Watershed Introduction

This page answers the questions:

What is a watershed?

A watershed is a basin-shaped area that drains to a central point where it enters a river, lake or ocean. It can include groundwater, surface water, and salt water such as Puget Sound. Watersheds can encompass small areas draining to a stream or be much larger, such as the Green/Duwamish watershed, which contains many streams and basins but still drains to one point.

What does the Green/Duwamish and Central Puget Sound Watershed (WRIA 9) look like?

The Green/Duwamish and Central Puget Sound Watershed covers much of southern King County. View a map of the watershed. Click on the map to learn more about the different parts -- or subwatersheds -- of this large, diverse watershed.

How does our watershed support people?

A healthy Green/Duwamish and Central Puget Sound Watershed:

Oblique angle view showing a stylized watershed with boundaries along hill tops and a river running through it
Watersheds are also called Water Resource Inventory Areas (WRIAs). The Green/Duwamish and Central Puget Sound Watershed is also known as Water Resource Inventory Area 9 (WRIA 9).

Photo showing spawning salmon
Interested in the fascinating life history of salmon? Learn more about salmon

A healthy watershed provides valuable goods and services that meet the basic needs of people. The economic value of these goods and services is worth billions of dollars annually.

Who are the "Ancients of the Green"?

The "Ancients of the Green" are the salmon that begin and end their lives in our watershed. The popular "Ancients of the Green" poster shows these fish and describes their lives in our watershed.

The poster has two sides:

To receive a free copy of this poster, contact Linda Grob, 206-477-4704.

What is healthy watershed habitat for salmon?

Healthy habitat for salmon in freshwater streams, rivers, and lakes includes:

Young salmon also depend on the Puget Sound nearshore, where they rear after leaving freshwater streams. Healthy nearshore habitat includes:

How are we "Making Our Watershed Fit for a King "?

We want to make our watershed fit for a king -- a King salmon! -- and for all the people who live here.

Many people are working hard to make this happen. Much of this work is guided by the Salmon Habitat Plan, completed in 2005.

Learn more about the Salmon Habitat Plan:

Learn more about progress in implementing the Salmon Habitat Plan:

You too can join us in making our watershed a better place for both people and fish. Get involved by volunteering or taking steps in your daily life!