What makes stormwater toxic?

A dying female coho salmon in the Lower Duwamish spotted by Puget Soundkeeper volunteers in October 2017. Photo: Kathy Peter

Stormwater may be Puget Sound’s most well-known pollutant, and at the same time its least known. While the state has called stormwater Puget Sound’s largest source of toxic contaminants, scientists are still having a tough time answering two basic questions about it: What is stormwater, exactly, and what does it do? Our magazine Salish Sea …

Seals and sea lions may be slowing salmon recovery, hurting orcas

Increased consumption of Chinook salmon by seals and sea lions in the Salish Sea “could be masking the success of coastwide salmon recovery efforts,” according to a new study published this week in the journal Scientific Reports. Endangered resident orcas are said to be declining in part due to a lack of available Chinook, the orcas’ preferred prey. …

With sea-level rise, waterfront owners confront their options

Climate change could cause sea levels to rise more than four feet in some parts of Puget Sound, leaving shoreline residents with some tough decisions. Experts say fighting the waves with conventional seawalls may not be the answer. Read the story in our online magazine Salish Sea Currents. 

New EPA administrator appointed for Puget Sound and Region 10

The Environmental Protection Agency last week announced the appointment of Alaskan Chris Hladick as new head of its Region 10 office based in Seattle. Hladick was appointed by EPA chief Scott Pruitt to serve as regional administrator overseeing environmental protection efforts in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington including Puget Sound. Hladick is currently commissioner of the …

Salmon council approves new priorities for Chinook recovery

The Puget Sound Partnership Salmon Recovery Council has posted a list of recommended priority actions for Chinook salmon recovery. The measures were proposed last spring by area tribes hoping to see stronger efforts to protect the region’s threatened Chinook populations. The document summarizes nine recommendations approved by the Council at its September 28th meeting, including …

Puget Sound’s growing nutrient problem

First there was “The Blob” that fed last year’s massive algae bloom in the Pacific Ocean. Now there is another monster getting our attention. You might call it “The slime that ate Lake Erie.” The incredible images of Lake Erie’s expanding blanket of green show the familiar effect of nutrient pollution. Nutrients such as phosphorous …