Tatoosh Island, Washington

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Tatoosh
Tatoosh Island-flickr-1796635990.jpg
Geography
LocationMakah Reservation, Clallam County, Washington, United States
Coordinates48°23′31″N 124°44′10″W / 48.39208°N 124.73618°W / 48.39208; -124.73618Coordinates: 48°23′31″N 124°44′10″W / 48.39208°N 124.73618°W / 48.39208; -124.73618
StateWashington
CountyClallam County
Additional information
Tatoosh Island
TatooshLighthouse.jpg
Cape Flattery Light from offshore
Tatoosh Island, Washington is located in Washington (state)
Tatoosh Island, Washington
LocationOff Cape Flattery, on Olympic Peninsula, Washington
Area17 acres (6.9 ha)
Built1857
ArchitectUS Coast Guard
NRHP reference #72001267[1]
Added to NRHPMarch 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 metres (1,720,150 square feet).

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]

The whole island was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972.[4]

Ecology[edit]

Cape Flattery Lightstation, circa 1943 - 1953
Tatoosh Island Amer0377.jpg

Because of its isolation, climate, and location in the ecologically 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.

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]

Tatoosh Island has an extremely moderated oceanic climate with very cool but quite long summers, and long, moderate and wet winters. This is due to its exposed location for maritime winds that temper both heat and cold extremes year round.

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
(9.6)
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)
Average 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)
Average 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)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 22 19 20 17 13 13 11 12 11 17 21 24 199
Source: WRCC (normals 1931–1966)[5]

References[edit]

  1. ^ National Park Service (2010-07-09). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
  2. ^ Elyea, Winifred. 1929. "History of Tatoosh Island" Washington Historical Quarterly, 1929, Vol. 20, No. 3, p. 223-227, Washington University State Historical Society, archived from the original on 16 June 2013, retrieved 9 April 2013
  3. ^ Cape Flattery Light on Tatoosh Island begins operating on December 28, 1857, HistoryLink.org
  4. ^ "Nomination Form for Tatoosh Island". National Park Service. and accompanying pictures
  5. ^ "General Climate Summary Tables". Western Regional Climate Center. Retrieved November 25, 2012.

External links[edit]