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Science and Products
A Pacific Northwest icon, Puget Sound is the second-largest estuary in the United States. Its unique geology, climate, and nutrient-rich waters produce and sustain biologically productive coastal habitats. These same natural characteristics also contribute to a high quality of life that has led to growth in human population and urbanization. This growth has played a role in degrading the Sound...
Video cameras overlook the coast along a beach on Whidbey Island, Island County at the northern boundary of Puget Sound in western Washington.
The impacts of climate change and sea-level rise around the Pacific and Arctic Oceans can vary tremendously. Thus far the vast majority of national and international impact assessments and models of coastal climate change have focused on low-relief coastlines that are not near seismically active zones. Furthermore, the degree to which extreme waves and wind will add further stress to coastal...
Essential habitat for wild salmon and other wildlife borders river deltas and estuaries in the Pacific Northwest. These estuaries also support industry, agriculture, and a large human population that’s expected to double by the year 2060, but each could suffer from more severe river floods, higher sea level, and storm surges caused by climate change.
Juvenile Chinook salmon and forage fish use of eelgrass habitats in a diked and channelized Puget Sound River Delta
Eelgrass Zostera marina can form extensive meadows on Puget Sound river deltas. The extent to which these meadows provide critical rearing habitat for local estuarine fishes, especially out‐migrating juvenile salmon, is not well understood. Further, delta eelgrass has been impacted by diking and river channelization with unknown...Rubin, Stephen P.; Hayes, Michael C.; Grossman, Eric E.
Comparing automated classification and digitization approaches to detect change in eelgrass bed extent during restoration of a large river delta
Native eelgrass (Zostera marina) is an important contributor to ecosystem services that supplies cover for juvenile fish, supports a variety of invertebrate prey resources for fish and waterbirds, provides substrate for herring roe consumed by numerous fish and birds, helps stabilize sediment, and sequesters organic carbon. Seagrasses are in...Davenport, Anna Elizabeth; Davis, Jerry D.; Woo, Isa; Grossman, Eric; Barham, Jesse B.; Ellings, Christopher S.; Takekawa, John Y.
Suspended-sediment loads in the lower Stillaguamish River, Snohomish County, Washington, 2014–15
Continuous records of discharge and turbidity at a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) streamgage in the lower Stillaguamish River were paired with discrete measurements of suspended-sediment concentration (SSC) in order to estimate suspended-sediment loads over the water years 2014 and 2015. First, relations between turbidity and SSC were developed and...Anderson, Scott A.; Curran, Christopher A.; Grossman, Eric E.
2010-2015 Juvenile fish ecology in the Nisqually River Delta and Nisqually Reach Aquatic Reserve
The return of tidal inundation to over 750 acres of the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge (NNWR) in fall of 2009 was the crowning moment in the effort to protect and restore the Nisqually Delta. The Nisqually NWR project complemented three earlier restoration projects completed by the Nisqually...Hodgson, Sayre; Ellings, Christopher S.; Rubin, Steve P.; Hayes, Michael C.; Duval, Walker; Grossman, Eric E.
Sediment load and distribution in the lower Skagit River, Skagit County, Washington
The Skagit River delivers about 40 percent of all fluvial sediment that enters Puget Sound, influencing flood hazards in the Skagit lowlands, critically important estuarine habitat in the delta, and some of the most diverse and productive agriculture in western Washington. A total of 175 measurements of suspended-sediment load, made routinely from...Curran, Christopher A.; Grossman, Eric E.; Mastin, Mark C.; Huffman, Raegan L.
Assessing tidal marsh vulnerability to sea-level rise in the Skagit Delta
Historical aerial photographs, from 1937 to the present, show Skagit Delta tidal marshes prograding into Skagit Bay for most of the record, but the progradation rates have been steadily declining and the marshes have begun to erode in recent decades despite the large suspended sediment load provided by the Skagit River. In an area of the delta...Hood, W. Gregory; Grossman, Eric E.; Curt Veldhuisen
Suspended sediment delivery to Puget Sound from the lower Nisqually River, western Washington, July 2010–November 2011
On average, the Nisqually River delivers about 100,000 metric tons per year (t/yr) of suspended sediment to Puget Sound, western Washington, a small proportion of the estimated 1,200,000 metric tons (t) of sediment reported to flow in the upper Nisqually River that drains the glaciated, recurrently active Mount Rainier stratovolcano. Most of the...Curran, Christopher A.; Grossman, Eric E.; Magirl, Christopher S.; Foreman, James R.
Changes in habitat availability for outmigrating juvenile salmon (Oncorhychus spp.) following estuary restoration
The restoration of the Nisqually River Delta (Washington, U.S.A.) represents one of the largest efforts toward reestablishing the ecosystem function and resilience of modified habitat in the Puget Sound, particularly for anadromous salmonid species. The opportunity for outmigrating salmon to access and benefit from the expansion of available tidal...Ellings, Christopher S.; Davis, Melanie; Grossman, Eric E.; Hodgson, Sayre; Turner, Kelley L.; Woo PR, Isa; Nakai, Glynnis; Takekawa, Jean E.; Takekawa, John Y.
Impacts of Climate Change on Regulated Streamflow, Hydrologic Extremes, Hydropower Production, and Sediment Discharge in the Skagit River Basin
Previous studies have shown that the impacts of climate change on the hydrologic response of the Skagit River are likely to be substantial under natural (i.e. unregulated) conditions. To assess the combined effects of changing natural flow and dam operations that determine impacts to regulated flow, a new integrated daily-time-step reservoir...Lee, Se-Yeun; Hamlet, Alan F.; Grossman, Eric E.
Combined effects of projected sea level rise, storm surge, and peak river flows on water levels in the Skagit Floodplain
Current understanding of the combined effects of sea level rise (SLR), storm surge, and changes in river flooding on near-coastal environments is very limited. This project uses a suite of numerical models to examine the combined effects of projected future climate change on flooding in the Skagit floodplain and estuary. Statistically and...Hamman, Josheph J; Hamlet, Alan F.; Fuller, Roger; Grossman, Eric E.
The Swinomish Indian Tribal Community prepares for climate change impacts
From changes in traditional foods to concerns of displacement from rising seas, this coastal community in the Pacific Northwest is assessing potential impacts to make decisions for their future.Grossman, Eric E.; Donatuto, Jamie; Grossman, Sarah; Campbell, Larry W.
Mount Baker lahars and debris flows, ancient, modern, and future
The Middle Fork Nooksack River drains the southwestern slopes of the active Mount Baker stratovolcano in northwest Washington State. The river enters Bellingham Bay at a growing delta 98 km to the west. Various types of debris flows have descended the river, generated by volcano collapse or eruption (lahars), glacial outburst floods, and moraine...Tucker, David S; Scott, Kevin M.; Grossman, Eric E.; Linneman, Scott