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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

The Strait of Juan de Fuca (called Juan de Fuca Strait in Canada[1]) is a large body of water about 95 miles (153 km) long[2] forming the principal outlet for the Georgia Strait and Puget Sound, connecting both to the Pacific Ocean. It provides part of the international boundary between the United States and Canada.

It was named in 1787 by the English Captain Charles William Barkley for Juan de Fuca, the Greek navigator who sailed in a Spanish expedition in 1592 to seek the fabled Strait of Anián.[3] The strait was explored in detail between 1789 and 1791 by Manuel Quimper, José María Narváez, Juan Carrasco, Gonzalo López de Haro, and Francisco de Eliza.



The USGS defines the Strait of Juan de Fuca as a channel. It extends east from the Pacific Ocean between Vancouver Island, British Columbia, and the Olympic Peninsula, Washington, to Haro Strait, San Juan Channel, Rosario Strait, and Puget Sound. The Pacific Ocean boundary is formed by a line between Cape Flattery and Tatoosh Island, Washington, and Carmanah Point (Vancouver Island), British Columbia. Its northern boundary follows the shoreline of Vancouver Island to Gonzales Point, then follows a continuous line east to Seabird Point (Discovery Island), British Columbia, Cattle Point (San Juan Island), Washington, Iceberg Point (Lopez Island), Point Colville (Lopez Island), and then to Rosario Head (Fidalgo Island). The eastern boundary runs south from Rosario Head across Deception Pass to Whidbey Island, then along the western coast of Whidbey Island to Point Partridge, then across Admiralty Inlet to Point Wilson (Quimper Peninsula). The northern coast of the Olympic Peninsula forms the southern boundary of the strait.[2]

Sunset over the strait


Because it is exposed to the generally westerly winds and waves of the Pacific, seas and weather in Juan de Fuca Strait are, on average, rougher than in the more protected waters inland, thereby resulting in a number of small craft advisories.


An international vehicle ferry crosses the Strait from Port Angeles, Washington to Victoria, British Columbia several times each day, as do passenger ferries of the Washington State Ferry system, a seasonal private ferry connecting Port Angeles with Victoria and a private high-speed ferry between Victoria and Seattle.

Boundary dispute

This strait remains the subject of a maritime boundary dispute between British Columbia and the U.S. The governments of Canada and the United States have proposed a boundary based on equidistance principles, while British Columbia argues that the submarine Juan de Fuca Canyon is the appropriate "geomorphic and physiogeographic boundary."[4]

Counties and regional districts

Counties along the Strait of Juan de Fuca:

Regional districts along the Strait of Juan de Fuca:

See also


  1. ^ Juan de Fuca Strait in the BC Geographical Names Information System
  2. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographical Names Information System: Strait of Juan de Fuca
  3. ^ While U.S. Geological Survey Geographical Names Information System: Strait of Juan de Fuca says John Meares named the strait in 1788, most sources say it was Barkley in 1787, for example: Juan de Fuca Strait in the BC Geographical Names Information System; Existence of the Strait of Juan de Fuca confirmed by Captain Charles Barkley, Washington Secretary of State; Hayes, Derek (1999). Historical Atlas of the Pacific Northwest: Maps of exploration and Discovery. Sasquatch Books. pp. 16. ISBN 1-57061-215-3.   online at Google Books; and Pethick, Derek (1980). The Nootka Connection: Europe and the Northwest Coast 1790-1795. Vancouver: Douglas & McIntyre. pp. 24. ISBN 0-88894-279-6.  
  4. ^ See Fogarassy, Tony, The Alaska Boundary Dispute: History and International Law, Clark Wilson, LLP at 3, citing Office of the Premier, Province of British Columbia, Submission of the Province of British Columbia on West Coast Maritime Boundaries Between Canada and the United States (1977). See also, generally, The CIA World Factbook, 2006.

External links

Coordinates: 48°17′58″N 124°02′58″W / 48.29944°N 124.04944°W / 48.29944; -124.04944



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