The Salish Sea Model (SSM) is a predictive coastal ocean model for estuarine research, restoration planning, water-quality management, and climate change response assessment. In addition to assessments of impacts from watershed runoff and wastewater discharges, the SSM is currently being utilized for the analysis of Salish Sea response to sea level rise, climate change, and propagation of global ocean acidification into the inner estuarine environment.
Researchers from various state and federal agencies engaged in efforts related to ecosystem management and restoration of the Salish Sea are assessing issues such as population growth, increasing nutrient loads, watershed runoff and pollution, and shoreline development that require hydrodynamic and water quality information. To address these needs, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, in collaboration with Washington State Department of Ecology, developed the SSM.
The PNNL modeling team conducts numerous applications of the model on behalf of our collaborating partners to assist with nearshore habitat restoration planning and design, analysis in support of re-establishment of fish migration pathways, and assessment of basin-wide water quality impacts.