In the fall of 2009 and winter of 2010 the Washington State Board on Geographic Names, the Province of British Columbia Geographic Names Office, the U.S. Board on Geographic Names and the Geographical Names Board of Canada each approved the name 'Salish Sea' as an official designation for the inland marine waters of Washington and British Columbia.
The SALISH SEA extends from the north end of the Strait of Georgia and Desolation Sound to the south end of the Puget Sound and west to the mouth of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, including the inland marine waters of southern British Columbia, Canada and northern Washington, USA. These separately named bodies of water form a single estuarine ecosystem. Formally adopted by British Columbia and Washington State in 2009, 'The Salish Sea' as a name for these waters has been embraced by citizens on both sides of the border for years including the Coast Salish Gathering (the alliance of Coast Salish Tribal and First Nations leaders).
The Salish Sea is connected to the Pacific Ocean primarily via the Strait of Juan de Fuca (with relatively slight tidal influence from the north around Vancouver Island and through Johnstone Strait) and is contained by Vancouver Island and the Olympic Peninsula. In addition to the Gulf and San Juan Islands the watershed contains the lower Fraser River Delta and the Puget Lowlands as well as the Hood Canal, the Tacoma Narrows and Deception Pass.
Over 7 million people live within the drainage basin of the Salish Sea (sometimes referred to as the "Georgia Basin - Puget Sound" watershed), including the cities of Vancouver, Seattle, Victoria, Olympia, Nanaimo, Bellingham, Everett, Port Angeles, Port Townsend and Tacoma.
With over 6,560 square miles of waterways and over 2,880 miles of coastline, comprising 419 islands and an unlimited choice of anchorages, marine parks, hikes, towns, shops, wineries and restaurants, the Salish Sea is a boater's paradise rich in natural beauty and wildlife. Home to 3 pods of Orca Whales, 37 types of mammal, 172 species of bird and 247 species of fish, the protected water of the Salish Sea are one of the world's top cruising destinations.
Salish Yacht Services brings this wonderful area within reach to aspiring and current boat owners by providing the cruising skills, know-how and confidence to safely cruise these waters year-round.