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Puget Sound

Clouds over Hood Canal
Fall 2017

Streaming views

Over 500 streams and rivers (and thousands of other inflows) enter Puget Sound. Here are four that you can view close-up as they make their way into the second largest estuary in the United States.

Clear Creek

Clear Creek in Kitsap County is a major stream system flowing into Dyes Inlet at Silverdale. It had, over years agricultural and then urban development, lost its floodplain, resulting in increased flooding, erosion of roads and trails, and degradation of salmon populations. The Clear Creek restoration project removed 1,500 feet of an existing road, replaced and upgraded two aging culverts, created 500 feet of new stream channel … » More …

Fall 2017

Shifting waters

On the south end of Puget Sound, where I lived for a number of years, water surrounds Olympia: Black Lake, Budd Bay, Capitol Lake, inlets, rivers, and creeks. It’s part of the picturesque scenery that I enjoyed daily, until I saw a half-submerged SUV at an intersection. The storms of 2007 flooded some streets, not to mention covering I-5 just south in Centralia. Water had become an unexpected hazard.

We can expect even more heavy storms and major floods, especially in the Midwest and Northeast, as the climate changes. Floods that were once seen every 20 years are projected to happen as much as … » More …

Fall 2017

Streaming solutions

High in the Cascade and Olympic Mountain snowfields, pristine rivulets trickle into brooks that descend through forest, farmland, and town. Streams merge into rivers and sweep through cities until finally breaking into Puget Sound and the marine waters of the Pacific.

There, in the southern arm of the Salish Sea, the waters mingle in a fertile estuary teeming with biodiversity.

“Looking out at the waters of Puget Sound, you see the sunset, the beautiful mountains, and people think, ‘Everything is good, we’ve got the orca.’ But we have invisible problems,” says Chrys Bertolotto, natural resource programs manager at the Washington State University Snohomish County … » More …

Yankee on Puget Sound
Spring 2014

A Yankee on Puget Sound

a yankee on puget sound

Karen L. Johnson ’78 and Dennis M. Larsen ’68
WSU Press, 2013

Pioneer Edward Jay Allen lived near Olympia when the Oregon Territory was split in two and federal politicians elected to name the new territory Washington, rejecting the local suggestion of Columbia. Allen helped survey a wagon road over Naches Pass, a backcountry route still in use by those who favor mud and adversity over miles per gallon and speed. Future Union general George B. McClellan shared a cabin with Allen one summer, leading to a fast friendship a decade before … » More …

Kayaking Puget Sound
Winter 2012

Kayaking Puget Sound and the San Juan Islands: 60 Paddle Trips Including the Gulf Islands

Kayaking Puget Sound

Rob Casey ’91

The Mountaineers Books

2012

Fellow obsessives can relate to owning a catalog or guidebook that is transformed from the occasional reference to a well-thumbed springboard for the imagination. The Sears catalog fit that bill for rural America a century ago, as did the REI catalog for so many pre-Internet Northwest adventurers.

Rob Casey ’91 had a similar feeling toward Randel Washburne’s classic Kayaking Puget Sound, the San Juans, and Gulf … » More …

Dunlap tugboat
Winter 2011

Jim Dunlap ’70—Tugs, tides, and time

Jim Dunlap ’70 says he learned the family business “from the mud up.”

Today one of several Dunlaps in the water transportation business runs a tugboat and freight company with ports in Everett and LaConner. But his first job working for his Uncle Gene’s towing business came in the 1960s when Jim was just a teen.

His task was to “dog” deadhead logs mired in the mud flats around Fidalgo Island. At low tide, young Jim would wade out and chain empty barrels to the logs. When the tide came in, the barrels would float to the surface and pull the logs loose. Then at … » More …