To comprehensively map the Garry oaks of the Puget Sound to benefit nature and humanity.

The Sound Oaks Initiative brings together Garry oak (Quercus garryana) mapping data to further improve our understanding of Garry oak ecosystems in the Puget Trough Ecoregion. Garry oak ecosystems are important to study, especially after being identified by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife as a habitat that is critically imperiled and at risk of extinction.

Using cutting-edge GIS science in the digital cloud, interactive maps are available in an easy to use map viewer to encourage stakeholder access and conservation collaboration. The mapping data generated by this project has already proven to have multiple uses and beneficiaries.

The Initiative is supported by the members and donors of the Oak Harbor Garry Oak Society, a conservation nonprofit based on Whidbey Island that focuses exclusively on Garry oak outreach, education, and preservation.

Phase 1  |  Whidbey Island

In Progress – We have identified the locations of Garry oak habitat on Whidbey Island to be included in the first phase of the project. The North Sound Subregion is a critical conservation priority because the region contains only small, fragmented pockets of intact habitat.

Future phases will include Garry oak habitat in Skagit, San Juan, Jefferson, Clallam, and Whatcom counties – the only counties with significant remaining Garry oak populations in the North Sound. Passive collection of data from other subregions will be accepted for inclusion.


These data definitions are sourced from the Washington Department of Natural Resources, the Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team, and the Oak Harbor Garry Oak Society. In some cases, the definitions have been modified from the original to better fit the scope and scale of this research initiative.

  1. Chappell, C.B., M.S. Gee, and B. Stephens. A Geographic Information System Map Of Existing Grasslands And Oak Woodlands In The Puget Lowland And Willamette Valley Ecoregions, Washington. 2008. Washington Natural Heritage Program, Washington State Department of Natural Resources. Olympia, W.A.
  2. Restoring British Columbia’s Garry Oak Ecosystems: Principles and Practices. 2011. Garry Oak Ecosystems Recovery Team (GOERT). Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
  3. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. 2008. Priority Habitat and Species List. Olympia, Washington. Pp. 260-261
  4. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. 2015. Washington’s State Wildlife Action Plan: 2015 Update. Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Olympia, Washington, USA. Pp. 4-95 – 4-96

Using citizen science, the Sound Oaks Initiative is mapping Garry oak habitat throughout the Puget Sound region. The Initiative maps the boundaries of several distinct oak habitat types, and conducts inventories of individual Garry oak trees. Check back often as we continue to build our maps!


This important citizen science research is supported financially by the members and donors of the Oak Harbor Garry Oak Society. Your donation to the Society will allow the Initiative to continue mapping and monitoring Garry oaks in the Puget Sound.