Puget Sound is a complex marine estuary where nutrient-rich salt water meets and mixes with fresh water flowing from 10,000 rivers and streams that flow into the Sound from the surrounding Cascade and Olympic mountains. Carved by glacial action over thousands of years, its deep, cold, tidal waters and warmer, shallow estuaries are home to an abundance of marine, plant and animal life. Covering more that 16,000 square miles of land and water – from the rocky shores of the San Juan Islands to the mudflats of the South Sound inlets – Puget Sound is also habitat for over 4 million humans. In the 150 years since Europeans settled what would become Washington State, we have cut down 90% of Puget Sound’s forests, diked and dammed many of the region’s rivers, poured tons of wastes into the bays and estuaries, and fished several species to the point of extinction. Yet Puget Sound, with over 2500 miles of shoreline, remains one of the most beautiful and unique ecosystems in the United States.
Chris Wilke brings his experience in forming coalitions, pollution prevention, development and fundraising along with his boating experience and paddling expertise. A native of the Puget Sound region, Chris has a passion for the environment and all things aquatic. As a child he learned to swim in the cold waters of Hood Canal and dug clams in the rich waters of Sequim Bay. He was certified in SCUBA off Alki Point and later met one of our giant lingcod up close off Edmonds, which was when he learned to swim backward. Whether it’s his knowledge of salmon issues, his experience working on marine mammal research projects with NOAA, or his enthusiasm for our diverse population of intertidal creatures, Chris is steeped in the science behind the Puget Sound story. When not working to protect and preserve Puget Sound with PSA, Chris can often be found on the water, sailing his sailboat “Blue Heron” or fly fishing Puget Sound’s rivers, lakes and saltwater beaches. Chris has extensive project management experience in the private sector, a certificate in Fundraising Management from the University of Washington and a background in music and liberal arts studies at Cornish College.
Seattle, Washington 98108