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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.

Latest observations

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

  • It's summer! Air temperatures have been above normal while precipitation has been well below normal in July.
  • With mountain snowpack mostly gone, these conditions have resulted in river flows that are generally below normal levels.
  • Nearly all stream gages are reporting normal or below-normal flows.

Technology as a tool to explore habitat  

  • We tested an infrared camera on the flight, resulting in images of temperature patterns that the eye can’t see.
  • We documented surface water temperatures above 15° Celsius.
  • These warmer waters increase the risk of harmful algal blooms if toxin-producing species are present.
  • River deltas, tidal eddies, and ship wakes all reveal interesting temperature patterns.

 What we saw on our flight over Puget Sound

  • Algae blooms are causing intense red-brown colors in Bellingham and Samish Bays, as well as in East Sound, Marrowstone Island, Liberty Bay, and finger inlets in South Sound.
  • Macroalgae is drifting as mats on the water in South Sound and Central Sound, particularly in Carr Inlet, Commencement Bay, and Port Madison.

Also in this edition

  • Our Washington Conservation Corps intern shares her perspectives on Puget Sound.

Download a copy of the latest Eyes Over Puget 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.

Join our listserv

Subscribe to the Eyes Over Puget Sound listserv.

Archives

All editions of Eyes Over Puget Sound are available through the Marine Waters publication index.