A healthy Sound also keeps the area's economic engine alive

Puget Sound is an outdoors economic powerhouse. According to state and federal studies:

• Commercial shellfishing, crabbing and shrimping bring in $59 million a year. Washington is the largest producer of farmed shellfish in the United States and it is a leading producer of naturally grown shellfish. Most commercial shellfish are harvested in Puget Sound.

• Puget Sound sport shellfishing brings in $19.2 million a year.

• Tourism in Puget Sound is a $5.2 billion-a-year industry that creates 68,000 jobs.

• There are 244 marinas with 39,400 slips in Puget Sound. There are 180,000 boats registered in Puget Sound and thousands more kayaks, smaller boats and canoes.

There are 331 launch sites for smaller boats. Washington boaters spend $464 million on boats, motors, trailers and accessories, and the state ranks 10th in spending on boating. Most of the state's boaters live on or near Puget Sound.

• Washington anglers spend $854 million a year, and most of them live in the Puget Sound region.

• Washington residents spend $980 million a year on wildlife watching, including birdwatching, whale watching and other activities.

• There are 10,000 active scuba divers in Washington, and the Hood Canal, San Juan

Islands and Puget Sound are popular spots. Hood Canal is a world-class diving destination - especially in winter, when the water is clearer. The average diver spends $150 a day for food, lodging, transportation and diving-related services.

Sources: State Department of Fish and Wildlife, state Department of Ecology and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service