The Salish Sea is the name given to the inland waters ecosystem that flows in from the Pacific through the Straits of Juan de Fuca north to the top of the Strait of Georgia in British Columbia and south to the waters of Puget Sound. This giant estuary is impacted by everything that goes on in its watershed – everything that happens in the rural and urban areas west of the Cascade and Coastal ranges and everything east of the high points of Vancouver Island and the Olympic Mountains. Its care is entrusted to two countries – Canada and the US. Its health impacts the lives of all who live near it and everything thing that lives in it.
In 1989, Western Washington University professor Bert Webber suggested the name to promote the view of the entire ecosystem as a whole, but his request was denied. The first residents of the area, Coast Salish people after whom the sea was named, forged the path by adopting the name in 2008. The Washington State, U.S., and Canadian boards of geographic names followed in 2009. The Salish Sea was official!
SALISH SEA FACTS
- Coastline length including islands: 4,642 miles; 7,470 km
- Total number of islands: 419 with a combined total land area of 1,413 square miles, 3,660 sq km
- Sea surface area: 6,535 sq miles, 16,925 sq km
- Human population: Approximately 8 million
- Numbers of species:
- Mammals: 38
- Birds: 172
- Fish: 253
- Reptiles: 2
- Macro-invertebrates: more than 3,000
Information about the Salish Sea is from
The Salish Sea, Jewel of the Pacific Northwest, Audrey DeLella Benedict, Cloud Ridge Naturalists and Joseph K. Gaydos, SeaDoc Society ©2015 Cloud Ridge Publishing
Go to http://www.seadocsociety.org/ for more information.