What do the following facts have in common?
- The coastline around Puget Sound is 1,332 miles long—2500 if you extend to its islands and straits. It would take about 18 days to walk it if it were passable (or legal) everywhere.
- Up to half of all the freshwater flowing into Puget Sound comes from the Skagit River.
- The rougheye rockfish in Puget Sound can live to be 205 years old.
- The giant Pacific octopus can weigh up to 600 pounds.
- The Puget Sound region is expected to grow by as many as 2 million people over the next 25 years.
These are just a few highlights from a recent collaboration with the Puget Sound Partnership and the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound. For the past couple of months, we have been working with a team of researchers and writers to put together what might be described as a “fact book” for Puget Sound communicators and policymakers. Ever wonder how big Puget Sound is by volume (168 km3)? Or how many state “species of concern” live in the watershed (90)? We’re on it.
These facts offer key statistics: the who, what, where and when. But our goal is to provide a foundation for Puget Sound’s story. Figures like population growth, numbers of species or even the depth of Puget Sound are all plot points that help us understand how the ecosystem connects. Did you know that an estimated 2,800 creeks and rivers flow into Puget Sound? Now you do.
The hope isn’t just for more scintillating discussions at cocktail parties, although the weight of an octopus is a great opening line. It’s pretty simple. The more we know about Puget Sound, the more we can make good decisions to protect it. The naturalist Rachel Carson wrote, “The more clearly we can focus our attention on the wonders and realities of the universe about us, the less taste we shall have for destruction.” Stay tuned as we bring you some of those “wonders and realities.”