How Does Puget Sound? What Does Salish Sea?

Retired Western Washington University professor Bert Webber has initiated an effort to rename the Puget Sound, Strait of Georgia and Strait of Juan de Fuca under one name – the Salish Sea.

On May 15th 2009 the Washington Board on Geographical Names decided to consider doing just that. Webber also reports that an application to the province of British Columbia is also under review.

Both the Washington State board and the BC government are interested in receiving comments on this proposal. I received a note from Bert Webber (who included in his submission to the Washington Board on Geographical  Names a copy of a paper I wrote in 2007 on this topic along with my colleague Tony Hodge) encouraging me to submit a comment to:

Caleb Maki
Washington Board on Geographical  Names
1111 Washington St SE
PO Box 47030
Olympia Wa 98504-7030

Janet Mason,
British Columbia Geographic Names Office
Integrated Land Management Bureau
Ministry of Agriculture and Lands
PO Box 9355 Stn Prov Govt
Victoria BC V8W9M2

Questions of interest to the Board/province include:

  • Is the name useful?
  • Is the name currently used?
  • Is the name chosen appropriate for its intended use?

Bert Webber can be contacted at


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