Salish Sea Record Holders: Biggest, Best & Oldest
The Salish Sea is an inland marine sea measuring some 17,000 sq km. It's the second largest estuary in the United States, following Chesapeake Bay.
Size aside, we have a unique geology, hydrology and biology. Nearby mountain ranges create highly variable local climate patterns and a diversity of habitat types and species. Thanks to a series of glacial events, the last one ending about 10,000 years ago, the Salish Sea is characterized by deep fjords and glacial sediments.
Temperate estuaries are generally among the biologically richest marine areas in the world (Kruckenberg, 1991). The Salish Sea is no exception.
We have some 3,000 species of marine invertebrates, making the area a favorite among divers. And we count among our local species some of the largest and oldest animals.