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Puget Sound information

King County, Washington

Find comprehensive services, news, information and data related to the Puget Sound marine environment and ecology and the work of King County, Washington to restore and protect it.

To offer a suggestion or report an error on the Puget Sound marine website, please contact Fred Bentler, webmaster.

Puget Sound marine topics

More than 25,000 pounds of unwanted medicines were disposed of through the Pharmaceuticals Take Back Project in the last two years (2010).

Encyclopedia of Puget Sound (external link)
The region's authoritative compilation of Puget Sound geography, ecosystems, animal and plant species and restoration strategies provided by a partnership with University of Washington's Puget Sound Institute, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Puget Sound Partnership.
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Marine life

Puget Sound marine life photos
View a photo collection of marine plants and animals including pictures of Puget Sound fish, invertebrates, and algae.

Sea star identification key
Identify common Intertidal "starfish" of Puget Sound.

Environmental indicators for aquatic biota - 2013
Learn about the status of King County's Chinook salmon populations, key influencing factors, King County actions, and how you can help.

Juvenile salmonid composition, timing, distribution, and diet in marine nearshore waters of Central Puget Sound in 2001-2002
Scientific report essential for protecting Puget Sound salmon from extinction and to recover depleted salmon stocks.

Marine shoreline inventory report
Inventory of selected shoreline habitat features that support juvenile salmonids, presented in part using high-resolution aerial photos with overlays that classify habitat types.

Puget Sound restoration

Puget Sound Partnership (external link)
Public/private group working to develop an aggressive 15-year plan to solve Puget Sound's most vexing problems.

Dockton Shoreline Restoration Project
Project is planned for summer 2012, restoring the shoreline and a salt marsh at Dockton, WA on Vashon/Maury Island.  Includes Determination of Non-Significance under the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA).

King County Sound Tips 10 Steps to Help Save the Sound King County and Puget Sound Tips
Learn what you can do to protect Puget Sound. This brochure is one of King County's contributions as a member of the Puget Sound Partnership, which is beginning work on a 15-year plan to protect and restore the Sound. King County works to safeguard Puget Sound, protect human health and enrich the region's quality of life.

State of the nearshore report
It's no surprise that human impacts have caused big trouble for the marine shoreline environment in King County, but a new first-of-its-kind report released September 5, 2001 is helping to crystallize the extent of the problem.

Sediment remediation projects
Cleanup of contaminated sites in the Duwamish Waterway and Elliott Bay to enhance and restore habitat for aquatic life.

Elliot Bay nearshore substrate enhancement
A status report on a project to restore nearshore habitat by placing cobble, quarry spall, pea gravel and oyster shell at sites near the Duwamish Head and Seacrest.

Water pollution

Puget Sound water quality sampling station data
Map of offshore sampling stations providing authoritative water quality conditions in Central Puget Sound waters of King County.

Environmental indicators: Puget Sound marine water quality
Learn about the status of marine water quality at various locations in King County, factors that influence water quality and how you can help reduce your pollution.

Puget Sound Rain Gardens (external link)Rain gardens filter pollution from stormwater and support unusual native plants, and WSU has set a goal for register 12,000 rain gardens in the Puget Sound basin:

History of King County's regional wastewater treatment utility 
Read how our region worked to keep our lakes and Puget Sound clean and healthy, including the early days of sewage treatment and disposal in King County, the birth of Metro and development of regional facilities to process the waste produced by our metropolitan area.

Combined Sewer Overflow Control Program
During heavy rainstorms, our combined sewers may exceed their capacity and the mixture of untreated sewage and stormwater is allowed to overflow into Puget Sound and other waters to keep it from backing up into homes and businesses. Learn how King County is working to improve our system to control overflows.

Combined sewer overflow water quality assessment: Duwamish River and Elliott Bay

Endocrine disrupting chemicals in the environment
Learn about these natural and synthetic chemicals flushed daily into our marine waters, and discover what King County is doing to protect public health and the environment as the science and our understanding of endocrine disruptors develops.

Environmental Laboratory
Collects samples from marine waters, lakes, rivers, biosolids application sites, industries and wastewater treatment plants, and analyzes samples in one of several labs including trace metals, organics, conventionals, microbiology and aquatic toxicology labs.

Metropolitan Water Pollution Abatement Advisory Committee (MWPAAC)
Created by state law, the MWPAAC advises the King County Executive and Council on reducing water pollution.

Climate change

2015 King County Strategic Climate Action Plan
How King County seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, adapt to projected climate change impacts, and embed mitigation and adaptation into county policy decisions. The plan incorporates issues, goals and actions related to coastal areas.

Marine shorelines

Shoreline Master Program
Learn about King County's program to protect shorelines on Puget Sound, large lakes and major rivers.

Saltwater shorelines, Life on the Edge video series Includes Video
Watch a video that describes what affects Puget Sound beaches and their habitat, with ideas that beachgoers and shoreline property owners may like to apply to help preserve the quality of saltwater beaches and their ecosystems.

Beyond the beach : Learn about the nearshore environment and what you can do to help protect it from damage.

Learn about the Puget Sound nearshore environment from this illustrated presentation:

Learn about the Puget Sound nearshore environment

Inventory and assessment of current and historic beach feeding sources/erosion and accretion areas for the marine shorelines of Water Resource Inventory Areas 8 and 9


Central Puget Sound Watershed
Info in King County about Puget Sound and the creek drainages that drain directly to it.

For more information about Puget Sound, please contact Kimberle Stark, Senior Water Quality Planner, King County Marine and Sediment Assessment Group.

Related information

Related agencies

News and announcements

Jun. 29, 2016
Soundgarden helps Executive launch the SoundGuardian, King County’s new environmental research vessel

May 17, 2016
External article, Seattle Times
NOAA: Dungeness crab in peril from acidification 

May 6, 2016
May is ‘Puget Sound Starts Here’ month, stresses stormwater pollution prevention

Apr. 22, 2016
External report, Northwest Public Radio
Puget Sound Shorelines Hit The Wall 

Feb. 22, 2016
External article, Washington Post
Seas are now rising faster than they have in 2,800 years, scientists say

Feb. 21, 2016
External article, Seattle Times
Scientists now link massive starfish die-off, warming ocean

Nov. 17, 2015
External article, UW Today
New report outlines Puget Sound region’s future under climate change

Nov. 5, 2015
External opinion, Seattle Times
Puget Sound recovery hinges on blocking polluted runoff 

Sep. 19, 2015
External Report, KIRO TV
VIDEO: 'Save Puget Sound' bill introduced 

Sept. 8, 2015
External article, Seattle Times
Low levels of oil pollution harm herring, salmon, study finds

Aug. 13, 2015
External report, Puget Sound Institute
Could shoreline armoring finally be declining in Puget Sound? 

Jul. 30, 2015
External article, Seattle Times
‘The Blob’ may warm Puget Sound’s waters, hurt marine life

Jul. 21, 2015
External article, Seattle Weekly
How The Lowly Street Sweeper Kept 130 Tons of Pollution Out of Local Waters Last Year

Jul. 29, 2015
External article, UW Today
Healthier Puget Sound depends on healthy people, report finds

Jul. 17, 2015
External article, Seattle Times
RainWise helps Seattle homeowners collect stormwater, prevent pollution

» Archived Puget Sound marine news and announcements