Puget Sound just got a little bigger

A big week of changes for Puget Sound. An ambitious estuary restoration project has returned a section of the Nisqaully Delta that was diked off for farming to its original situation as part of Puget Sound. Which is itself now also officially part of the Salish Sea, (approved yesterday by the federal Board on Geographic Names) a name that delights many and gives a few heartburn, mostly in Pierce County.

Knute Berger says in Crosscut
“Perhaps Pierce County residents are especially touchy on the place-name subject because of the over-100-year-old controversy concerning the name Mt. Rainier. Pierce County has been a hotbed of activism to change the name to some variant of “Tacoma” or “Tahoma” but has been rebuffed numerous times. Mt. Rainier is still Rainier. Bitterness about the Names board may linger. But Pierce County can rest easy; the inland waters might be the Salish Sea, but Commencement Bay is still Commencement Bay.”

That last comment speaks to some of the folks who don’t support the addition of the name Salish Sea based on the idea that it changes names. The term is not replacing any names for bay, inlets, and sounds, it’s added to denote the entire inland waterway that runs from the north tip of Vancouver Island to the south end of Puget Sound. This waterway has never had an official name, now it does.

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