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Home > Missions > Civil Works > Programs and Projects > Projects > Puget Sound Nearshore Ecosystem Restoration

Project Overview

Puget Sound defines much of the Pacific Northwest region. The health and robustness of the local economy and local residents can be traced to the Sound. Until recently, there has been little scientific information on the marine nearshore, the shallow fringe where sunlight can reach the floor, essential for the lives of many marine plants and creatures.

In 2001, a convergence of factors turned a common vision of a major nearshore project into a reality: tribal, federal, local and state governments, along with private sector and nonprofit organizations began to work together by combining their talents and funds; the Endangered Species Act listing of salmon and eight other species in the nearshore added urgency; technology became available for monitoring, conducting remote sensing and working with historic data; and groups with common interests created a coalition-building atmosphere.

The result was the Puget Sound Nearshore Ecosystem Restoration Project, a cooperative effort among government organizations, tribes, industries and environmental organizations to preserve and restore the health of the Sound's nearshore.

The official Puget Sound Nearshore Ecosystem Restoration Project Web site is the best place for current events and information.  Please visit

PSNERP Change Analysis Geodatabases

The Puget Sound Nearshore Partnership, lead by Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, provides to the public the data developed for the Puget Sound Nearshore General Investigation (GI) their investigation with the corresponding FGDC compliant metadata.  These data are presented for computational efficiencies with currently available micro-computer technology.  Data are organized by seven Puget Sound hydrographic/oceanographic sub-basins and Sound-wide. The team provides the data with the expectation that ecosystem restoration planners and scientists will find it useful for their analysis.  The Puget Sound Nearshore GI, and its corresponding products including these datasets, was developed for planning Puget Sound ecosystem restoration and no other purpose. 


Frequently Asked Questions

1.) What and where is the Puget Sound Nearshore?

Answer: The Puget Sound nearshore is defined as the area of United States marine and estuarine shoreline extending approximately 2,500 miles from the Canadian border, throughout Puget Sound, Hood Canal and the Straits of Juan de Fuca. It generally extends from the top of shoreline bluffs to the depth offshore where light penetrating the Sound's water falls below a level supporting plant growth, and upstream in estuaries to the head of tidal influence. It includes bluffs, beaches, mudflats, kelp and eelgrass beds, salt marshes, gravel spits and estuaries.