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Puget Sound aquatic habitat remains healthy, data suggests

In this  2013 file photo, a pair of orca whales swim in view of a state ferry crossing from Bainbridge Island toward Seattle in the Puget Sound. (Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)
In this 2013 file photo, a pair of orca whales swim in view of a state ferry crossing from Bainbridge Island toward Seattle in the Puget Sound. (Elaine Thompson / Associated Press)
Associated Press

SEATTLE – Data suggests aquatic habitat in the Puget Sound remains healthy despite other measures of the sound’s health deteriorating.

The Seattle Times reported that a new analysis found that beds of eelgrass have changed very little in the past four decades, a good sign, as shrinking eelgrass beds has been linked to declines in salmon, herring and other marine creatures.

Aquatic life relies on eelgrass beds and other underwater meadows for food and sanctuary.

Over the past 40 years, eelgrass abundance has declined sharply in some parts of Puget Sound, while increasing in others.

Study co-author Phil Levin, of the University of Washington and The Nature Conservancy, says the stable eelgrass beds suggest that though things aren’t getting worse in the sound, they could be better.

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