Tatoosh Island, Washington

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This article is about Tatoosh Island. For other uses, see Tatoosh.
Tatoosh
Tatoosh Island-flickr-1796635990.jpg
The island from the air.
Geography
Location Makah Reservation, Clallam County, Washington, United States
Coordinates 48°23′31″N 124°44′06″W / 48.392°N 124.735°W / 48.392; -124.735Coordinates: 48°23′31″N 124°44′06″W / 48.392°N 124.735°W / 48.392; -124.735
 United States
State Washington
County Clallam County
Tatoosh Island
TatooshLighthouse.jpg
Cape Flattery Light from offshore
Location Olympic Peninsula, Washington
Built 1857
Architect US Coast Guard
Architectural style No Style Listed
Governing body COAST GUARD
NRHP Reference # 72001267 [1]
Added to NRHP March 16, 1972

Tatoosh Island is a small island and small group of islands about 0.5 miles (0.8 km) offshore (northwest) of Cape Flattery, which is on the northwestern tip of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington. Tatoosh is the largest of a small group of islands also often referred to as simply "Tatoosh Island", which are almost as far west as Cape Alava, about 15 miles (24 km) to the south and the westernmost point in the contiguous 48 states. The islands are part of the Makah Reservation and a part of Clallam County. The total land area of the island group is 159,807 square meters (39.489 acres).

Historically, Tatoosh Island was inhabited seasonally by Makah fishing camps and employees of the United States Coast Guard, Weather Bureau, and Navy. Currently there is no resident population on the islands. Access to the island requires written permission of the Makah tribe. The island's name comes from a Makah chief known as Tatoosh[2] (also Tatooche or Tetacus).

Tatoosh Island has been home to Cape Flattery Light, which overlooks the entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, since December 28, 1857.[3]

Ecology[edit]

Because of its isolation, climate, and location in the productive northeastern Pacific Ocean, Tatoosh Island is home to many nesting seabirds, several marine mammals, and a diverse community of marine plants and animals. Beginning in 1967, Professor Robert T. Paine of the University of Washington and his colleagues have undertaken detailed studies of marine ecology on the island. Consequently it is now one of the most intensively studied field sites in the world.

Cape Flattery Lightstation, circa 1943 - 1953

The research has revealed how species are linked to each other through a network of species interactions, and how environmental changes and species extinction are transmitted through the food web. Key ecological concepts explored by this research include keystone species, control by consumers and natural disturbances on ecosystem structure and spatial patterning, species interaction strength, body size-dependent population dynamics, and impacts of environmental changes such as ocean acidification and El Niño events on complex ecosystems.

Climate[edit]

Climate data for Tatoosh, Washington
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 64
(18)
64
(18)
67
(19)
75
(24)
81
(27)
82
(28)
80
(27)
78
(26)
80
(27)
77
(25)
68
(20)
61
(16)
82
(28)
Average high °F (°C) 45.3
(7.4)
46.8
(8.2)
48.0
(8.9)
51.5
(10.8)
55.0
(12.8)
57.7
(14.3)
59.5
(15.3)
59.8
(15.4)
59.1
(15.1)
55.8
(13.2)
50.7
(10.4)
47.5
(8.6)
53.1
(11.7)
Daily mean °F (°C) 42.0
(5.6)
43.2
(6.2)
44.1
(6.7)
47.3
(8.5)
50.8
(10.4)
53.7
(12.1)
55.5
(13.1)
55.8
(13.2)
54.7
(12.6)
51.9
(11.1)
47.2
(8.4)
44.2
(6.8)
49.2
(9.56)
Average low °F (°C) 38.7
(3.7)
39.6
(4.2)
40.2
(4.6)
43.2
(6.2)
46.7
(8.2)
49.8
(9.9)
51.5
(10.8)
51.8
(11)
50.3
(10.2)
48.0
(8.9)
43.6
(6.4)
40.9
(4.9)
45.4
(7.4)
Record low °F (°C) 14
(−10)
20
(−7)
25
(−4)
33
(1)
37
(3)
43
(6)
45
(7)
45
(7)
43
(6)
33
(1)
19
(−7)
14
(−10)
14
(−10)
Precipitation inches (mm) 10.58
(268.7)
8.91
(226.3)
8.12
(206.2)
5.28
(134.1)
2.96
(75.2)
2.71
(68.8)
2.29
(58.2)
2.06
(52.3)
3.49
(88.6)
8.34
(211.8)
10.69
(271.5)
12.15
(308.6)
77.55
(1,969.8)
Snowfall inches (cm) 3.5
(8.9)
1.6
(4.1)
1.7
(4.3)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.4
(1)
1.6
(4.1)
8.8
(22.4)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 22 19 20 17 13 13 11 12 11 17 21 24 199
Source: WRCC (normals 1931–1966)[4]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23. 
  2. ^ Elyea, Winifred. 1929. "History of Tatoosh Island" Washington Historical Quarterly, 1929, Vol. 20, No. 3, p. 223-227, Washington University State Historical Society, retrieved 9 April 2013 
  3. ^ Cape Flattery Light on Tatoosh Island begins operating on December 28, 1857, HistoryLink.org
  4. ^ "General Climate Summary Tables". Western Regional Climate Center. Retrieved November 25, 2012. 

References[edit]

External links[edit]