Nearshore Habitat Program
Greater Puget Sound 's nearshore environment is a rich, complex, and important part of the ecosystem. Nearshore habitats are critical to populations of biologic and economic value, including shellfish, salmon, groundfish, seabirds, and marine mammals. They are also popular places for people to work and play. The purpose of DNR's Nearshore Habitat Program is to support management decisions through providing information on status and trends in these important areas. Major projects include:
Monitoring projects assess how habitat quantity and quality are changing over time due to human and natural influences. We have three long term monitoring projects:
- Eelgrass Monitoring — Z. marina abundance and distribution throughout Greater Puget Sound.
- Kelp Monitoring — The areal extent of bull kelp and giant kelp canopies along the outer coast and the Straits of Juan de Fuca.
- Biotic Community Monitoring — Intertidal plants and animals in South and Central Puget Sound.
DNR's Nearshore Habitat Program is one component of a multi-agency research effort called the Puget Sound Assessment and Monitoring Program (PSAMP). The PSAMP is a long-term monitoring program that investigates environmental trends, improves decision-making, and prevents duplication in monitoring efforts. Under the authority of the Puget Sound Partnership and the Puget Sound Conservation and Recovery Plan, a series of government agencies monitor portions of the Puget Sound ecosystem as part of the PSAMP.
- Washington State Department of Ecology (sediment, marine water and fresh water);
- Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife (fish contaminants, fish abundance and marine birds and mammals);
- Washington State Department of Health (shellfish);
- Washington State Department of Natural Resources (nearshore habitat);
- US Environmental Protection Agency;
- US Fish and Wildlife Service (bird contaminants);
- National Marine Fisheries Service (fish health);
- King County Department of Natural Resources (marine water, sediment and shellfish).
Nearshore Habitat Program research encompasses a wide range of projects in Washington State marine waters. Our mandate, as part of PSAMP, is to track the health of nearshore habitat. Our goal is to provide timely and useful information on the status of nearshore habitat. Nearshore Habitat Program distributes its digital data for free. Our research includes:
Geographical data is available on our GIS Data Download site. Data sets are listed in the Aquatics table.
Federal Civil Rights
In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, DNR does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. However, should a person wish to file a discrimination complaint, please write to:
Office of Civil Rights
Room 326-W, Whitten Building
1400 Independence Avenue SW
Washington D.C. 20250-9410
or call 202.720.5964 (voice and TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.