Oxygen for life: How low dissolved oxygen affects species in Puget Sound
Scientists are reporting a decline in oxygen-rich waters throughout the world, often to the detriment of local species. Causes for the decline vary from place to place but may involve climate change and increasing discharges of tainted water. In Puget Sound, low oxygen levels can occur naturally or due to eutrophication from human-caused pollution. In this three-part overview, we describe the critical nature of oxygen to Puget Sound sea life. Scientists are finding that changes in oxygen levels can lead to physiological adjustments, shifts in predator-prey relationships and upheavals throughout the food web.
Warmer waters will mean less oxygen for species
In time, lower dissolved oxygen worsened by climate change could increase the abundance of rare species in Puget Sound while putting populations of more common species into a tailspin. Part three of our series "Oxygen for life" looks at how warmer waters will gradually make it harder for many sea creatures to breathe.
About the magazine
Welcome to Salish Sea Currents, an online magazine founded in 2014 featuring stories about the science of ecosystem recovery. We are published by the University of Washington Puget Sound Institute (PSI) with major funding from the Environmental Protection Agency. To be notified of new stories, subscribe to the PSI eNews list.
Read Salish Sea CurrentsWelcome to the 2020 edition of Salish Sea Currents magazine. This is the fourth issue of the magazine, and the first one dedicated to a single theme. All of the stories in this report address the impact of climate change on the Salish Sea ecosystem. Request a hard copy at email@example.com.
Themes from the 2022 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference
Stories exploring major research themes presented during the virtual 2022 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference.
Themes from the 2018 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference
Stories exploring major research themes presented during the 2018 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference in Seattle, WA.
Brief reports from the 2016 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference in Vancouver, BC. Complements the more in-depth stories in Themes from the 2016 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference.
Disease as an ecological force
A main story and two vignettes on impacts of disease in the ecosystem. Sponsored by U.S. EPA.
In the third series of Salish Sea Currents, we present a main story and two vignettes on impacts of disease in the ecosystem. [View printable PDF of this series]
Invasive species in Puget Sound
A main story and 3 vignettes on the sources, impacts, and regulation of non-native species entering local waters. Sponsored by U.S. EPA and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Nearly half of the invasive species in Puget Sound's marine waters have been found within the last 20 years. Among the most common pathways for invaders are ships and boats that may carry thousands of tiny hitchhikers. Our series looks at this growing threat and some of the species of top concern. To be notified of new Salish Sea Currents stories, subscribe to the Puget Sound Institute eNews.
Returning home: The Elwha's genetic legacy
Following dam removal, migratory salmon and other anadromous fish have been free to swim into the upper Elwha for the first time in 100 years. Their actual behaviors and reproductive success may well be driven by changes in their genetic makeup.
The orca docs: Can medical interventions help?
This three-part series explores opportunities and challenges of using medical interventions to save Puget Sound's southern resident orcas from extinction. Part 1 looks at how scientists might treat endangered southern resident orcas that face starvation and risks of disease; Part 2 considers how veterinarians have intervened with other animals in the wild, and how this might apply to orcas in Puget Sound; and Part 3 explores a federally approved vaccination program designed to ward of a deadly virus among endangered Hawaiian monk seals.
Themes from the 2016 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference
A series covering major science themes presented at SSEC16 in Vancouver, BC. Sponsored by U.S. EPA and the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference.
Stories exploring major research themes presented during the 2016 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference in Vancouver, BC. See also complementary reports in SSEC16 snapshots.
Booklet: 2016-17 special report for Puget Sound policymakers (PDF)
Rethinking shoreline armoring
An in-depth series on issues related to shoreline armoring in the Puget Sound region. Sponsored by U.S. EPA and Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Salish Sea Currents presents an in-depth series focusing on shoreline armoring in the Puget Sound region. Close to a third of Puget Sound's shoreline is classified as armored with bulkheads and other structures meant to hold back storm surge and erosion. But new studies reveal the often significant toll this is taking on the environment. To be notified of new Salish Sea Currents stories, subscribe to the Puget Sound Institute eNews.
Themes from the 2014 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference
A 10-story series covering major science themes presented at SSEC14 in Seattle, WA. Sponsored by U.S. EPA and the Puget Sound Partnership.
In this first Salish Sea Currents series, we offer 10 stories exploring major research themes presented during the 2014 Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference.
2014 special report for Puget Sound policymakers (PDF)
New EPA-funded Implementation Strategies are designed to target Puget Sound recovery in the most direct and coordinated way ever conducted by state and federal agencies. We report on how these strategies will affect Puget Sound’s Vital Signs for years to come, and why you should care (a lot).