Eyes over Puget Sound
Once a month, we take to the air and travel by boat to obtain high-resolution aerial photo observations and gather water data at our monitoring stations and via state ferry transects. This provides us a visual picture of the health of Puget Sound, which we call Eyes Over Puget Sound or EOPS.
Eyes Over Puget Sound empowers you to:
- See what is currently happening in Puget Sound.
- See how weather and climate are shaping Puget Sound water quality.
- Use Eyes Over Puget Sound as free educational material for your own endeavors.
Large-scale influences on Puget Sound, climate and streams
What we saw in our marine water data
- By March, regional impacts of large-scale climate patterns returned to normal conditions.
- Air temperatures, precipitation, and coastal downwelling were below normal.
- April brought abundant rain and rivers responded with higher flows.
- The current snowpack is healthy, hopefully leading to normal streamflows through summer as the snow melts.
What we saw on our flight over Puget Sound
- After large anomalies in temperature and salinities in the previous years, Puget Sound water conditions in 2018 are mostly as expected.
- Hood Canal is the exception to the above statement. Anomalies in Hood Canal persisted longer and shifted in March to a pattern of lower temperatures and higher oxygen, which is beneficial to the aquatic food web.
We are out there sampling sediments right now! You may see our team on the water.
- Sediment plumes carried in from rivers and field drainage ditches were visible in many places.
- In this edition, you can see the strong red-brown bloom in Sinclair Inlet, a bright-brown bloom in Padilla Bay (Joe Leary Slough), and a bright green bloom in Bellingham Bay. All the blooms make it colorful in the Sound!
How do we do it?
Our marine scientists fly and boat to 37 remote marine monitoring stations once a month. Join us as Eyes Over Puget Sound takes you into the air with photos, commentary, and water quality data.
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All editions of Eyes Over Puget Sound are available through the Marine Waters publication index.