Puget Sound sediments and the invertebrates, known as benthos, that live within them are a vital component of the Puget Sound ecosystem. Our team of scientists collect data about the sediments and benthos. These data are used to evaluate environmental threats and to guide the state’s environmental policy decisions.
Sediment monitoring stations and sampling frames.
Our Marine Sediment Monitoring Team has studied Puget Sound sediments and benthos since 1989. To assess conditions in response to climate change, nutrient loading, and toxics-related pressures, the following questions are addressed:
To assess sediment and benthos quality, we sample 50 long-term stations throughout Puget Sound every April. Station locations are indicated by dots on the map to the right. Our Puget Sound sampling frame is highlighted in yellow and red.
We also sample 30 to 36 stations every June from one of six urban bays nested within the Puget Sound sampling frame. These bays are shown in red on the map. Each is sampled on a six-year rotation.
Data are collected on: enumeration, lowest taxonomic level identification, size class, biomass estimates, and ecological function. To learn more you can visit our web page on scientific descriptions of species: benthic invertebrates in Puget Sound.
Data are collected on: total carbon, total organic carbon, total inorganic carbon, total nitrogen, C:N ratio, total sulfides, biogenic silica, δ13C and δ15N stable isotopes.
Data are collected on: metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), and phthalates.
Data are collected on: temperature, salinity, station depth, and grain size.
Our sediment data can be downloaded from Ecology's Environmental Information Management system.
Our plan is a detailed summary of the program history, its goals and objectives, and all methods used.
These summarized findings include sediment quality and benthic community condition for regional, urban bay, and Puget Sound-wide studies conducted since 1989.
Scientific descriptions of the benthic invertebrates collected from Puget Sound can be found on these sheets.
Our fascinating monthly blogs are about Puget Sound sediments and benthic invertebrates.
Check out the photos of our benthic invertebrates collection.
We have a variety of videos that feature sediment sampling.