This summer, river flows were generally lower than in 2020. In August, high air temperatures and low precipitation continued, following a drought-emergency declaration in mid-July that also affected marine conditions. The higher-than-normal-salinity that persisted during summer in Puget Sound marine water, however, is eroding away, and lower-than-normal oxygen conditions developed in the Central Sound in the month of August.
Many blooms and organic material were reported by the public throughout summer, and in September many colorful blooms continued to be active in bays across the region. Patches of macro-algae and organic debris are still numerous in South and Central Sound and in Padilla Bay. Jellyfish are occurring in unusual places.
While we document water quality issues, we also showcase the natural beauty of Puget Sound through photography.