A Common Understanding: Puget Sound is BIG and so are the problems facing its conservation, protection and recovery. In order to better understand the scope of the issues facing recovery and the efforts that are being implemented, a comprehensive holistic view of the habitat is essential. EarthViews is a data mapping company that creates environmental technology to build virtual maps of critical aquatic and terrestrial environments. EarthViews is on a mission to work with others to create a Puget Sound virtual map of shoreline habitat conditions by using EarthViews’ customized 360 virtual reality cameras and online mapping technology to scan the Puget Sound shore making it easily accessed from a desktop, mobile or virtual device.
Puget Sound is a critical economic engine for North America. It is the second largest estuary in the United States. The boundaries of the basin include dozens of state parks, eight national parks, wildlife refuges, forests and other critical public lands. It is the largest oyster producer in North America and contributes to a wide variety of seafood products. Puget Sound is also home to some of the largest ports and military bases in the nation.
Puget Sound’s beauty and economic activity make the waterway a focal point of the region, however the ecosystem decline is a serious concern that is often overlooked. Approximately 70 percent of the Puget Sound’s original estuaries and wetlands have disappeared due to urban and agricultural development, and dangerous contamination has closed swimming beaches and shellfish beds. Fish and marine life struggle to survive in oxygen-starved dead zones in the South Sound and Hood Canal. Keystone species like salmon and orcas are listed as endangered or threatened.
Where the waters of Puget Sound meet the land is a primary source for the decline of Puget Sound health. Here shoreline modification and source and non-source point pollution take a toll on functioning habitat. Washington’s Shoreline Management Act requires plans from stakeholders to protect the habitat. Well managed shorelines are critical for orcas, salmon, eelgrass and forage fish, that need clean water.
HELP CREATE A PUGET SOUND VIRTUAL MAP
What Your Helping Create
Contact us at Earthviews.com/contact if you would like to help create a publicly available, 360 degree VR tour of the 1300 miles of Puget Sound shoreline. Your efforts to help map will result in the processing, publishing and hosting online of nearly 2 million photos stitched into over 350,000 panoramic images. As an Esri partner EarthViews will make the image map available online via customized interactive software accessible via EarthViews Atlas. To insure longevity of this first ever baseline virtual reality map of the entire Puget Sound shore a copy of all the panoramic images will be archived with the Washington State Historical Society. You will be creating history and an online place for everyone to explore:
- Puget Sound shores.
- See the progress of conservation.
- Access data.
- Collect data
- Learn about history and habitat, and engage and collaborate as advocates for Puget Sound.
Follow the mapping adventure and progress at the EarthViews Blog
Example of EarthView along Puget Sound Shore.