Puget Sound

Puget Sound /ˈpjuːdʒɪt/ is a sound along the northwestern coast of the U.S. state of Washington, an inlet of the Pacific Ocean, and part of the Salish Sea. It is a complex estuarine[3] system of interconnected marine waterways and basins, with one major and two minor connections to the open Pacific Ocean via the Strait of Juan de FucaAdmiralty Inlet being the major connection and Deception Pass and Swinomish Channel being the minor.

Water flow through Deception Pass is approximately equal to 2% of the total tidal exchange between Puget Sound and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.[1] Puget Sound extends approximately 100 miles (160 km) from Deception Pass in the north to Olympia, Washington in the south. Its average depth is 450 feet (140 m)[4] and its maximum depth, off Jefferson Point between Indianola and Kingston, is 930 feet (280 m). The depth of the main basin, between the southern tip of Whidbey Island and Tacoma, Washington, is approximately 600 feet (180 m).[1]

In 2009, the term Salish Sea was established by the United States Board on Geographic Names as the collective waters of Puget Sound, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and the Strait of Georgia. Sometimes the terms "Puget Sound" and "Puget Sound and adjacent waters" are used for not only Puget Sound proper but also for waters to the north, such as Bellingham Bay and the San Juan Islands region.[5]

The term "Puget Sound" is used not just for the body of water but also the Puget Sound region centered on the sound. Major cities on the sound include Seattle, Tacoma, Olympia, and Everett, Washington. Puget Sound is also the third largest estuary in the United States, after Chesapeake Bay in Maryland and Virginia, and San Francisco Bay in northern California.[6]

Puget Sound
Puget Sound – MODIS image
LocationPuget Sound Lowlands, Washington, United States
Coordinates47°36′N 122°24′W / 47.6°N 122.4°WCoordinates: 47°36′N 122°24′W / 47.6°N 122.4°W
Native nameWhulge
EtymologyPeter Puget
Part ofSalish Sea
Primary inflowsDeschutes River, Nisqually River, Puyallup River, Duwamish River, Cedar River, Snohomish River, Stillaguamish River, Skagit River, Skokomish River
Primary outflowsAdmiralty Inlet, Deception Pass
avg: 41,000 cu ft/s (1,200 m3/s)[1]
max: 367,000 cu ft/s (10,400 m3/s)
min: 14,000 cu ft/s (400 m3/s)
Catchment area12,138 sq mi (31,440 km2)[2]
Max. length100 mi (160 km)
Max. width10 mi (16 km)
Surface area1,020 sq mi (2,600 km2)[1]
Max. depth930 ft (280 m)[1]
Water volume26.5 cu mi (110 km3)[1]
SettlementsSeattle, Tacoma, Olympia, Everett, Bremerton


In 1792 George Vancouver gave the name "Puget's Sound" to the waters south of the Tacoma Narrows, in honor of Peter Puget, a Huguenot lieutenant accompanying him on the Vancouver Expedition. This name later came to be used for the waters north of Tacoma Narrows as well.[7]

A different term for Puget Sound, used by a number of Native Americans and environmental groups, is Whulge (or Whulj), an anglicization of the Lushootseed name x̌ʷə́lč, which means "sea, salt water, ocean, or sound".[8]


The USGS defines Puget Sound as all the waters south of three entrances from the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The main entrance at Admiralty Inlet is defined as a line between Point Wilson on the Olympic Peninsula, and Point Partridge on Whidbey Island. The second entrance is at Deception Pass along a line from West Point on Whidbey Island, to Deception Island, then to Rosario Head on Fidalgo Island. The third entrance is at the south end of the Swinomish Channel, which connects Skagit Bay and Padilla Bay.[9] Under this definition, Puget Sound includes the waters of Hood Canal, Admiralty Inlet, Possession Sound, Saratoga Passage, and others. It does not include Bellingham Bay, Padilla Bay, the waters of the San Juan Islands or anything farther north.

Another definition, given by NOAA, subdivides Puget Sound into five basins or regions. Four of these (including South Puget Sound) correspond to areas within the USGS definition, but the fifth one, called "Northern Puget Sound" includes a large additional region. It is defined as bounded to the north by the international boundary with Canada, and to the west by a line running north from the mouth of the Sekiu River on the Olympic Peninsula.[10] Under this definition significant parts of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Strait of Georgia are included in Puget Sound, with the international boundary marking an abrupt and hydrologically arbitrary limit.

According to Arthur Kruckeberg, the term "Puget Sound" is sometimes used for waters north of Admiralty Inlet and Deception Pass, especially for areas along the north coast of Washington and the San Juan Islands, essentially equivalent to NOAA's "Northern Puget Sound" subdivision described above. Kruckeberg uses the term "Puget Sound and adjacent waters".[5]


Mt Rainier distant-600px
Snowcapped peaks are a backdrop to many Puget Sound scenes; here Mount Rainier is seen from Gig Harbor.

Continental ice sheets have repeatedly advanced and retreated from the Puget Sound region. The most recent glacial period, called the Fraser Glaciation, had three phases, or stades. During the third, or Vashon Glaciation, a lobe of the Cordilleran Ice Sheet, called the Puget Lobe, spread south about 15,000 years ago, covering the Puget Sound region with an ice sheet about 3,000 feet (910 m) thick near Seattle, and nearly 6,000 feet (1,800 m) at the present Canada-U.S. border. Since each new advance and retreat of ice erodes away much of the evidence of previous ice ages, the most recent Vashon phase has left the clearest imprint on the land. At its maximum extent the Vashon ice sheet extended south of Olympia to near Tenino, and covered the lowlands between the Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges. About 14,000 years ago the ice began to retreat. By 11,000 years ago it survived only north of the Canada–US border.[11]

The melting retreat of the Vashon Glaciation eroded the land, creating a drumlin field of hundreds of aligned drumlin hills. Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish (which are ribbon lakes), Hood Canal, and the main Puget Sound basin were altered by glacial forces. These glacial forces are not specifically "carving", as in cutting into the landscape via the mechanics of ice/glaciers, but rather eroding the landscape from melt water of the Vashon Glacier creating the drumlin field. As the ice retreated, vast amounts of glacial till were deposited throughout the Puget Sound region.[11] The soils of the region, less than ten thousand years old, are still characterized as immature.

As the Vashon glacier receded a series of proglacial lakes formed, filling the main trough of Puget Sound and inundating the southern lowlands. Glacial Lake Russell was the first such large recessional lake. From the vicinity of Seattle in the north the lake extended south to the Black Hills, where it drained south into the Chehalis River.[12] Sediments from Lake Russell form the blue-gray clay identified as the Lawton Clay. The second major recessional lake was Glacial Lake Bretz. It also drained to the Chehalis River until the Chimacum Valley, in the northeast Olympic Peninsula, melted, allowing the lake's water to rapidly drain north into the marine waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, which was rising as the ice sheet retreated.[12]

As icebergs calved off the toe of the glacier, their embedded gravels and boulders were deposited in the chaotic mix of unsorted till geologists call glaciomarine drift. Many beaches about the Sound display glacial erratics, rendered more prominent than those in coastal woodland solely by their exposed position; submerged glacial erratics sometimes cause hazards to navigation. The sheer weight of glacial-age ice depressed the landforms, which experienced post-glacial rebound after the ice sheets had retreated. Because the rate of rebound was not synchronous with the post-ice age rise in sea levels, the bed of what is Puget Sound, filled alternately with fresh and with sea water. The upper level of the lake-sediment Lawton Clay now lies about 120 feet (37 m) above sea level.

The Puget Sound system consists of four deep basins connected by shallower sills. The four basins are Hood Canal, west of the Kitsap Peninsula, Whidbey Basin, east of Whidbey Island, South Sound, south of the Tacoma Narrows, and the Main Basin, which is further subdivided into Admiralty Inlet and the Central Basin.[13] Puget Sound's sills, a kind of submarine terminal moraine, separate the basins from one another, and Puget Sound from the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Three sills are particularly significant—the one at Admiralty Inlet which checks the flow of water between the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Puget Sound, the one at the entrance to Hood Canal (about 175 ft or 53 m below the surface), and the one at the Tacoma Narrows (about 145 ft or 44 m). Other sills that present less of a barrier include the ones at Blake Island, Agate Pass, Rich Passage, and Hammersley Inlet.[5]

The depth of the basins is a result of the Sound being part of the Cascadia subduction zone, where the terranes accreted at the edge of the Juan de Fuca Plate are being subducted under the North American Plate. There has not been a major subduction zone earthquake here since the magnitude nine Cascadia earthquake; according to Japanese records, it occurred 26 January 1700. Lesser Puget Sound earthquakes with shallow epicenters, caused by the fracturing of stressed oceanic rocks as they are subducted, still cause great damage. The Seattle Fault cuts across Puget Sound, crossing the southern tip of Bainbridge Island and under Elliott Bay.[14] To the south, the existence of a second fault, the Tacoma Fault, has buckled the intervening strata in the Seattle Uplift.

Typical Puget Sound profiles of dense glacial till overlying permeable glacial outwash of gravels above an impermeable bed of silty clay may become unstable after periods of unusually wet weather and slump in landslides.[15]


Low tide on Whidbey Island
Low tide on Whidbey Island

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) defines Puget Sound as a bay with numerous channels and branches; more specifically, it is a fjord system of flooded glacial valleys. Puget Sound is part of a larger physiographic structure termed the Puget Trough, which is a physiographic section of the larger Pacific Border province, which in turn is part of the larger Pacific Mountain System.[16]

Puget Sound is a large salt water estuary, or system of many estuaries, fed by highly seasonal freshwater from the Olympic and Cascade Mountain watersheds. The mean annual river discharge into Puget Sound is 41,000 cubic feet per second (1,200 m3/s), with a monthly average maximum of about 367,000 cubic feet per second (10,400 m3/s) and minimum of about 14,000 cubic feet per second (400 m3/s). Puget Sound's shoreline is 1,332 miles (2,144 km) long, encompassing a water area of 1,020 square miles (2,600 km2) and a total volume of 26.5 cubic miles (110 km3) at mean high water. The average volume of water flowing in and out of Puget Sound during each tide is 1.26 cubic miles (5.3 km3). The maximum tidal currents, in the range of 9 to 10 knots, occurs at Deception Pass.[1]

Edward S. Curtis Collection People 047
Evening on Puget Sound by Edward S. Curtis, 1913

The size of Puget Sound's watershed is 12,138 sq mi (31,440 km2).[2] "Northern Puget Sound" is frequently considered part of the Puget Sound watershed, which enlarges its size to 13,700 sq mi (35,000 km2).[17] The USGS uses the name "Puget Sound" for its hydrologic unit subregion 1711, which includes areas draining to Puget Sound proper as well as the Strait of Juan de Fuca, the Strait of Georgia, and the Fraser River.[18] Significant rivers that drain to "Northern Puget Sound" include the Nooksack, Dungeness, and Elwha Rivers. The Nooksack empties into Bellingham Bay, the Dungeness and Elwha into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The Chilliwack River flows north to the Fraser River in Canada.

Tides in Puget Sound are of the mixed type with two high and two low tides each tidal day. These are called Higher High Water (HHW), Lower Low Water (LLW), Lower High Water (LHW), and Higher Low Water (HLW). The configuration of basins, sills, and interconnections cause the tidal range to increase within Puget Sound. The difference in height between the Higher High Water and the Lower Low Water averages about 8.3 feet (2.5 m) at Port Townsend on Admiralty Inlet, but increases to about 14.4 feet (4.4 m) at Olympia, the southern end of Puget Sound.[1]

Puget Sound is generally accepted as the start of the Inside Passage.[19][20]

Mount Rainier over Totten Inlet dock
Mount Rainier looms over the still waters of Totten Inlet, one of the Sound's southern fjords. Mason County, Washington.

Flora and fauna

Important marine flora of Puget Sound include eelgrass (Zostera marina)[21] and kelp, especially bull kelp (Nereocystis luetkeana).[22]

Oncorhynchus nerka
Sockeye salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka)
Lake Washington Ship Canal Fish Ladder pamphlet - ocean phase Steelhead
Steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss)

Among the marine mammals species found in Puget Sound are harbor seals (Phoca vitulina).[23] Orca (Orcinus orca) are famous throughout the Sound, and are a large tourist attraction. Although orca are sometimes seen in Puget Sound proper they are far more prevalent around the San Juan Islands north of Puget Sound.[24]

Many fish species occur in Puget Sound. The various salmonid species, including salmon, trout, and char are particularly well-known and studied. Salmonid species of Puget Sound include chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha), chum salmon (O. keta), coho salmon (O. kisutch), pink salmon (O. gorbuscha), sockeye salmon (O. nerka), sea-run coastal cutthroat trout (O. clarki clarki), steelhead (O. mykiss irideus), sea-run bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus), and Dolly Varden trout (Salvelinus malma malma).[25][26]

Common forage fishes found in Puget Sound include Pacific herring (Clupea pallasii), surf smelt (Hypomesus pretiosus), and Pacific sand lance (Ammodytes hexapterus).[27] Important benthopelagic fish of Puget Sound include North Pacific hake (Merluccius productus), Pacific cod (Gadus macrocelhalus), walleye pollock (Theragra chalcogramma), and the spiny dogfish (Squalus acanthias).[28] There are about 28 species of Sebastidae (rockfish), of many types, found in Puget Sound. Among those of special interest are copper rockfish (Sebastes caurinus), quillback rockfish (S. maliger), black rockfish (S. melanops), yelloweye rockfish (S. ruberrimus), bocaccio rockfish (S. paucispinis), canary rockfish (S. pinniger), and Puget Sound rockfish (S. emphaeus).[29]

Many other fish species occur in Puget Sound, such as sturgeons, lampreys, various sharks, rays, and skates.[30]

Puget Sound is home to numerous species of marine invertebrates, including sponges, sea anemones, chitons, clams, sea snails, limpets crabs, barnacles starfish, sea urchins, and sand dollars.[31] Dungeness crabs (Metacarcinus magister) occur throughout Washington waters, including Puget Sound.[32] Many bivalves occur in Puget Sound, such as Pacific oysters (Crassostrea gigas) and geoduck clams (Panopea generosa). The Olympia oyster (Ostreola conchaphila), once common in Puget Sound, was depleted by human activities during the 20th century. There are ongoing efforts to restore Olympia oysters in Puget Sound.[33]

Double-crested Cormorant at Ding Darling NWR
Double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus)

There are many seabird species of Puget Sound. Among these are grebes such as the western grebe (Aechmophorus occidentalis); loons such as the common loon (Gavia immer); auks such as the pigeon guillemot (Cepphus columba), rhinoceros auklet (Cerorhinca monocerata), common murre (Uria aalge), and marbled murrelet (Brachyramphus marmoratus); the brant goose (Branta bernicla); seaducks such as the long-tailed duck (Clangula hyemalis), harlequin duck (Histrionicus histrionicus), and surf scoter (Melanitta perspicillata); and cormorants such as the double-crested cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus). Puget Sound is home to a non-migratory and marine-oriented subspecies of great blue herons (Ardea herodias fannini).[34] Bald eagles (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) occur in relative high densities in the Puget Sound region.[35]

It is estimated that more than 100 million geoducks (pronounced "gooey ducks") are packed into Puget Sound's sediments. Also known as "king clam", geoducks are considered to be a delicacy in Asian countries.


1867 U.S. Coast Survey Chart or Map of Puget Sound, Washington - Geographicus - PugetSound-uscs-1867
U.S. Coast Survey nautical chart of Puget Sound, Washington Territory, 1867
Puget Sound is located in the United States
Puget Sound
Puget Sound, Washington

George Vancouver explored Puget Sound in 1792. Vancouver claimed it for Great Britain on 4 June 1792, naming it for one of his officers, Lieutenant Peter Puget.[36]

After 1818 Britain and the United States, which both claimed the Oregon Country, agreed to "joint occupancy", deferring resolution of the Oregon boundary dispute until the 1846 Oregon Treaty. Puget Sound was part of the disputed region until 1846, after which it became US territory.

American maritime fur traders visited Puget Sound in the early 19th century.[37]

The first European settlement in the Puget Sound area was Fort Nisqually, a fur trade post of the Hudson's Bay Company (HBC) built in 1833.[38] Fort Nisqually was part of the HBC's Columbia District, headquartered at Fort Vancouver. The Puget Sound Agricultural Company, a subsidiary of the HBC, established farms and ranches near Fort Nisqually. British ships such as the Beaver, exported foodstuffs and provisions from Fort Nisqually.[39]

The first American settlement on Puget Sound was Tumwater. It was founded in 1845 by Americans who had come via the Oregon Trail. The decision to settle north of the Columbia River was made in part because one of the settlers, George Washington Bush, was considered black and the Provisional Government of Oregon banned the residency of mulattoes but did not actively enforce the restriction north of the river.[40]

In 1853 Washington Territory was formed from part of Oregon Territory.[41] In 1888 the Northern Pacific railroad line reached Puget Sound, linking the region to eastern states.[42]


A unique state-run ferry system, the Washington State Ferries, connects the larger islands to the Washington mainland, as well as both sides of the sound, with vessels capable of carrying passengers and automobile traffic. The system carries 24 million passengers annually and is the largest ferry operator in the United States.[43]

View northwest from the Space Needle, overlooking (left to right) Elliott Bay, Duwamish Head, Puget Sound, and Restoration Point.
View northwest from the Space Needle, overlooking (left to right) Elliott Bay, Duwamish Head, Puget Sound, and Restoration Point.

Environmental issues

In the past 30 years there has been a large recession in the populations of the species which inhabit Puget Sound. The decrease has been seen in the following populations: forage fish, salmonids, bottom fish, marine birds, harbor porpoise and orcas. This decline is attributed to the various environmental issues in Puget Sound. Because of this population decline, there have been changes to the fishery practices, and an increase in petitioning to add species to the Endangered Species Act. There has also been an increase in recovery and management plans for many different area species.[44]

Fishermen purse seining in Puget Sound, ca 1917 (COBB 71).jpeg
Purse seining on Ouget Sound ca. 1917

The causes of these environmental issues are toxic contamination, eutrophication (low oxygen due to excess nutrients), and near shore habitat changes.[44]

Prominent islands

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Lincoln, John H. "The Puget Sound Model Summary". Pacific Science Center. Archived from the original on 10 March 2015. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  2. ^ a b "Watershed Boundary Dataset". USDA, NRCS, National Cartography and Geospatial Center. Retrieved 6 September 2010. ArcExplorer GIS data viewer.
  3. ^ "Basic Information about Estuaries". United States Environmental Protection Agency. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  4. ^ "Saving the Sound". ecy.wa.gov. Washington State Department of Ecology. Archived from the original on 8 August 2014. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  5. ^ a b c Kruckeberg, Arthur R. (1991). The Natural History of Puget Sound Country. Seattle: University of Washington Press. pp. 61–64. ISBN 0-295-97477-X.
  6. ^ "Saving Puget Sound". Washington State Department of Ecology. Archived from the original on 22 June 2016. Retrieved 15 June 2016.
  7. ^ Kruckeberg, Arthur R. (1991). The Natural History of Puget Sound Country. Seattle: University of Washington Press. pp. 427–428. ISBN 0-295-97477-X.
  8. ^ Bates, Dawn; Hess, Thom; Vi, Hilbert (1 January 1994). Lushootseed Dictionary. University of Washington Press. ISBN 9780295973234.
  9. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Puget Sound
  10. ^ Environmental History and Features of Puget Sound Archived 13 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine, see also: Map of subareas of Puget Sound Archived 13 May 2009 at the Wayback Machine, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and National Marine Fisheries Service
  11. ^ a b Kruckeberg (1991), pp. 18–23.
  12. ^ a b Baum, Rex L.; Godt, Jonathan W.; Highland, Lynn (2008). Landslides and engineering geology of the Seattle, Washington, area. Volume 20 of Reviews in engineering geology. Geological Society of America. pp. 12–13. ISBN 978-0-8137-4120-8.
  13. ^ "Features of Puget Sound Region: Oceanography and P" (PDF). kingcounty.gov. Seattle: King County Department of Natural Resources. 2001. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  14. ^ "Ancient seismic stresses at work in Puget Sound region" Cyberwest Magazine 9 June 2004
  15. ^ "Washington State Department of Ecology: "Puget Sound landslides"". wa.gov. Archived from the original on 16 August 2006.
  16. ^ "Physiographic divisions of the conterminous U. S." U.S. Geological Survey. Retrieved 6 December 2007.
  17. ^ "Puget Sound Basin NAWQA". USGS. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  18. ^ "List Hydrologic Unit Codes (HUCs) – USGS Washington". USGS. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  19. ^ Merriam-Webster, Richard (2000). Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Encyclopedia. Merriam-Webster. p. 808. ISBN 978-0-87779-017-4.
  20. ^ Manning, Richard (2001). Inside Passage: A Journey Beyond Borders. Island Press. p. 113. ISBN 978-1-55963-655-1.
  21. ^ "Eelgrass". Encyclopedia of Puget Sound. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  22. ^ "Kelp". Encyclopedia of Puget Sound. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  23. ^ "Harbor seals". Encyclopedia of Puget Sound. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  24. ^ "Killer Whales". Encyclopedia of Puget Sound. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  25. ^ "Salmonids". Encyclopedia of Puget Sound. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  26. ^ "Puget Sound Shorelines: Salmon". Washington Department of Ecology. Archived from the original on 13 November 2014. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  27. ^ "Forage Fishes". Encyclopedia of Puget Sound. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  28. ^ "Bentho-Pelagic Fish". Encyclopedia of Puget Sound. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  29. ^ "Rockfish". Encyclopedia of Puget Sound. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  30. ^ "Taxonomic List of Puget Sound Fishes". Burke Museum. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  31. ^ Kruckeberg, Arthur R. (1995). The Natural History of Puget Sound Country. University of Washington Press. p. 79. ISBN 978-0-295-97477-4. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  32. ^ "Dungeness Crabs". Encyclopedia of Puget Sound. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  33. ^ "Bivalves". Encyclopedia of Puget Sound. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  34. ^ "Marine birds". Encyclopedia of Puget Sound. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  35. ^ "Bald eagles". Encyclopedia of Puget Sound. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  36. ^ Hayes, Derek (1999). Historical atlas of the Pacific Northwest: maps of exploration and discovery : British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, Alaska, Yukon. Sasquatch Books. pp. 85–86. ISBN 978-1-57061-215-2. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  37. ^ Mackie, Richard Somerset (1997). Trading beyond the mountains: the British fur trade on the Pacific, 1793–1843. UBC Press. p. 146. ISBN 978-0-7748-0613-8. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  38. ^ "History of Fort Nisqually". Metro Parks Tacoma. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  39. ^ Mackie, Richard Somerset (1997). Trading beyond the mountains: the British fur trade on the Pacific, 1793–1843. UBC Press. pp. 235–239. ISBN 978-0-7748-0613-8. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  40. ^ "Tumwater History". City of Tumwater, WA. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  41. ^ "Settlers met at Monticello to sign a petition asking Congress to create a separate territory north of the Columbia River". Washington Secretary of State. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  42. ^ "First trains cross the Northern Pacific Railroad bridge spanning the Columbia River between Pasco and Kennewick on December 3, 1887". HistoryLink. Retrieved 6 August 2014.
  43. ^ "WSDOT Ferries Division" (PDF). Washington State Department of Transportation. December 2016. Retrieved June 3, 2018.
  44. ^ a b "2007 Puget Sound Update: Ninth Report of the Puget Sound Ambient Monitoring Program". wdfw.wa.gov. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. Retrieved 6 August 2014.

Further reading

  • Jones, M.A. (1999). Geologic framework for the Puget Sound aquifer system, Washington and British Columbia (U.S. Geological Survey Professional Paper 1424). Reston, VA: U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey.
  • LeWarne, Charles P. (1995). Utopias on Puget Sound, 1885–1915. University of Washington Press. ISBN 9780295974446.
  • Prosser, William Farrand (1903). A history of the Puget Sound country : its resources, its commerce and its people : with some reference to discoveries and explorations in North America from the time of Christopher Columbus down to that of George Vancouver in 1792, when the beauty, richness and vast commercial advantages of this region were first made known to the world. Lewis Pub. Co.Available online through the Washington State Library's Classics in Washington History collection

External links

Cascadia Marine Trail

The Cascadia Marine Trail is a 150-mile (240 km) water trail on Puget Sound.Created in 1993, it is designated as one of the 16 National Millennium Trails and suitable for day or multi-day trips. It has over 50 campsites to visit. People can boat to the campsites from many public and private launch sites or shoreline trailheads. In 1994, it was designated a National Recreation Trail.

Fleetwood (steamboat)

The steamboat Fleetwood operated in the 1880s and 1890s on the Columbia River and later as part of the Puget Sound Mosquito Fleet.

George E. Starr

The steamboat George E. Starr operated in late 19th century as part of the Puget Sound Mosquito Fleet and also operated out of Victoria, B.C. Geo. E. Starr also served for a time in California and on the Columbia River.

Kitsap Peninsula

The Kitsap Peninsula lies west of Seattle across Puget Sound, in Washington state in the northwestern US. Hood Canal separates the peninsula from the Olympic Peninsula on its west side. The peninsula, a.k.a. "the Kitsap", encompasses all of Kitsap County except Bainbridge and Blake Islands, as well as the northeastern part of Mason County and the northwestern part of Pierce County. The highest point on the Kitsap Peninsula is Gold Mountain. The U.S. Navy's Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, and Naval Base Kitsap (comprising the former NSB Bangor and NS Bremerton) are on the Peninsula. Its main city is Bremerton.

Though earlier referred to as the Great Peninsula or Indian Peninsula, with "Great Peninsula" still its official name, its current name comes from Kitsap County, which occupies most of the peninsula. It is thus the namesake of Chief Kitsap, an 18th- and 19th-century warrior and medicine man of the Suquamish Tribe. The Suquamish were one of the historical fishing tribes belonging to the Coast Salish group of peoples, and their ancestral grounds were based on the eastern shores of the Kitsap Peninsula. Seattle is named after the tribe's most famous leader, Chief Seattle. The Port Madison Indian Reservation, located between Poulsbo and Agate Pass, is the modern Suquamish tribal center. The Kitsap Peninsula is also home to the Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribe, another branch of the Coast Salish people, whose tribal center is the Port Gamble S'Klallam Indian Reservation at Little Boston located on the northwest coast of the peninsula. And though their main centre now is at Skokomish the Hood Canal was the main demesne of the communities of the Twana, another subgroup of the Coast Salish.

The peninsula is connected to the eastern shore of Puget Sound by Washington State Ferries, which run from Bremerton to Downtown Seattle, from Kingston to Edmonds and from Southworth to West Seattle via Vashon Island, by the Tacoma Narrows Bridge from Point Fosdick to Tacoma, and to the northeastern shore of the main Olympic Peninsula by the Hood Canal Bridge.


Lushootseed (also: xʷəlšucid, dxʷləšúcid, Puget Salish, Puget Sound Salish or Skagit-Nisqually) is the language or dialect continuum of several Salish Native American tribes of modern-day Washington state. Lushootseed is one of the Coast Salish languages. The latter is one of two main divisions of the Salishan language family.

North Pacific (sidewheeler)

North Pacific was an early steamboat operating in Puget Sound, on the Columbia River, and in British Columbia and Alaska. The vessel's nickname was "the White Schooner" which was not based on the vessel's rig, but rather on speed, as "to schoon" in nautical parlance originally meant to go fast.

Otter (sternwheeler)

Otter was a wooden sternwheel steamboat that was used in Puget Sound and briefly on the Columbia and Stikine rivers from 1874 to 1897.

Puget Sound Business Journal

The Puget Sound Business Journal (PSBJ) is a weekly American City Business Journals publication containing articles about business people, issues, and events in the greater Seattle, Washington area. The publication also publishes a technology news website named TechFlash.

In 2010, the newspaper was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize in Explanatory Reporting for a series of stories about the foreclosure crises and the federal shutdown of Seattle-based Washington Mutual, which remains the biggest bank failure in U.S. history. The stories were reported by staff writers Kirsten Grind and Jeanne Lang Jones, and edited by Managing Editor Alwyn Scott. Congressman Dave Reichert later honored the PSBJ alongside Pulitzer winners The Seattle Times during his remarks, praising the former's "inclusive and thorough" reporting as an "invaluable public service".

Puget Sound Energy

Puget Sound Energy (PSE) is a Washington state energy utility providing electrical power and natural gas primarily in the Puget Sound region of the northwest United States. The utility serves electricity to more than 1.1 million customers in Island, King, Kitsap, Kittitas, Pierce, Skagit, Thurston, and Whatcom counties; and provides natural gas to 750,000 customers in King, Kittitas, Lewis, Pierce, Snohomish and Thurston counties. The company has a 6,000-square-mile (16,000 km2) electric and natural gas service area.

Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility

Puget Sound Naval Shipyard and Intermediate Maintenance Facility (PSNS & IMF) is a United States Navy shipyard covering 179 acres (0.7 km²) on Puget Sound at Bremerton, Washington in uninterrupted use since its establishment in 1891; it has also been known as Navy Yard Puget Sound, Bremerton Navy Yard, and Puget Sound Naval Shipyard.

It is bordered on the south by Sinclair Inlet, on the west by the Bremerton Annex of Naval Base Kitsap, and on the north and east by the city of Bremerton, Washington. It is the Pacific Northwest's largest naval shore facility and one of Washington state's largest industrial installations. PSNS & IMF provides the Navy with maintenance, modernization, and technical and logistics support.

Puget Sound Navigation Company

The Puget Sound Navigation Company (PSNC) was founded by Charles E. Peabody in 1898. It operated a fleet of steamboats and ferries on Puget Sound in Washington and the Georgia Strait in British Columbia. Known colloquially as the Black Ball Line, the PSNC achieved a "virtual monopoly" on cross-sound traffic in the 1930s and competed with the Canadian Pacific Railway's steamships on several routes.

Puget Sound War

The Puget Sound War was an armed conflict that took place in the Puget Sound area of the state of Washington in 1855–56, between the United States military, local militias and members of the Native American tribes of the Nisqually, Muckleshoot, Puyallup, and Klickitat. Another component of the war, however, were raiders from the Haida and Tlingit who came into conflict with the United States Navy during contemporaneous raids on the native peoples of Puget Sound. Although limited in its magnitude, territorial impact and losses in terms of lives, the conflict is often remembered in connection to the 1856 Battle of Seattle and to the wrongful execution of a central figure of the war, Nisqually Chief Leschi. The contemporaneous Yakima War may have been responsible for some events of the Puget Sound War, such as the Battle of Seattle, and it is not clear that the people of the time made a strong distinction between the two conflicts.

Puget Sound mosquito fleet

The Puget Sound mosquito fleet was a large number of private transportation companies running smaller passenger and freight boats on Puget Sound and nearby waterways and rivers. This large group of steamers and sternwheelers plied the waters of Puget Sound, stopping at every waterfront dock. The historical period defining the beginning and end of the mosquito fleet is ambiguous, but the peak of activity occurred between the First and Second World Wars.

Puget Sound region

The Puget Sound region is a coastal area of the Pacific Northwest in the U.S. state of Washington, including Puget Sound, the Puget Sound lowlands, and the surrounding region roughly west of the Cascade Range and east of the Olympic Mountains. It is characterized by a complex array of saltwater bays, islands, and peninsulas carved out by prehistoric glaciers.

The Puget Sound region has been called "Ish River country", perhaps most famously by poet Robert Sund, owing to its numerous rivers with names ending in "ish", such as the Duwamish, Samish, Sammamish, Skokomish, Skykomish, Snohomish, and the Stillaguamish. The ish ending is from Salishan languages and means "people of".

Rosalie (steamship)

The steamboat Rosalie operated from 1893 to 1918 as part of the Puget Sound Mosquito Fleet, also operating out of Victoria, B.C. In 1898, Rosalie went north with many other Puget Sound steamboats to join the Klondike Gold Rush.

SS Asbury Park

Asbury Park was a high-speed coastal steamer built in Philadelphia, and intended to transport well-to-do persons from New York to summer homes on the New Jersey shore. This vessel was sold to West Coast interests in 1918, and later converted to an automobile ferry, serving on various routes San Francisco Bay, Puget Sound and British Columbia. This vessel was known by a number of other names, including City of Sacramento, Kahloke, Langdale Queen, and Lady Grace.

Seattle Saracens

The Seattle Saracens (formerly Seattle RFC and Old Puget Sound Beach after a merger) is a rugby union club based in Seattle. The club travels throughout the US and into Canada. In 2014 the club was ranked as the number one US club while also playing in a Canadian league based in British Columbia (BCRU). Old Puget Sound Beach was a charter member of the now defunct USA Super League in the Pacific Coast USA Rugby territory.

Skagit Valley

The Skagit Valley lies in the northwestern corner of the state of Washington, United States. Its defining feature is the Skagit River, which snakes through local communities which include the seat of Skagit County, Mount Vernon, as well as Sedro-Woolley, Concrete, Lyman-Hamilton, and Burlington.

The local newspaper is Skagit Valley Herald, published in Mount Vernon, Washington.

Between 1967 and 1983, there was a plan by Puget Sound Power and Light Co. to build two nuclear power plants in Skagit Valley, but due to controversy, these plans were shelved.

University of Puget Sound

The University of Puget Sound (commonly referred to as UPS or simply Puget Sound) is a private liberal arts college in Tacoma, Washington. Puget Sound offers Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Science, Bachelor of Music, Master of Arts in Teaching, Master of Education, Master of Occupational Therapy, and Doctor of Physical Therapy degrees. The college draws approximately 2,600 students from 44 states and 16 countries. It offers 1,200 courses each year in more than 50 traditional and interdisciplinary areas of study.Founded by what is now the United Methodist Church, Puget Sound is governed today by an independent board of trustees. The college maintains a relationship and affiliation with the United Methodist Church based on shared history and values held in common, including the importance of access to a high-quality education, academic freedom, social justice, environmental stewardship, and global focus.

Puget Sound
Glacial Lakes

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