Puget Sound boundaries

There are several ways that scientists and managers have defined the boundaries of Puget Sound. To oceanographers, Puget Sound includes the waters from Admiralty Inlet and Deception Pass to the southern tip of Olympia. However, many management and conservation efforts incorporate the entire watershed—the land where rivers and streams drain into Puget Sound—as well as the Strait of Juan de Fuca, Hood Canal and the San Juan Archipelago. 

Source: Puget Sound Fact Book

Water Resource Inventory Areas (WRIA). Map: Kris Symer. Data source: WAECY.


Geographic boundaries of Puget Sound and the Salish Sea

The boundaries of Puget Sound and the Salish Sea are not always consistently defined by scientists and government agencies. This article clarifies the distinctions between oceanographic and watershed-based definitions of these geographic areas. 


Map image of Puget Sound and surroundings. Courtesy of USGS.

Puget Sound's physical environment

The Puget Sound ecosystem is shaped by its physical environment. This article looks at Puget Sound's geologic history as well as dynamic factors such as the flow of its rivers and currents.

The Puget Sound Model at the UW School of Oceanography

The Puget Sound Model summary

The Puget Sound Model was designed and built in the early 1950s at the University of Washington School of Oceanography as a research and teaching tool for understanding Puget Sound circulation patterns. The following text was written by Puget Sound Model co-creator John H. Lincoln (1915-2001) and is provided courtesy of the University of Washington School of Oceanography.