skip to main content

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.
Website mini-survey

Yes | No | Other

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

King County Climate Change 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.

Coastal Areas breakout session results, King County Climate Change Conference
Review a summary report describing anticipated affects of global warming on coastal lands in Washington State with proposed adaptation strategies. Also, look up the coastal area session agenda, presentations, and speaker credentials and biographies.

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

Feb. 23, 2015
External report, UC Davis
Ocean acidification threatens coastal communities across the U.S. 

Feb. 15, 2015
External report, KOMO News
Proposal wants big study for Puget Sound's little fish 

Feb. 5, 2015
External article, Kitsap Business Journal
Sea change: Company's work evolves from building bulkheads to restoration 

Jan. 28, 2015
External photo, Seattle Times
Fisherman in the sunset

Jan. 26, 2015
External article, Sightline Daily
Northwest Oil Spills: The Raw Data and the Growing Risk 

Jan. 25, 2015
External article, Seattle Times
Dead whale found at Seattle dock struck by ship propeller

Jan. 23, 2015
King County clean-water infrastructure creates artificial reef for endangered fish

Jan. 15, 2015
External article, New York Times
Ocean Life Faces Mass Extinction, Broad Study Says 

Nov. 19, 2014
External article, Seattle Times
Virus linked to mass die-off of sea stars

Nov. 13, 2014
External article, KGMI News
Feds to protect Puget Sound habitat for rockfish

Oct. 7, 2014
External article, Encyclopedia of Puget Sound
Citizens now the leading cause of toxics in Puget Sound

» Archived Puget Sound marine news and announcements