Wednesday, July 30, 2014

See what Eyes Over Puget Sound saw on July 28

By Sandy Howard, communication manager, Environmental Assessment Program
Sediment-rich water from the glacier-fed Skagit River
On this month’s opening slide at right, you’re seeing a patchy mosaic of sediment-rich water from the glacier-fed Skagit River against the backdrop of lovely Mount Baker on July 28.

A highlight of this flight was a dramatic algae eddy we spotted at Sinclair Inlet off the Kitsap Peninsula – did you see our Tweet about that yesterday@ecologyWA?

If you missed it, our photo is on slide 28 of this month’s Eyes Over Puget Sound.

Warmer and sunnier days are making higher than normal river flows from the Skagit and Nisqually.

Biological activity in the water column is high – as marine scientist Christopher Krembs says, “Puget Sound is really cooking.”

We’re seeing lots of organic surface debris in Hood Canal, Padilla Bay, and many Inlets.

We’ve got red-brown blooms in South Sound, Discovery Bay, and regions of Bellingham Bay. There are different blooms in Skagit Bay, Padilla Bay, and Sinclair Inlet. Jelly fish are numerous in all southernmost South Sound Bays. Hood Canal remains cold but Puget Sound-wide temperatures are now warmer and less salty.

Data from the Victoria Clipper and our sampling in the Strait provides important information on water exchange with the ocean.

Eyes Over Puget Sound combines high-resolution photo observations with satellite images, en route ferry data between Seattle and Victoria BC, and measurements from our moored instruments.

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