top of page


About Puget Sound

About Puget Sound

Encyclopedia of Puget Sound

The Encyclopedia of Puget Sound is a comprehensive guide to the science of Salish Sea ecosystem recovery. Select keywords and search site resources to learn from a variety of articles that describe the Puget Sound’s major environmental areas of concern, as well as the facts and stories that make the Salish Sea an estuary of international importance. 


Puget Sound Fact Book

From the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound, view this comprehensive list of Salish Sea articles by category. Search by keywords or type of article to find exactly what you need from a wide range of readings. 


Salish Sea Currents Magazine

Excellent short articles summarizing current science from the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound. Learn about species from sunflower sea stars to eel-like fish and bull trout. Many articles are recently published, short, engaging, and full of photos!


Maps and GIS

Learn more at a self-guided pace with this Interactive mapping system of Salish Sea boundaries. Click “View Map” and take a peek! Toggle between a wide range of map layers, categories, and other mapping tools.


Snohomish County Marine Resource Committee (MCR)

This citizen’s advisory group, made up of scientists and other knowledgeable stakeholders, uses science-based information to develop projects and help shape local marine conservation policy. Check out their resource page for Puget Sound species fact sheets and links to other useful Sound-related websites. 


Species Fact Sheets:

  • Forage Fish - Small, schooling fish common in Puget Sound

  • Bull Kelp - Species of large brown algae native to Puget Sound

  • Eelgrass - Vascular plant that produces flowers and used roots to extract nutrients from sediment

  • Dungeness Crab - Crab with a purple-orange shell, a  grayish-brown back, and white-tipped claws. 

Puget Sound Vital Signs

Puget Sound Vital Signs

Puget Sound Vital Signs Dashboard 

What if we could measure key indicators of the Puget Sound’s health and progress towards recovery goals? Puget Sound Vital Signs is a public data center that makes trends of indicators, such as water quality and local species health, accessible for people of all levels of familiarity with the Puget Sound. As a plus, webpage graphics are interactive and tiles lead to subpages with additional info! 

Want to use this as a learning resource? Check out Sustainability Ambassadors’ Web Quest Research Organizer for Vital Signs

Climate Impacts in Puget Sound

Climate Impacts in Puget Sound

NOAA ERMA (Environmental Response Management Application)

Interactive maps are cool! This regional Northwest “Environmental Response Management Application” allows stakeholders and communities to visualize ecological, human use, and infrastructure data in a centralized location. Use this to think about vulnerabilities in the Puget Sound Region, based on climate change forecast conditions, and the need for adaptive habitat restoration. 


Salish Sea Currents - Climate Change Issue - 2020

The 2020 edition of Salish Sea Currents, a collection of 12 data-driven stories, investigates the impact of climate change on the Salish Sea ecosystem. Wondering about the spread of diseases? What about saltwater or terrestrial habitats? Maybe ocean acidification? This magazine is split into these four categories taking a closer look at the indicators and their predicted impact on Salish Sea ecosystems in the coming years. 

State of Puget Sound State of Knowledge Report – Climate Change in Puget Sound

View the University of Washington’s 2015 report summarizing research on the likely effects of climate change on the lands, water and people of the Puget Sound region. Presented in an easy-to-read format, it is designed to serve as a reference for individuals from a wide range of backgrounds who are interested in the science of climate change and its effects within the Puget Sound region.

Download full report (PDF): Compressed | Uncompressed

Executive Summary (PDF)

Individual chapter downloads (PDF)

  • Executive Summary (with Front & “How to Read this Report”)

  • Section 1: Making Sense of Climate Change Projections

  • Section 2: How Is Puget Sound’s Climate Changing?

  • Section 3: How will Climate Change Affect the Water Cycle?

  • Section 4: How will Climate Change Affect Sea Level?

  • Section 5: How Will Climate Affect Landslides/Erosion/Sediment?

  • Section 6: How is Circulation Projected to Change?

  • Section 7: How is Puget Sound’s Water Quality Changing?

  • Section 8: How Will Climate Affect Agriculture?

  • Section 9: How Will Climate Affect Terrestrial Ecosystems?

  • Section 10: How Will Climate Affect Freshwater Ecosystems?

  • Section 11: How Will Climate  Affect Marine Ecosystems?

  • Section 12: How Will Climate  Affect the Built Environment?

  • Section 13: How Will Climate Change Affect Human Health?

  • Appendix A: Alternate Hydrologic Projections

  • Appendix B: Maps of change: Basin average projections

  • Appendix C: Maps of change: Full-resolution projections

Puget Sound Economy

Puget Sound Economy

Economic Value of Puget Sound’s Ecosystem Services

Natural systems in the Puget Sound basin, if valued as economic assets, would be worth between $305 billion and $2.6 trillion. Monetary value is assigned to practically everything. Why not, as a thought experiment, think of nature in dollars? This 2010 study values 14 key natural goods and services that provide value to people, businesses, and government agencies, calling attention to the economic case for ecosystem protection work.

bottom of page