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San Juan Islands and Beyond
Puget Sound is an arm of the Pacific Ocean, connected to the rest of the Pacific by the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It is located in the United States’ Pacific Northwest, mostly in Washington. Though the Puget Sound is a salt water estuary, it is fed by seasonal freshwater from the Olympic and Cascade Mountain watersheds.
Perhaps the best-known aspect of this region is the San Juan Islands. These make up over 450 islands at high tide. In addition to their emerald-green beauty, the islands are known for their sea kayaking and orca-watching. Most of the smaller, uninhabited islands, including Sucia, Clark, and Matia Islands, make up the San Juan Islands National Wildlife Refuge.
Located just south of the San Juan Islands is Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve. Ebey’s Landing provides a historical record of Pacific Northwest history.
Additionally, Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge lies on the Nisqually River Delta. This refuge provides habitat and nesting areas for migratory waterfowl, songbirds, raptors, and wading birds. More than that, the refuge includes a protected estuary, saltmarshes and open mudflats.
Photographers shoot the the Puget Sound year round. During the spring and fall, low lying marine clouds offer to dramatic landscapes. Though the smaller of the islands must be reached by private boat or sea kayak, they are worth the effort. They offer rugged wind-and-wave sculpted shorelines.