Unified Interior Regions

Washington

Washington's Puget Sound is a complex ecosystem directly adjacent to a robust metropolitan area that scientists from the USGS Western Fisheries Research Center study. Recent surveys have looked at juvenile surf smelt, a key link in the food web that are consumed by predators such as salmon, orca, and many marine birds. 

Western Fisheries Research Center

Western Fisheries Research Center

Research at the WFRC focuses on the environmental factors responsible for the creation, maintenance, and regulation of fish populations including their interactions in aquatic communities and ecosystems. 

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Washington Water Science Center

Washington Water Science Center

The Water Science Center's mission is to collect, analyze and disseminate the impartial hydrologic data and information needed to wisely manage water resources for the people of the United States and the State of Washington.

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States L2 Landing Page Tabs

Filter Total Items: 270
Date published: June 12, 2018
Status: Active

Columbia River Research Laboratory (CRRL)

The Columbia River Research Laboratory (CRRL), the Center's largest field station, carries out research throughout the U.S. portion of the Columbia River's drainage basin in 5 western states.

Date published: June 12, 2018
Status: Active

Marrowstone Marine Field Station (MMFS)

Within the Northwest Region of the USGS the Marrowstone Marine Field Station (MMFS) represents the exclusive marine/seawater-based research facility. 

Date published: June 12, 2018
Status: Active

Headquarters, Seattle Laboratory (HSL)

The Center's Seattle Headquarters and Seattle Laboratory are located at Sand Point near Lake Washington, from which the lab draws water for its wet lab.

Date published: June 8, 2018
Status: Active

Seattle Area, Washington

Contacts: Rex Baum, The National Weather Service and the City of Seattle, Washington
Date published: May 31, 2018
Status: Active

Webinar: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Seasonally Assisted Migration through Fish Rescue Programs

View this webinar to learn how scientists are evaluating the effectiveness of fish rescue programs in the Pacific Northwest. 

Contacts: Jonathan Armstrong, Brittany Beebe
Date published: May 15, 2018
Status: Completed

Landslides Can Cause More Landslides

Release Date: MAY 15, 2018

The deadliest individual landslides in the U.S. recently were in places where there had previously been a landslide. Why do landslides happen in the same place instead of on nearby slopes that appear to be just as likely, if not more likely, to slide?

Date published: May 10, 2018
Status: Active

Land Treatment Exploration Tool

The Land Treatment ExplorationTool provides a practical resource for managers who are planning restoration and rehabilitation actions on public lands. The tool generates a variety of spatial products while being user friendly for all levels of GIS expertise, even to those with little or no experience.

Date published: May 1, 2018
Status: Active

Bird Banding Laboratory

The Bird Banding Laboratory (BBL) is an integrated scientific program established in 1920 supporting the collection, archiving, management and dissemination of information from banded and marked birds in North America.  This information is used to monitor the status and trends of resident and migratory bird populations. Because birds are good indicators of the health of the environment, the...

Date published: April 17, 2018
Status: Active

Sumas River Sediment Load

The Issue: A large, clay-rich active landslide on the western flank of Sumas Mountain in Whatcom County, Washington, is a significant source of sediment to Swift Creek and the salmon-bearing Sumas River. The landslide contains naturally occurring serpentinite that weathers to chrysotile asbestos and elevated levels of metals. The asbestos load in water as well as deposits along the banks and...

Date published: April 16, 2018
Status: Active

Geomorphology & Sediment Transport

Geomorphology is the study of the formation and evolution of landforms on Earth's surface. In the Pacific Northwest, volcanoes, tectonic movement, glaciers, rain, snow, wind, vegetation, animals, and people all shape the landscape at different scales of time and space. Of particular interest in the region is the form and processes of rivers, a branch of the science termed fluvial geomorphology...

Date published: April 2, 2018
Status: Active

USGS Tacoma Seminar Series

Our lunchtime "brownbag" seminars are held Tuesdays from 12pm to 1 pm unless otherwise noted. The science lectures are held at the USGS Washington Water Science Center at 934 Broadway, Suite 300, Tacoma, WA. The presentations are informal and are open to the public. Please, bring your lunch.

Date published: March 20, 2018
Status: Active

Tsunamis

The 2004 Indian Ocean, 2010 Chilean, and 2011 Tohoku disasters have shown how tsunamis are significant threats to coastal communities. To help U.S. coastal communities prepare for future tsunamis, the Hazards Vulnerability Team completed projects related to population exposure and sensitivity, pedestrian...

Filter Total Items: 180
Date published: January 1, 2017

Digital elevation models (DEMs) of the Elwha River delta, Washington, April 2014

This part of the data release presents a digital elevation model (DEM) derived from bathymetry and topography data of the Elwha River delta collected in April 2014. Two dams on the Elwha River, Washington State, USA trapped over 20 million m3 of sediment, reducing downstream sediment fluxes and contributing to erosion of the river's coastal delta. The removal of the Elwha and Glines C

Date published: January 1, 2017

Digital seafloor images and sediment grain size from the mouth of the Columbia River, Oregon and Washington, 2014

This dataset includes 2,523 still images extracted from geo-referenced digital video imagery of the seafloor at the mouth of the Columbia River, OR and WA, USA, along with grain size analysis of the surface sediment. Underwater digital video was collected in September 2014 in the mouth of the Columbia River, USA, as part of the U.S. Geological Survey Coastal and Marine Geology Program

Date published: January 1, 2017

Vegetation habitat units derived from 2011 aerial imagery and field data for the Elwha River estuary, Washington

Estuary vegetation cover delineated from 3 September 2011* 0.3-meter-resolution aerial imagery (Microsoft/Digital Globe) at a scale of 1:1500.
*Image date of 3-Sep corrected in metadata. During product generation the imagery date was believed to be 8-25-2011, as reported by DigitalGlobe reseller.

Date published: January 1, 2017

Sediment deposition in the Elwha River estuary, Washington, measured on rod surface elevation tables (RSETs) from 2011 to 2014

This portion of the data release presents sediment deposition in the estuary as measured using rod surface elevation tables (RSETs) at fifteen locations throughout the Elwha River estuary, Washington, from August 2011 to June 2014 (no associated USGS Field Activities numbers because data were collected predominantly by biologists from the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe). The locations of t

Date published: January 1, 2017

Nearshore bathymetry data from the Elwha River delta, Washington, May 2012, collected from personal watercraft

This part of the data release presents bathymetry data from the Elwha River delta collected in May 2012 using two personal watercraft (PWCs). The PWCs were equipped with single-beam echosounders and survey-grade global navigation satellite system (GNSS) receivers.

Date published: January 1, 2017

Nearshore bathymetry data from the Elwha River delta, Washington, March 2013, collected from personal watercraft

This part of the data release presents bathymetry data from the Elwha River delta collected in March 2013 using two personal watercraft (PWCs). The PWCs were equipped with single-beam echosounders and survey-grade global navigation satellite system (GNSS) receivers.

Date published: January 1, 2017

Topography data from the Elwha River delta, Washington, August 2011

This part of the data release presents topography data from the Elwha River delta collected in August 2011. Topography data were collected on foot with global navigation satellite system (GNSS) receivers mounted on backpacks.

Date published: January 1, 2017

Surface-sediment grain-size distributions from the Elwha River delta, Washington, August 2012

This portion of the data release presents sediment grain-size data from samples collected on the Elwha River delta, Washington, in August 2012 (USGS Field Activity W-05-12-PS). Surface sediment was sampled using a small ponar, or 'grab', sampler between August 28 and August 30, 2012 from the R/V Frontier at a total of 57 locations in water depths between about 1 and 9 m around

Date published: January 1, 2017

Oceanographic time-series measurements from the mouth of the Columbia River, Oregon and Washington, 2013

Time-series data of water surface elevation, wave height, and water column currents, temperature, salinity, and acoustic seabed images were acquired for 38 days between 9 May and 15 June, 2013 in the mouth of the Columbia River, Oregon and Washington.

Date published: January 1, 2017

Riparian vegetation abundance (percent cover) in the Elwha River estuary, Washington, in 2007 and 2014

This portion of the data release presents riparian plant species abundance (percent cover) data from plots sampled in the Elwha River estuary, Washington, in 2007 and 2014. In August 2007, we established 21 vegetation plots within the study area in a stratified random fashion, with three to five plots in five of the vegetation cover types denoted in the habitat classification maps:

Date published: January 1, 2017

Aquatic invertebrate abundance in the Elwha River estuary, Washington, in 2007 and 2013

This portion of the data release presents aquatic invertebrate abundance data from samples collected in the Elwha River estuary, Washington, in 2007 and 2013 (no associated USGS Field Activities numbers because data were collected predominantly by biologists from the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe). Replicate benthic samples were collected at 18 locations throughout the estuary complex using a

Date published: January 1, 2017

Water column acoustic backscatter data from the mouth of the Columbia River, Oregon and Washington, 2013

Spatial surveys of water column acoustic backscatter were performed between May 28 and June 2, 2013, in the mouth of the Columbia River, Oregon and Washington. These data were collected using a Biosonics DTX single-beam echosounder with 430 kHz transducer.

Filter Total Items: 733
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Year Published: 2012

Evaluation of stream flow effects on smolt survival in the Yakima River basin, Washington

Study Summary The influence of stream flow on salmon smolt emigration survival is a topic of widespread management interest. We collected smolt survival data to inform flow management decisions in the Yakima Basin. The Yakima River watershed drains the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountain Range in central Washington State. The upper basin is...

Courter; Garrison; Kock, Tobias J.; Perry, Russell W.

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Year Published: 2012

River turbidity and sediment loads during dam removal

Dam decommissioning has become an important means for removing unsafe or obsolete dams and for restoring natural fluvial processes, including discharge regimes, sediment transport, and ecosystem connectivity [Doyle et al., 2003]. The largest dam-removal project in history began in September 2011 on the Elwha River of Washington State (Figure 1a)....

Warrick, Jonathan A.; Duda, Jeffrey J.; Magirl, Christopher S.; Curran, Chris A.
River turbidity and sediment loads during dam removal; 2012; Article; Journal; Eos; Warrick, Jonathan A.; Duda, Jeffrey J.; Magirl, Christopher S.; Curran, Chris A.

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Year Published: 2012

Assessing fish predation on migrating juvenile steelhead and a retrospective comparison to steelhead survival through the Priest Rapids Hydroelectric Project, Columbia River, Washington, 2009-11

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) have been working with the Public Utility District No. 2 of Grant County, Washington (Grant PUD), to increase their understanding of predator-prey interactions in the Priest Rapids Hydroelectric Project (PRP), Columbia River, Washington. For this study, the...

Hardiman, Jill M.; Counihan, Timothy D.; Burgess, Dave S.; Simmons, Katrina E.; Holmberg, Glen S.; Rogala, Josh; Polacek, Rochelle

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Year Published: 2012

Assessing native and introduced fish predation on migrating juvenile salmon in Priest Rapids and Wanapum Reservoirs, Columbia River, Washington, 2009--11

Hydroelectric development on the mainstem Columbia River has created a series of impoundments that promote the production of native and non-native piscivores. Reducing the effects of fish predation on migrating juvenile salmonids has been a major component of mitigating the effects of hydroelectric development in the Columbia River basin....

Counihan, Timothy D.; Hardiman, Jill M.; Burgess, Dave S.; Simmons, Katrina E.; Holmberg, Glen S.; Rogala, Josh A.; Polacek, Rochelle R.
Assessing native and introduced fish predation on migrating juvenile salmon in Priest Rapids and Wanapum Reservoirs, Columbia River, Washington, 2009--11; 2012; OFR; 2012-1130; Counihan, Timothy D.; Hardiman, Jill M.; Burgess, Dave S.; Simmons, Katrina E.; Holmberg, Glen S.; Rogala, Josh A.; Polacek, Rochelle R.

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Year Published: 2012

Temporal genetic monitoring of hybridization between native westslope cutthroat trout and introduced rainbow trout in the Stehekin River, Washington

Introgressive hybridization with introduced rainbow trout (RBT) (Oncorhynchus mykiss) has led to the loss of native cutthroat trout species (O. clarkii) throughout their range, creating conservation concerns. Monitoring temporal hybridization trends provides resource managers with a tool for determining population status and information for...

Ostberg, Carl O.; Chase, Dorothy M.

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Year Published: 2012

A multi-year analysis of spillway survival for juvenile salmonids as a function of spill bay operations at McNary Dam, Washington and Oregon, 2004-09

We analyzed 6 years (2004-09) of passage and survival data collected at McNary Dam to examine how spill bay operations affect survival of juvenile salmonids passing through the spillway at McNary Dam. We also examined the relations between spill bay operations and survival through the juvenile fish bypass in an attempt to determine if survival...

Adams, Noah S.; Hansel, Hal C.; Perry, Russell W.; Evans, Scott D.
A multi-year analysis of spillway survival for juvenile salmonids as a function of spill bay operations at McNary Dam, Washington and Oregon, 2004-09; 2012; OFR; 2012-1125; Adams, Noah S.; Hansel, Hal C.; Perry, Russell W.; Evans, Scott D.

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Year Published: 2012

A Markov chain analysis of the movements of juvenile salmonids in the forebay of McNary Dam, Washington and Oregon, 2006-09

Passage and survival data for yearling and subyearling Chinook salmon and juvenile steelhead were collected at McNary Dam between 2006 and 2009. These data have provided critical information for resource managers to implement structural and operational changes designed to improve the survival of juvenile salmonids as they migrate past the dam....

Adams, Noah S.; Hatton, Tyson W.
A Markov chain analysis of the movements of juvenile salmonids in the forebay of McNary Dam, Washington and Oregon, 2006-09; 2012; OFR; 2012-1119; Adams, Noah S.; Hatton, Tyson W.

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Year Published: 2012

A Markov chain analysis of the movements of juvenile salmonids, including sockeye salmon, in the forebay of McNary Dam, Washington and Oregon, 2006-09

Passage and survival data were collected at McNary Dam between 2006 and 2009. These data have provided critical information for resource managers to implement structural and operational changes designed to improve the survival of juvenile salmonids as they migrate past the dam. Much of the valuable information collected at McNary Dam was in the...

Adams, Noah S.; Hatton, Tyson W.
A Markov chain analysis of the movements of juvenile salmonids, including sockeye salmon, in the forebay of McNary Dam, Washington and Oregon, 2006-09; 2012; OFR; 2012-1120; Adams, Noah S.; Hatton, Tyson W.

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Year Published: 2012

Monitoring of stream restoration habitat on the main stem of the Methow River, Washington, during the pre-treatment phase (October 2008-May 2012) with a progress report for activities from March 2011 to November 2011

Introduction The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) received a request from the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) to provide monitoring and an evaluation of the effectiveness of habitat actions that Reclamation plans to implement in the Upper Columbia River basin, which includes the Methow River. This monitoring and evaluation program is to partially...

Tibbits, Wesley T.; Martens, Kyle D.; Connolly, Patrick J.

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Year Published: 2012

An annotated bibliography for lamprey habitat in the White Salmon River, Washington

The October 2011 decommissioning of Condit Dam on the White Salmon River at river kilometer (rkm) 5.3 removed a significant fish passage barrier from the White Salmon River basin for the first time in nearly a century. This affords an opportunity to regain a potentially important drainage basin for Pacific lamprey (Entosphenus tridentatus)...

Allen, M. Brady
An annotated bibliography for lamprey habitat in the White Salmon River, Washington; 2012; OFR; 2012-1086; Allen, M. Brady

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Year Published: 2012

Behavior and passage of juvenile salmonids during the evaluation of a behavioral guidance structure at Cowlitz Falls Dam, Washington, 2011

Executive Summary A radiotelemetry evaluation was conducted during April–October 2011 to describe movement patterns, forebay behavior, and passage of juvenile steelhead, coho salmon, and Chinook salmon at Cowlitz Falls Dam, Washington. The primary focus of the study was to describe fish behavior near a behavioral guidance structure (BGS) and...

Kock, Tobias J.; Liedtke, Theresa L.; Ekstrom, Brian K.; Tomka, Ryan G.; Rondorf, Dennis W.
Behavior and passage of juvenile salmonids during the evaluation of a behavioral guidance structure at Cowlitz Falls Dam, Washington, 2011; 2012; OFR; 2012-1030; Kock, Tobias J.; Liedtke, Theresa L.; Ekstrom, Brian K.; Tomka, Ryan G.; Rondorf, Dennis W.

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Year Published: 2012

A riverscape perspective of Pacific salmonids and aquatic habitats prior to large-scale dam removal in the Elwha River, Washington, USA

 Dam removal has been increasingly proposed as a river restoration technique. In 2011, two large hydroelectric dams will be removed from Washington State’s Elwha River. Ten anadromous fish populations are expected to recolonise historical habitats after dam removal. A key to understanding watershed recolonisation is the collection of...

Brenkman, S.J.; Duda, J.J.; Torgersen, C.E.; Welty, E.; Pess, G.R.; Peters, R.; McHenry, M.L.

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April 12, 2017

Using a Continuous Flow Centrifuge to Collect Suspended Sediment

Kathy Conn, a U.S. Geological Survey Water Quality Specialist, demonstrates a new USGS field method using a continuous flow centrifuge to collect suspended sediment from large volumes of water in the Duwamish River near Seattle Washington.
 

Aerial image of an oil tanker
April 7, 2017

Aerial image of an oil tanker in Prince William Sound, Alaska

Aerial image of an oil tanker in Prince William Sound, Alaska.

March 24, 2017

H1 East Transect – March 2017

Permanent Site: H1 East Transect; Depth: 5.9 Meters (19.5 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 2.4 Kilometers (1.5 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 6 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.1479177,-123.53472865; Site Description: This is a shallow site and one of the farthest removed from the effects of the sediment plume outside of the control sites. Substrate remains mainly

Scientist standing in streamgaging platform hanging over a river.
March 23, 2017

Measuring the Colville River at Kettle Falls, WA

USGS Hydrologic Technician Kim Cesal measuring 3170 cfs at 12409000 Colville River at Kettle Falls, WA. This measurement is the highest made at the gaging site. The gage has been in operation since October 1922. The gage was installed to monitor flows from Meyer Falls Dam and Power Generation.

February 22, 2017

H1 East Transect – February 2017

Permanent Site: H1 East Transect; Depth: 5.8 Meters (19.1 Feet); Distance from river mouth: 2.4 Kilometers (1.5 Miles) east; Pre/Post Dam Removal: 6 years post-dam removal; Lat/Long: 48.1479177,-123.53472865; Site Description: This is a shallow site and one of the farthest removed from the effects of the sediment plume outside of the control sites. Substrate remains mainly

Clearing snow from solar panels
January 13, 2017

Clearing Snow from Solar Panels

Clearing snow from solar panels which provide power to an instream Passive Integrated Transponder tag detection system in the Wind River, WA. The system detects tagged juvenile and adult Steelhead for population assessment and migratory data.

Four photographs showing people in shallow ocean water, at the coast, on a beach, and in a grassy marsh collecting data.
December 31, 2016

Equipment used during surveys in Columbia River littoral cell

Photographs showing equipment used during bathymetric and topographic surveys along the Columbia River littoral cell, Washington and Oregon.

Girls points to a location on a map laying on the ground.
December 31, 2016

GeoGirls learn about the eruption of Mount St. Helens

GeoGirls learn about how the May 18, 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens impacted the ecology of the area.

Group of students and scientists stand in semi circle with mountain in the background.
December 31, 2016

GeoGirls hike onto the Pumice Plain and learn about Mount St. Helens

GeoGirls hike onto the Pumice Plain to learn more about Mount St. Helens’ historical

eruptions.

Three girls sit on rocks and look at a computer screen.
December 31, 2016

Geogirls use computers in the field to track locations

Geogirls use computers in the field to track locations and annotate field photos.

4-photos of scientists doing field work on boats, and in or near the water
December 31, 2016

Scientists doing field work at Elwha River

Researchers survey Elwha River elevation and depths. Clockwise from upper left: setting up a traditional survey instrument above the river; measuring river depths from a kayak with sonar and GPS; walking the beach with GPS backpacks; and determining offshore depths using a personal watercraft with GPS and sonar.

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Image: Elevation Field Work at Bandon Marsh
August 14, 2015

The U.S. Geological Survey and Oregon State University released a report this week examining Pacific Northwest tidal wetland vulnerability to sea level rise. Scientists found that, while vulnerability varies from marsh to marsh, most wetlands would likely be resilient to rising sea levels over the next 50-70 years.

Seismogram from Station RER showing debris flows at Mount Rainier....
August 14, 2015

Some sediment from the debris flow was visible 8 miles downstream at the Highway 706 crossing.

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August 4, 2015

Seismic Water Guns Studied as a Deterrent against the Invasion of Asian Carp in the Great Lakes

USGS
July 30, 2015

Twenty middle school girls from Washington and Oregon are participating in “GeoGirls,” an outdoor program jointly organized by the U.S. Geological Survey and the Mount St. Helens Institute.

USGS science for a changing world logo
July 30, 2015

RESTON, Va.— The U.S. Geological Survey has awarded approximately $4 million this week to four universities – California Institute of Technology, University of California, Berkeley, University of Washington and University of Oregon – to support transitioning the “ShakeAlert” earthquake early warning system toward a production stage.

USGS
July 27, 2015

One winter's night in the year 1700, a mysterious tsunami flooded fields and washed away houses in Japan. It arrived without the warning that a nearby earthquake usually provides.

Image: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Vessel Seen Through Bird Flock
July 16, 2015

The U.S. Geological Survey today released the North Pacific Pelagic Seabird Database — a massive online resource compiling the results of 40 years of surveys by biologists from the United States, Canada, Japan and Russia. The database documents the abundance and distribution of 160 seabird and 41 marine mammal species over a 10 million-square-mile region of the North Pacific.

Issue3.6June2015Thumb
July 6, 2015

Genetic Analysis Finds that Erythrocytic Necrosis Virus (ENV) of Pacific Herring is an Iridovirus That May be Closely Related to Erythrocytic Viruses of Reptiles

USGS
June 23, 2015

How do urbanization and agriculture affect the health of Puget Low­lands and Willamette Valley streams? Journalists are invited to meet up with U.S. Geological Survey field crews as they work to find answers by assessing aquatic life in 88 streams in 10 days.

Volcano erupting and spewing a huge cloud of rock and ash into the sky.
May 13, 2015

May is Volcano Preparedness Month in Washington state, providing residents an opportunity to become more familiar with volcanic risk in their communities and learn about steps they can take to reduce potential impacts. This year, Volcano Preparedness Month coincides with the 35th anniversary of the May 18, 1980 catastrophic eruption of Mount St. Helens.

USGS science for a changing world logo
May 1, 2015

SEATTLE, Wash. — More than 1,000 dams have been removed across the United States because of safety concerns, sediment buildup, inefficiency or having otherwise outlived usefulness. A paper published today in Science finds that rivers are resilient and respond relatively quickly after a dam is removed.

USGS
April 29, 2015

May 18th marks the 35th anniversary of the eruption of Mount St. Helens and the onset of volcanic activity from 1980 to 1986.  In commemoration, the U.S. Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory will open its doors to the news media and the public on Saturday, May 2, 2015, from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

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Western Fisheries Research Center

Western Fisheries Research Center

Research at the WFRC focuses on the environmental factors responsible for the creation, maintenance, and regulation of fish populations including their interactions in aquatic communities and ecosystems. 

Go to Center

Washington Water Science Center

Washington Water Science Center

The Water Science Center's mission is to collect, analyze and disseminate the impartial hydrologic data and information needed to wisely manage water resources for the people of the United States and the State of Washington.

Go to Center