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 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.

Download a copy of the latest Eyes Over Puget Sound.

Latest observations

Large-scale influences on Puget Sound, climate, and streams

  • Air temperatures remained higher than normal in August.
  • Precipitation and river flows were below normal, extending the summer’s unusual conditions.

Temperature can determine if organisms thrive or survive 

  • Water temperatures were warmer in August — perhaps too warm in South Sound for coho, Chinook salmon and bull kelp.
  • South Sound warm-water temperatures could increase the risk of harmful algal bloom toxicity.
  • In contrast, Hood Canal, North Sound, and the San Juan Islands provided optimal growth temperatures for herring and salmon.

 What we saw on our flight over Puget Sound

  • Red-brown blooms were present in many terminal inlets of Puget Sound.
  • Jellyfish patches were in the South Sound finger inlets.
  • Remnants of drifting mats of macroalgae persist in various nearshore areas of Case Inlet (South Sound) and in Useless Bay (Southwest Whidbey Island).

Also in this edition

  • See how Ocean Research College Academy students are using our instruments and analyzing the data to learn how scientists conduct research.
  • What we see from the air can wash up on the beach.

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.