Puget Sound is the second largest estuary in the United States. A 2015 review in Ocean & Coastal Management looks at trends in research related to anthropogenic noise and its affect on a wide variety of marine organisms, from whales and fish to invertebrates. Scientists argue that herring managers should take a tip from stock market investors and diversify the population’s “portfolio.”. Excessive nitrogen is considered a pollutant. A 2021 paper in the journal Oceans suggests that these findings may indicate a wider problem among other species in the region. A 2017 paper in the journal Aquatic Mammals reports that harbor seals in the Salish Sea are less concerned about predators when they become habituated to humans. Read an excerpt below, or download the full report. They are found throughout the Puget Sound basin and are a mix of “resident” and “migratory” stocks. 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. By September when we started flying again, a few bays still had red-brown blooms. 2016 Salish Sea Toxics Monitoring Review: A Selection of Research, A key to quieter seas: Half of ship noise comes from 15% of the fleet, Harbor seal (Phoca vitulina) tolerance to vessels under different levels of boat traffic, Study says predators may play major role in chinook salmon declines, Puget Sound marine and nearshore grant program results, final analysis report, A review of Puget Sound marine and nearshore grant program results, Part 3, Concerns rise over rogue chemicals in the environment, Salish Sea snapshots: Invasive species and human health, Salish Sea snapshots: Plastics in fish may also affect seabirds, Green crabs could impair Puget Sound shellfish operations, Building a baseline of invasive species in Puget Sound, Invasive marine species: Washington state priorities, A review of Puget Sound marine and nearshore grant program results, Part 2, Killer whale miscarriages linked to low food supply, Salish Sea snapshots: Detecting harmful algal blooms, Advances in technology help researchers evaluate threatened Puget Sound steelhead, Mystery remains in deaths of young salmon, Contaminants higher in resident 'blackmouth' Chinook, New theory rethinks spread of PCBs and other toxics in Puget Sound, Suspended marine pollutants more likely to enter food web. Fish in the family Salmonidae (salmon, trout, and charr) play potentially integral roles in the upland freshwater, nearshore and pelagic marine ecosystems and food webs of Puget Sound. Seattle Aquarium Live Cams | Seattle Aquarium. Puget Sound Kelp Conservation and Recovery Plan . The Salish Sea Marine Survival Project has mobilized dozens of organizations in the U.S. and Canada to find an answer to one of the region's greatest mysteries. Species accounts are provided by Encyclopedia of Life and NatureServe, as well as regional sources where available. View my complete profile A 2016 technical report from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Cascadia Research Collective details the decline of the harbor porpoise in Puget Sound in the 1970s and reports that species numbers have increased over the past twenty years likely due to outside immigration. We collect monthly data to keep you informed about the conditions around Puget Sound. The report is an analysis of findings on invasive species, toxics, oil spill, and integrated risk assessment. Many locations are offering curbside services up to 5 days per week, and some are accepting returns daily. The Puget Sound Ecosystem Monitoring Program (PSEMP) is an independent program established by state and federal statute to monitor environmental conditions in Puget Sound. Lead author: Encyclopedia of Puget Sound climate change topic editor Amy Snover. Are we making progress on salmon recovery? Together, we monitor Puget Sound health by working to better understand the Blob and drought, monitor and improve water quality, track marine life, and prepare for climate change. The fact book was prepared for the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound with funding from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Puget Sound Partnership. Large numbers of jellyfish occurred in Quartermaster Harbor, Sinclair Inlet, and parts of Orcas Island. One University of Washington researcher describes the project. We saw large algae blooms in Central Sound along with abundant Noctiluca. Penttila, D. 2007. This provides a visual picture of the health of Puget Sound, which they call Eyes Over Puget Sound or EOPS. 2007). The Puget Sound Ecosystem Monitoring Program released its fifth annual Marine Waters Overview this week. A 2020 study of pathology reports for 53 stranded killer whales in the northeastern Pacific and Hawaii showed that deaths related to human interaction were found in every age class. They are members of the auk family, with stocky bodies adapted to “flying” underwater as they dive in pursuit of a wide range of fish and invertebrate prey. Funds for the article were provided by the Washington state legislature. High levels of mercury and other toxic chemicals are showing up in seemingly remote and pristine parts of the Puget Sound watershed, the result of atmospheric deposition. A non-native species is considered invasive when it is capable of aggressively establishing itself and causing environmental damage to an ecosystem. Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) and Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) are underwater robotic vehicles used for a variety of ocean surveys and operations. Experts at that symposium warned that wildlife in the Salish Sea, from salmon to shellfish, may start to see significant effects from changing water chemistry within the next 10 to 20 years. The Hydrophone Network lets the public listen for orcas through their computers and phones, while the Orca Network gathers and disseminates sightings of orcas as they move between Puget Sound, the Fraser River, and the Pacific Ocean. Scientists also observed lower abundances of fish, seabirds, and marine mammals. A summary of environmental conditions in Pacific Canadian Waters and the broader North East Pacific in 2013. Bentho-pelagic fish utilize both bottom habitats and shallower portions of the water column, often feeding in shallow water at night and moving to deeper water to form schools during the day. The authors analyzed stranding records dating back to 1925, obtained from scientists worldwide, finding that very few whales are stranded (an average of ten a year over the last twenty years). They are monitored in recreational waters because they are good indicators of harmful pathogens that are more difficult to measure. The 2011 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference was held October 25 to 27 at the Sheraton Wall Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia. Coccolithophores are blooming in Hood Canal. Although overall eelgrass abundance appears to be stable in Puget Sound, some local areas are showing declines. 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. Vessel strikes accounted for the deaths of four of the nine endangered southern resident killer whales identified in the study. When Cornell University ecologist Drew Harvell wrote her book "Ocean Outbreak," she couldn't have known that 2020 would be the year of COVID-19. 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). ecosystems, supporting food webs and providing critical habitat for a wide array of marine life. These species are a crucial part of the Puget Sound ecosystem and are also important for commercial fisheries. Protection Island, a National Wildlife Refuge in the Strait of Juan de Fuca, provides important habitat for seabirds and marine mammals. A list of over 1800 benthic infaunal invertebrates is now available on the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound. This paper looks at the impact of gillnets on bird populations. This program, initiated in 1989, is one component of the Puget Sound Ecosystem Monitoring Program, a collaborative effort dedicated to monitoring environmental conditions in Puget Sound. Harbor seal numbers were severely reduced in Puget Sound during the first half of the twentieth century by a state-financed population control program. Discover our wide range of programs and services, including resources, classes, events and special exhibits. A 2017 paper in the journal Northwestern Naturalist looks at distribution patterns for Glaucous-winged Gulls across associated habitats in the Salish Sea. 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. Puget Sound and the associated low lands found their origin in the advance of western lobes of a continental glacier which ended around ten thousand years ago. Species and their habitats are a foundation of the ecosystem framework, but there is currently no generally agreed upon habitat classification system for Puget Sound. For critically endangered animal populations, experts worry that a highly infectious disease could be the final nail in the coffin, forcing the species into extinction. The report compares monitoring data over a ten-year period between 1998/1999 and 2008/2009. A September 2016 report from the University of Washington Puget Sound Institute summarizes and reviews 27 EPA-funded projects focusing on Puget Sound's marine and nearshore environments. But don't call it a coffee table book. 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. Marine Pill Bug Hyperiid Amphipod Skeleton Shrimp Cumacean Copepod Ostracod Sea Lice Gribble Dungeness Crab Graceful Crab Kelp Crab Mud-flat Crab Graceful Decorator Crab Pygmy Rock Crab Red Rock Crab Thickclaw Porcelain Crab Hairy Hermit Crab A 2017 report from the Puget Sound Ecosystem Monitoring Program presents an overview of selected recent monitoring and research activities focused on toxic contaminants in the Salish Sea. Vern Morgas remembers the early days of scuba diving in Puget Sound. The Salish Sea Model is used to predict spatial and temporal patterns in the Salish Sea related to factors such as phytoplankton, nutrients and Dissolved Oxygen. Much of the work for that document was done in the general vicinity of Puget Sound, and it has been an influential resource for major habitat mapping efforts in the region, such as Shorezone. Researchers are proposing a shift in thinking about how some of the region’s most damaging pollutants enter Puget Sound species like herring, salmon and orcas. This article focuses on the pelagic habitat within the Puget Sound. The journal is co-edited by Patrick Christie of our editorial board. You can find more information with calls and maps at Seattle Audubon’s BirdWeb. The projects were conducted between 2011-2015 with support from the EPA's National Estuary Program. Last summer, scientists met at the University of Washington to address alarming findings concerning the rapid acidification of the world's oceans. Natural Heritage Program, WA DNR, Olympia, WA. All Library locations remain closed to limit the spread of COVID-19. Lead author: Encyclopedia of Puget Sound climate change topic editor, Antibiotic resistance of bacteria in two marine mammal species, harbor seals and harbor porpoises, living in an urban marine ecosystem, the Salish Sea, Washington State, USA, Eyes Over Puget Sound - 2020 Year in Review, Pathology findings and correlation with body condition index in stranded killer whales (Orcinus orca) in the northeastern Pacific and Hawaii from 2004 to 2013, Eyes Over Puget Sound: Surface Conditions Report - October 26, 2020, Eyes Over Puget Sound: Surface Conditions Report - September 28, 2020, 'The blob' revisited: Marine heat waves and the Salish Sea. It is found in the northern Pacific Ocean from the northwest coast of the continental United States to Japan, including Puget Sound. GIANT PACIFIC OCTOPUS (Enteroctopus dofleini) is the largest species of octopus in the world. The Washington Invasive Species Council evaluated more than 700 invasive species in and around Washington, considering their threats to the state’s environment, economy, and human health. The number of species of concern in the Salish Sea is growing at an average annual rate of 2.6%, according to a report published in the proceedings of the 2016 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference in Vancouver, B.C. 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. There is no single type of ecological assessment, but the following list includes an informal inventory of related efforts in the Salish Sea. Anecdotal information, possibly supported with stranding encounter rate data, suggests that harbor porpoise may have increased in Puget Sound, or have shifted their distribution back to Puget Sound relative to earlier decades. The Salish Sea Hydrophone Network and Orca Network are two citizen science projects dedicated to furthering our understanding of abundance, distribution, behavior, and habitat use by the endangered population of Southern Resident Killer Whales, also called orcas. A 2017 article in the online journal Authorea reports that a comparatively small portion of ships produce much of the ocean's underwater noise. A January 2014 USGS report discusses approaches for measuring the effect of bivalves on nutrient availability in different regions of Puget Sound. The National Marine Fisheries Service has released a Draft Biological Report proposing designation of critical habitat for yelloweye rockfish, canary rockfish, and bocaccio in the Salish Sea. A December 2014 report from the University of Washington examines when and where climate change impacts will occur in the Puget Sound watershed. 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. Another handy fact sheet to help identify different whales, dolphins, and porpoise of the Puget Sound. The answer may depend on where you look and who you ask. Visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Moon Jelly Cam to see these beautiful jellies moving around in the current (https://www.montereybayaquarium.org/animals/live-cams/moon-jelly-cam). A coccolithophore bloom stained Hood Canal turquoise, and Port Angeles and Discovery Bay were colored red-brown by strong blooms. Almost twenty years ago, volunteer biologists began an intensive survey for invasive species in the marine waters of Puget Sound. Marine Forage Fishes in Puget Sound. In September, blooms are limited to inlets. They hope the birds can be used as an indicator of Puget Sound health. 2018), but are at risk from anthropogenic effects, including toxics and noise pollution (Ford et al. Chinook Salmon | National Wildlife Federation, A physical description of Chinook salmon and a description of the life history, diet, range, and conservation of this animal. The entire document is included as a PDF with this summary. Have you been at the beach and seen a crab scurry under a rock, or heard a seal lion barking from their seat on a buoy? Surveys of these species are used to monitor the health of the foodweb, as well as levels of toxic contaminants in the seafloor. 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. Many of Puget Sound's Chinook salmon spend their entire lives in local waters and don't migrate to the open ocean. A December 2014 paper in the journal Aquatic Ecosystem Health & Management describes a project to identify transboundary ecosystem indicators for the Salish Sea. Its lush photos are backed by a serious scientific perspective on this complex and fragile ecosystem. Download the panel's summary and proposed research plan. A search is underway for early signs of an invasion. Macroalgae is drifting as mats on the water in Port Madison, South Central Basin, and South Sound. New infrared images tell the story. Steve Leonard explores the oceans and discovers how the incredible variety of sea creatures arose. A study in the Journal of Comparative Physiology shows that muscle development necessary for diving can take several years to mature in harbor porpoises. Puget Sound Nearshore Partnership Report No. The workshop to review conditions during 2014 took place at the Institute of Ocean Sciences, Sidney, B.C. Opening the black box: What’s killing Puget Sound’s salmon and steelhead? The Puget Sound Marine Waters 2011 report is now available. It’s no secret that salmon and other Northwest fish populations are expected to shrink as a result of a warming Pacific Ocean. The Puget Sound Model was designed and built by the University of Washington School of Oceanography in the early 1950s to simulate the tides and currents of Puget Sound. Commonly found Marine Mammals of Puget Sound Pinnipeds - Seals and Sea Lions Northern Elephant Seal Pacific Mirounga angustirostris Harbor Seal Phoca vitulina Brownish-gray Male: 20'/8,000 lbs Female: 10'/2,000 lbs. They have no bones, brains, teeth, blood or fins — but don’t let their simple anatomy fool you. A 2016 paper in Environmental Pollution identifies dozens of pharmaceuticals and other compounds that are accumulating in Puget Sound fish such as salmon. The case was documented in the Salish Sea region where harbor seals are often used as indicators of contaminant levels. Warm-water ‘blobs’ significantly diminish salmon, other fish populations, study says, Eyes Over Puget Sound: Surface Conditions Report - March 16, 2020, Social scientists analyze public reactions to orca crisis, A conversation with "Ocean Outbreak" author Drew Harvell, Virus related to measles could push Puget Sound orcas to extinction, study says, Warming ocean conditions fuel viruses among species in the Salish Sea, Air contaminants, such as mercury and PCBs, undermine the health of Puget Sound, Eyes Over Puget Sound: 2019 Year in Review, Status and trends of harbor porpoises in the Salish Sea, Rate of ocean acidification may accelerate, scientists warn, Eyes Over Puget Sound: Surface Conditions Report - October 30, 2019, Status and trends for West Coast transient (Bigg’s) killer whales in the Salish Sea, History of UW Oceanography by Eugene Collias, Eyes Over Puget Sound: Surface Conditions Report - September 12, 2019, 'Early migration gene' tied to unique population of Chinook, Eyes Over Puget Sound: Surface Conditions Report - July 29, 2019, Unsung seabirds could help track Puget Sound health, Eyes Over Puget Sound: Surface Conditions Report - May/June 2019, State aquatic reserves lean heavily on citizen scientists, Eyes Over Puget Sound: Surface Conditions Report - March 26. A 2014 literature review in the journal Ocean & Coastal Management suggests negative effects of nonnative eelgrass on the native species. However, most of those strandings result in death. Under the federal Clean Water Act, states are required to assess the quality of their surface waters and compile a list of polluted water bodies. Washington State's ocean acidification initiative began with the launch of Governer Christine Gregoire's Blue Ribbon Panel on Ocean Acidification in December 2011. Download the full report and supporting data. The comment period on the draft assessment extends until March 13, 2014. A paper in the May 2013 issue of The Condor [115(2):356–365, 2013] describes a repeatable and statistically robust approach to monitoring burrow nesting seabirds in the Salish Sea and the California Current that can be applied at single- or multi-island scales. Scientists talk about a “dome” of pollution hanging over urban areas, leading to a never-ending cycle of persistent compounds working their way through the air, onto the land and into the water. Selected clips of Plumose sea anemones, Pacific halibut, Pacific cod, Sea stars, and North Pacific spiny dogfish are now available for public viewing. A December 2013 report by the University of Washington Climate Impacts Group projects wide reaching change for the Puget Sound ecosystem and the Pacific Northwest. Washington’s wintering scoters spend eight to 10 months in marine waters, with males spending approximately a month longer than females, before migrating to the Canadian interior to breed on freshwater lakes. Social scientists at Oregon State University have been analyzing a trove of more than 17,000 public comments sent to the Washington state governor's southern resident orca recovery task force. Although these cool temperatures are good for herring, temperatures are close to the survival limits for anchovies. Warm and dry conditions this spring are predicted to persist into summer, resulting in saltier and warmer than normal Puget Sound water conditions. While the waters of the Pacific Northwest may seem anything but hospitable to SCUBA divers, with the right exposure protection, there is a wealth of marine life to observe beneath the surface. The report was released on November 30, 2012 and was commissioned by NOAA Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The Puget Sound Ecosystem Monitoring Program has released its sixth annual Marine Waters Overview. The report is an analysis of findings on shoreline restoration and derelict net and fishing gear removal. Scientists say Puget Sound’s salmon are dying young and point to low growth rates in the marine environment as a possible cause. 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. Ths is a list of steamboats and related vessels which operated on Puget Sound and in western Washington state. Pinto abalone are the only abalone species found in Washington State. The Orange Sea Pen, also called the Fleshy Sea Pen or Gurney’s Sea Pen, resembles a colorful autumn tree waving in the “breeze” of moving water currents. As a result, rivers gages are lower than expected, a pattern that has continued since last year. Click on the categories to the left for lists of plants and animals within the Puget Sound and Salish Sea watersheds. Regular and numerous anecdotal sightings in recent years show that populations of these cetaceans are now increasing and may be approaching their former status. In Washington State’s Puget Sound, antibiotic-resistant bacteria are infecting the area’s harbor seals and harbor porpoises. The vaccination program raises the possibility of using vaccines to prevent disease among Puget Sound's southern resident killer whales, but no specific steps have been taken so far. LiveOcean, Atlantis and the Salish Sea Model are three systems that are changing the game for ecologists and other researchers. A recent preliminary survey of 11 animals has produced worrying results: 80 percent of animals sampled carried bacteria that were resistant to an antibiotic, and more than 50 percent carried bacteria that were resistant to multiple antibiotics. A 2014 paper in the journal PloS One analyzes a large carbonate chemistry data set from Puget Sound as a basis for identifying control conditions in ocean acidification experiments for the region. Are environmental conditions improving or getting worse? Harbor seals and harbor porpoises in the Salish Sea are showing a relatively high presence of antibiotic-resistent bacteria. That may be because their population is generally stable, but a group of citizen scientists is helping to put guillemots on the conservation radar. Did you know that harbor seals can dive as far down as 1,500 feet below the surface of the water and can hold their breath up to 30 minutes? This list does not include Ecological or Environmental Impact Assessments, which are targeted to specific land uses. Jellyfish are abundant in Quartermaster Harbor. An algal bloom is a rapid increase or accumulation in the population of algae in a water system. A master's thesis prepared at Western Washington University discusses the impact of harbor seals on fish stocks in the San Juan Islands, where the seals are a year-round predator. 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. After a dry early summer followed by more than expected rain, rivers mostly remained lower than in 2018. It is widely recognized for its important ecological functions, and provides habitat for many Puget Sound species such as herring, crab, shrimp, shellfish, waterfowl, and salmonids. Oil sheens on the water are currently numerous. A marine and estuarine habitat classification system for Washington State. Marine Life Washington’s waters are home to an extraordinary community of marine plants and animals, including legendary salmon runs and three pods of resident killer whales. Can you identify the different species of salmon in the ladder? Huge numbers of anchovies were documented in Case Inlet and other finger inlets in South Sound, attracting hundreds of marine mammals. Download the full report and supporting data. A large Noctiluca bloom extends across the South Central Basin of Puget Sound. © 2012-2021. Download the panel's summary and proposed research plan. The Doto is a species of sea slug, also known as a nudibranch. King County contains four major marine habitats: backshore, intertidal and shallow subtidal, deep subtidal, and riverine/sub-estuarine. Encyclopedia of Puget Sound is published by the Puget Sound Institute at the UW Tacoma Center for Urban Waters. A 2014 paper in the journal Aquatic Mammals examines coastal river otter predation on rockfish at three islands in the Salish Sea. While many possible causes of this decline are under consideration, some researchers are focusing on the combined effects of predators and disease. Toxic chemicals have been showing up in Puget Sound fish for more than a century, but consistent testing over the past 30 years has helped to reveal some unusual patterns of pollution. Delicious and now endangered: Can the pinto abalone make a comeback? 2007-03. Contact  | Subscribe  |  UW Privacy  |  UW Terms of Use. Fish and other marine life need dissolved oxygen to survive. A priority in Puget Sound is the conservation of nearshore habitat, including wetlands, estuaries, and tidal zones that make up some of the most valuable habitat for the region’s salmon and steelhead. This species was first discovered in British Columbia and has been reported as far south as Santa Barbara, California. Macroalgae are still plentiful. Puget Sound waters were warmer than expected through January, and the warmest waters were in Hood Canal, possibly creating a thermal refuge for cold-sensitive species such as anchovies. Schools of fish congregate in South Sound and southern Hood Canal. Iris, a 12 year old girl who is born deaf to hearing parents, discovers a new passion after watching a documentary about Blue 55, a baleen whale (which we have here in the Puget Sound) who swims alone rather than in pods and sings at a frequency that renders his song unintelligible to other whales. In some ways, they say, it is like the blob never left. As a consequence, muddy river plumes in Puget Sound are very visible, especially near the Nooksack River. 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. , there are a small number of algae species that produce harmful toxins to humans and other marine life July... A nudibranch see how we assure the highest data quality from our field instruments Chinook the! 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