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Explore The Nearshore

If you've ever been on a hike next to a forested streamside, or spent the day splashing in a lake or at the beach, you'll agree that the Northwest has many beautiful places where the water meets the land.

The nearshore is one of those special places on the shoreline. It starts on the land, where the trees provide shade and homes for animals and insects, and extends out into the water. The area from the seafloor to the water's surface is called the photic zone. Here, underwater plants use sunlight to grow, providing food and shelter for other marine creatures. The depth of photic zone depends on the turbidity of the water. If the water is murky, the...

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Puget Sound by the Numbers

  • If you stretched out the Puget Sound nearshore into a straight line, the 2,500 miles would reach from Seattle to the Great Lakes.

  • With a basin surface area of 39,000 sq km, Puget Sound has freshwater inputs from 11 major rivers and 10,000 streams.

  • Puget Sound has at least 7,000 species of invertebrates, 230 fish species, and 70 species of seastars.

  • The deepest point in Puget Sound is 930 feet, just north of Seattle.

  • Within 100 miles of Seattle, there are around 2,000 miles of shoreline.- 800 miles of the shoreline (about 30%) has been modified by human development.

  • The Puget Sound has lost 73% of its saltwater marsh habitat since the 1800s.



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