Puget Sound, United States

An Orca jumps up out of the waters of Puget Sound with Washington's snow-capped mountains in the background.
An Orca jumps up out of the waters of Puget Sound with Washington's snow-capped mountains in the background.

5. Description

The Puget Sound is a kind of estuarine system situated on the northwest coast of Washington which is a small portion of Pacific Ocean and a part of the Salish Sea. This place is interconnected with many marine waterways and basins. It possesses one major or two minor connections, which have an opening in the Pacific Ocean and passes through the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It extends 160 kilometers from Deception Pass in the north to Olympia and the south of Washington. The word Puget Sound is not only used for the water body but also for the Puget Sound region, which includes cities like Tacoma, Olympia, Seattle, and Everett.

4. Historical Role

The area was explored by George Vancouver in the year 1792 and claimed as Peter Sound for Great Britain on June 4th, 1792, being named after one of his officer’s named Lieutenant Peter Puget. After the year 1818, both United States and Britain claimed the Oregon country until the Oregon Treaty in the year 1846. The Puget Sound remained a disputed land until the year 1846, and after this it officially became part of the U.S. territory. The first American traders settled in the town in the 19th Century, and the European settlement was first done at Fort Nisqually, which was a fur trade post. It was built by the Hudson’s Bay Company in the year 1833. The Agricultural Company was also established here, and the British ships like the Beaver used it to export foodstuffs. The first American settlement was located in Tumwater and in the year 1888 the Puget Sound was connected to the eastern states by the railroad line of the Northern Pacific.

3. Modern Significance

The area offers a great vacation to the tourists as one can enjoy island retreats, rich variety of vacation tour, holiday pursuits, which also include the city life, first class resorts, romantic country inns, cozy bed, breakfasts and much more. The tourists here also go for kayaking, boating activities, and hiking whilst on a Puget Sound holiday. The Sound also provides an island passage to the Alaska, a maritime playground is there for pleasure boats, and one can enjoy salmon catching, but this has been reduced in the recent years. Whale watching excursions are also popular there, and it constitutes a lucrative business in the San Juan Islands in the Upper Puget.

2. Habitat and Biodiversity

It has 3,000 species of the invertebrates, which mainly includes the oysters, sea urchins, sea stars, and octopuses. The fishes like salmon, herring, Pacific cod, and spiny dogfish can be found and the birds seen in this area are western sandpiper, bald eagle, and grebes. One can also see more than a million geoducks along the shore, and they can live up to 140 years and are said to be the longest-living animal in the world. The world’s largest sharks, namely the Primitive six-gill sharks, are also found in the deep waters.

1. Environmental Threats and Territorial Disputes

In the past years, there has been a recession in the species of fishes, which has seem many of them added to endangered species lists. The factors contributing to their losses are toxic contamination, a rise in the sea level due to global warming, a loss of beaches as they give way to storm surges, and eutrophication due to chemical runoffs.


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