Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary is a fascinating and varied oceanographic environment:
- Powerful storms blow in from the North Pacific during the winter;
- cold, deep ocean waters come up through canyons in the continental shelf;
- fresh water from the Columbia River can sweep along the shelf and dominate the surface waters; and
- cool eddies swirl along the US/Canadian border.
The sanctuary is the ocean, so ocean conditions are of paramount importance to everything going on
in the sanctuary, whether it's a bloom of algae, an oil spill, a reduction of the crab population,
or even how cold the water is for swimmers. For some basic information on sanctuary oceanography,
check out our Ocean Environment page.
Oceanographer Patrick A'Hearn deploys a research mooring from RV Tatoosh.
The sanctuary conducts and encourages research on a number of oceanographic topics of concern to
both the sanctuary and our resource partners. We all have individual research programs, but we try
to work collaboratively to leverage and supplement large-scale projects with numerous partners and
agencies such as various branches of NOAA, the four coastal treaty tribes,
universities, state government and non-governmental organizations.
Our research focuses on the following topics:
Here is a map of our oceanographic mooring sites.
Map of Washington State oceanographic buoys
for brief, annual summaries of oceanography projects.
Contact for page content: Kathy Hough