Puget Soundkeeper


Chris Rilling
[email protected]
(206) 297-7002

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.

With over 30 years of experience in marine ecosystems management, Chris has devoted his career to preserving our nation’s natural resources on land and at sea.  Chris’ passion for clean water issues began early in his career as both a captain and crew member on commercial fishing vessels in Alaska.  His sailboat, Tokitae II, is named after the orca calf who was taken from Puget Sound in 1970 and currently lives in the Miami Seaquarium.  Chris has a B.S. in Marine Biology from Humboldt State University and M.S. Degree in Marine Science from the University of Maryland.


130 Nickerson
Seattle, Washington 98108