PUGET SOUND MARINE WATERS 2020 OVERVIEW
New Report: Automated buoys and volunteers helped gather critical Puget Sound data during pandemic
While the year 2020 presented many challenges due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was also a time of triumph over adversity. We acknowledge the efforts of those who were able to safely conduct field work and secure the data presented in this volume. In many cases, volunteer-based monitoring efforts and autonomous sampling instruments deployed in Salish Sea waters allowed us to maintain data collection, which otherwise would have been lost. This Overview edition is a tribute to the resilience of the people and institutions that support ongoing monitoring of the Salish Sea, including dozens of scientists from federal, tribal, state and local agencies, academia, nonprofits, and private and volunteer organizations.
Despite the unusual conditions affecting the human population, environmental conditions were less anomalous. There were few extreme weather or ecological events in 2020, but overall, conditions in Puget Sound were generally warmer, sunnier, and wetter than in typical years. The report further reveals patterns and trends in numerous environmental parameters, including plankton, water quality, climate, and marine life. The observations in this report collectively provide both a comprehensive long-term view and current assessment of the Puget Sound marine ecosystem. The Puget Sound Ecosystem Monitoring Program’s Marine Waters Work Group, which authored this report, has been reporting metrics related to Puget Sound recovery since 2011.