Shared Water
Land & Sea
People On Puget Sound  
Puget Sound is home to 3.8 million people, two thirds of the state's population. By 2020, another 1.4 million people are expected to settle around the Sound. The population of Puget Sound is expected to grow 30% by the year 2010, putting tremendous pressure on shoreline development.

Population Pressure
On The Shoreline

  • Shoreline development in Thurston County alone has increased by 100% in 15 years. Between 1977 and 1992, 15 miles of habitat along the shoreline were degraded or removed.
  • Each mile of developed shoreline with bulkheads and docks means a loss of plants, fish, shellfish, and wildlife. Over 767 miles along Puget Sound have been altered or bulkheaded.

Thurston County Data Source: 1995 Puget Sound Research Proceedings, Shoreline Armoring Trends In Thurston County, Washington, J. Kettman.

Miles of Modified Shoreline
On Puget Sound
Puget Sound Basin
Miles Percent
Central Puget Sound 263 52
Hood Canal 78 33
Whidbey Island 107 36
San Juan Islands & Straits 163 21
South Puget Sound 156 34
Overall 767 33

Data Source: 1998 Puget Sound Update, Sixth Report of the Puget Sound Ambient Monitoring Program.

Related Topics

Bulkheads and Change, Bulkheads can change the beach.
Bulkheads, Bulkheads can increase erosion.
Docks and Boats, effects and stewardship.

Related Links

Puget Sound Nearshore Environments, Before and After Development, King County Department of Natural Resources. Two illustrations: Natural shore processes and the effects of development.

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Comments? E-mail: Shellyne Grisham