julie Barber
5/2/2013

Extended abstract— Poisoning the body to nourish the soul: Prioritising health risks and impacts in a Native American community

This is an extended abstract of Poisoning the body to nourish the soul: Prioritising health risks and impacts in a Native American community by Jamie L. Donatuto, Terre A. Satterfield and Robin Gregory. The full article was published in Health, Risk & Society, Vol. 13, No. 2, April 2011, 103–127. The extended abstract was prepared for the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound by Jamie L. Donatuto. 

Drawing of Ocean Phase Chinook (king) salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha)
5/1/2013

NOAA report establishes Chinook monitoring framework

A new Chinook monitoring framework is designed to build cooperation among managers and policymakers working across the Puget Sound watershed. The report, prepared by an independent team of scientists and released by NOAA, includes a regionally specific, common classification system for Chinook habitats and key ecological attributes. 

4/22/2013

Puget Sound Chinook Salmon recovery: a framework for the development of monitoring and adaptive management plans

The Puget Sound Recovery Implementation Technical Team has released a draft of a NOAA technical memorandum describing frameworks for adaptive management and monitoring of Chinook salmon in Puget Sound. Download the report.

MoSSea snapshot of sea surface temperature over the full model domain around May 15, 2006; image courtesy of PRISM
4/11/2013

Water quality model development and application in Puget Sound and Georgia Basin

A recent summary includes information compiled in Winter 2013 by the modeling workgroup of the Puget Sound Ecosystem Monitoring Program (PSEMP). It describes several ecosystem modeling efforts in the region.

3/24/2013

Ecosystem-based management

Ecosystem-based management (EBM) is an integrated, science-based approach to the management of natural resources that aims to sustain the health, resilience and diversity of ecosystems while allowing for sustainable use by humans of the goods and services they provide.

Northern Sea Otter. Photo: Alaska Department of Fish and Game
3/1/2013

Species of concern in the Salish Sea

The Encyclopedia of Puget Sound species library now includes a list of species of concern in the Salish Sea watershed. The list was created by Joe Gaydos and Nicholas Brown of the SeaDoc Society, and was released as a paper presented as part of the Proceedings of the 2011 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference in Vancouver, BC.

Photo credit: Biopix, Caddisfly, Limnephilus politus CC BY-NC
2/14/2013

Indicator species

An indicator species is an organism whose presence, absence or abundance reflects a specific environmental condition. Indicator species can signal a change in the biological condition of a particular ecosystem, and thus may be used as a proxy to diagnose the health of an ecosystem. For example, plants or lichens sensitive to heavy metals or acids in precipitation may be indicators of air pollution. Indicator species can also reflect a unique set of environmental qualities or characteristics found in a specific place, such as a unique microclimate.

Photo courtesy of NOAA
12/12/2012

Report: The effects of salmon fisheries on Southern Resident Killer Whales

A recent report by an independent science panel reviewed data on the effects of salmon fisheries on Southern Resident Killer Whale populations. The report was released on November 30, 2012 and was commissioned by NOAA Fisheries and Oceans Canada.

11/26/2012

Puget Sound watershed hydrologic units

There are many ways of defining the boundaries of the Puget Sound watershed. Hydrologic unit codes (HUCs) are nationally standardized divisions that are often used by conservation agencies and national organizations.

State of the Sound cover image; Puget Sound Partnership
11/10/2012

2012 State of the Sound

The Puget Sound Partnership is charged with preparing a State of the Sound report every two years to inform the legislature and the public on the status of restoration efforts in Puget Sound.

10/30/2012

Well-being indicators in the Puget Sound Basin

A summary and categorization of types of social indicators and metrics used by government and non-government agencies in the Puget Sound Basin.

State of Our Watersheds Report
10/2/2012

Report: 2012 State of Our Watersheds

The State of Our Watersheds Report is produced by the treaty tribes of western Washington, and seeks to present a comprehensive view of 20 watersheds in the Puget Sound region and the major issues that are impacting habitat.

Open Standards Project Management Cycle. Graphic courtesy of Conservation Measures Partnership
9/19/2012

Open Standards

Open Standards seek to build a common language and framework for decision making and prioritization of conservation issues.

Puget Sound Marine Waters 2011
9/18/2012

2011 Puget Sound Marine Waters Overview

The Puget Sound Marine Waters 2011 report is now available. The report was produced by the Puget Sound Ecosystem Monitoring Program and assesses the condition and quality of the waters of Puget Sound. 

Benthic macroinvertebrates are visible to the naked eye. Photo by Jo Wilhelm, courtesy King County.
6/25/2012

Featured resource: Puget Sound Stream Benthos

Puget Sound Stream Benthos is a data management project which monitors benthic invertebrates in streams and rivers in the Puget Sound region. The system is maintained and operated by King County and was the result of a joint effort between King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties.

Moss Lake, part of a bog wetland complex in Moss Lake Natural Area. Photo by Jennifer Vanderhoof.
6/18/2012

King County wetland habitat

Wetlands are recognized as critical ecosystems for biodiversity because of their disproportional use by wildlife and exceptional habitats for plants. It is their unique combination of shallow aquatic habitats and adjacent terrestrial conditions extending over a wide range of geomorphic and elevational settings that accounts for their ecological complexity and resultant richness. Because of their landscape setting, each wetland tends to exhibit unique habitat types and characteristic arrays of species adapted to idiosyncratic conditions, products of each wetland’s ecological and evolutionary history.

Mountain goats are commonly found in alpine habitat. Photo by Jennifer Vanderhoof.
6/18/2012

King County subalpine and alpine habitat

Except for a very small area in the SE corner of the County, the subalpine and alpine habitats are located in the North Cascades Ecoregion that occupies the NE quarter of King County. This ecoregion is composed of steeply dissected valleys that rise precipitously to the subalpine (montane) forests, meadows, and parklands and, in a short distance more, to the alpine ridges and peaks of the Cascade Crest. The habitats that typify this high-elevation zone are among the most undisturbed habitats remaining in King County.

The Snoqualmie River. Photo copyright King County.
6/18/2012

King County rivers and streams

The diversity of streams in the county is a reflection of the diversity of its geography. From the small rivulets that begin high in the Cascade Mountains, to the brooks that flow gently across the lowlands, to the five major rivers of the county, there are over 4,800 kilometers (3,000 miles) of perennial streamcourses in King County.

A section of Griffin Creek. Photo copyright King County.
6/18/2012

King County riparian habitat

Riparian habitats are often characterized by particular trees and shrub species that line the banks of most rivers and streams in the lowlands and foothills of King County.

Seagrass meadows provide valuable habitat. Photo by Randy Shuman.
6/18/2012

King County marine 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.

Red alder, a deciduous species that often grows in disturbed areas. Photo copyright King County.
6/18/2012

King County lowland habitat

The history of land use in King County has produced a lowland and foothill landscape of bewildering variety. The once continuous forest of western hemlock, Douglas-fir, and redcedar has given way to a patchwork of lawns, parks, playgrounds, woodlots, greenbelts, old fields, croplands, tree farms, and remnant forests set amid a landscape of urban, suburban, rural, and commercial uses, all joined and, at the same time, separated by a vast network of roads and communication corridors.

Canada geese, commonly seen in Lake Washington. Photo by Jennifer Vanderhoof.
6/18/2012

King County lake habitat

The natural biodiversity of the lakes of King County is strongly influenced by geography. The county runs from the Cascade mountain crest to the shores of Puget Sound, covering all three different Level III ecoregions (Puget Lowland, North Cascade, and Cascade). The geology, elevation, climate, and ecology in these three ecoregions are all different, and these differences in environmental factors determine the natural biodiversity of the lakes and also influence the risks, vulnerability, and impacts to that biodiversity.

Aerial view of the Vashon Island shoreline.
6/18/2012

The Puget Lowland ecoregion

Ecoregions provide a useful framework and background for the discussion of marine, freshwater, and terrestrial environs of the county. The discussion of ecoregions is based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ecoregion conventions, which result in units similar to European biogeographical regions because they denote areas of general similarity in ecosystems.

King County map, showing incorporated land and major water bodies. Copyright King County.
6/18/2012

The North Cascades ecoregion

Ecoregions provide a useful framework and background for the discussion of marine, freshwater, and terrestrial environs of the county. The discussion of ecoregions is based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ecoregion conventions, which result in units similar to European biogeographical regions because they denote areas of general similarity in ecosystems.

5/21/2012

Pollution control strategies for Puget Sound

Pollution of the rivers, creeks, bays, and open waters of Puget Sound comes from a variety of sources and travels along many pathways. Spilled oil products and fuel, deposition of air pollutants, legacy toxic pollutants, disease-bearing and illness-causing organisms from failing and poorly maintained on-site sewage treatment systems, fertilizers, erosion, and the runoff from roads and parking lots all find their way into the waters of Puget Sound, where they harm fish and wildlife and create direct health risks to people. Polluted waters reduce ecosystem services – shellfish closures, beach closures, impacts to recreation, impairments to sources of drinking water, loss of cultural resources, consumption warnings for fish, and low oxygen conditions that kill marine species. Increasing numbers of people, cars, and pavement mean more pollutants enter our waterways in higher concentrations, and at a faster rate. Pollutants also enter waterways directly through point source discharges from commercial and industrial sites.

5/21/2012

Restoration strategies for Puget Sound

In the course of building homes, businesses, roads, and infrastructure, the lands and waters of Puget Sound have been drastically modified. Levees, dams, and toxic deposits are obvious and have site-specific impacts. But less obvious are the cumulative changes from human land use activities, such as bulkheads, docks, permanent removal of native vegetation, and loss of native habitat in marine and upland areas. These activities have damaged the underlying processes that form beaches, keep rivers, estuaries, and forests healthy, and support species. Historically, the actions that led to ecosystem degradation were intended to improve the quality of life for Puget Sound residents, but with closed shellfish beds, flooding, species decline, and other impacts it is clear that ecosystem rebuilding efforts are needed.

5/21/2012

Protection strategies for Puget Sound

Puget Sound has been dramatically altered during the past 150 years. One-third of the shoreline has been armored, large areas of forestland and farmland have been paved or otherwise converted to other uses, and river systems have been altered by dams and levees. These actions were undertaken to produce other benefits, but they cumulatively damage and destroy the underlying ecological processes that enable Puget Sound to be healthy and productive. Human population growth and a changing climate in Puget Sound will exacerbate the threats to ecosystem health. To maintain or restore the structure and function of the Puget Sound ecosystem, it is imperative to identify and retain the important features of the ecosystem that still function well.

Seaglider in the open water. Photo courtesy of Seaglider Fabrication Center
5/19/2012

Seagliders in Puget Sound

They are sometimes called Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs), or submersible drones. They glide like airships through the deeper channels of Puget Sound, and have become an important tool for a wide array of open ocean applications, including detection of marine mammals, military reconnaissance and the monitoring of environmental disasters like the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Puget Sound is the birthplace and key testing area of the Seaglider.

Shoreline armoring along railroad
5/17/2012

An overview of Shoreline armoring in Puget Sound

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.

WRIA boundaries in Puget Sound area
5/11/2012

Water Resource Inventory Areas in Puget Sound

The Washington State Department of Ecology and other state natural resources agencies have divided the Washington into 62 "Water Resource Inventory Areas" or "WRIAs" to delineate the state's major watersheds.

Chief Sealth, known to settlers as Chief Seattle. Photo: E.M. Sammis/MOHAI.
5/3/2012

Modern Puget Sound timeline

The Puget Sound region has a long history that has shaped the culture and environment we experience today. View a timeline describing key events in the Puget Sound region dating from Washington statehood to the present.

Whale watching boat in Puget Sound.
2/16/2012

Ecosystem services in Puget Sound

Ecosystem services are the “outputs” and experiences of ecosystems that benefit humans, and are generated by the structure and function of natural systems, often in combination with human activities. The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, a global effort to catalog and assess ecosystem status and functions, offers a useful classification scheme.

The invasive tunicate Styela clava. Photo: WDFW
4/23/2011

Intentional and unintentional introduction of invasive and non-native species

Non-native species are those that do not naturally occur in an ecosystem. A non-native species is considered invasive when it is capable of aggressively establishing itself and causing environmental damage to an ecosystem. Plants, animals, and pathogens all can be invasive.