A Human and Natural History of Puget Sound
- PUBLISHED: April 2021
- SUBJECT LISTING: Pacific Northwest / History, Nature and Environment, History / Western History
- BIBLIOGRAPHIC INFORMATION: 256 Pages, 6 x 9 in, 8 maps, 38 b&w illus.
- ISBN: 9780295748603
Not far from Seattle skyscrapers live 150-year-old clams, more than 250 species of fish, and underwater kelp forests as complex as any terrestrial ecosystem. For millennia, vibrant Coast Salish communities have lived beside these waters dense with nutrient-rich foods, with cultures intertwined through exchanges across the waterways. Transformed by settlement and resource extraction, Puget Sound and its future health now depend on a better understanding of the region’s ecological complexities.
Focusing on the area south of Port Townsend and between the Cascade and Olympic mountains, Williams uncovers human and natural histories in, on, and around the Sound. In conversations with archaeologists, biologists, and tribal authorities, Williams traces how generations of humans have interacted with such species as geoducks, salmon, orcas, rockfish, and herring. He sheds light on how warfare shaped development and how people have moved across this maritime highway, in canoes, the mosquito fleet, and today’s ferry system. The book also takes an unflinching look at how the Sound’s ecosystems have suffered from human behavior, including pollution, habitat destruction, and the effects of climate change.
Witty, graceful, and deeply informed, Homewaters weaves history and science into a fascinating and hopeful narrative, one that will introduce newcomers to the astonishing life that inhabits the Sound and offers longtime residents new insight into and appreciation of the waters they call home.
Authors & Contributors
David B. Williams is a naturalist, author, and educator. His many books include the award-winning Too High and Too Steep: Reshaping Seattle’s Topography and Seattle Walks: Discovering History and Nature in the City.
In this storied blend of cultural and natural history, we find not only a new understanding of the past but a pathway to the relationships and reciprocity that are essential for every dimension of Puget Sound’s future.- Lyanda Lynn Haupt, author of Mozart’s Starling
Williams’s thorough research is presented in a beautiful narrative that is not only entertaining but informative and will transform our understanding of the region.- Joseph K. Gaydos, coauthor of The Salish Sea: Jewel of the Pacific Northwest