The quest continues for a nutrient reduction plan

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The quest continues for a large-scale plan to reduce human sources of nitrogen and improve the health of Puget Sound. This article is part of the Puget Sound Institute’s effort to explore the technical uncertainties related to the science of Puget Sound water quality. The project, jointly funded by King County and PSI, includes online workshops and discussions, along with informational blogs and articles. By Christopher Dunagan Human sources of nitrogen in Puget Sound have been blamed for increasing the intensity of algae blooms, lowering oxygen to critical levels, and […]

A network of computer models is predicting the future of Puget Sound

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A new $4.8 million dollar project led by the Puget Sound Institute links together a series of computer models to explore future scenarios across the watershed. Some of Puget Sound’s biggest concerns hold the greatest uncertainties.  Will we have clean water? Can the ecosystem sustain species like endangered salmon? How can the region continue to grow and still maintain healthy habitats for wildlife and people? What, in other words, is the future of Puget Sound? No one can travel through time to answer these questions firsthand (science has its limits), […]

Event celebrates the anniversary of the Clean Water Act and new funding for Puget Sound

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It could have been mistaken for a foggy morning along the waterfront, but the occasional coughs and burning eyes among the crowd of 60 or so people gathered here last Wednesday told a different story. Like much of the Northwest, Tacoma was shrouded in a haze of smoke from a spate of forest fires giving it and its neighbor Seattle the dubious distinction of having some of the worst air quality in the world, topping places like Delhi and Beijing. A group of policymakers, tribal leaders and elected officials were […]

Six things that people should know about ecosystem modeling and virtual experiments

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The Puget Sound Institute is facilitating a series of online workshops and discussions to explore the technical uncertainties related to the science of Puget Sound water quality. As part of the project, we are publishing informational blogs and articles, including this look at how computer models are becoming increasingly important to our understanding of the natural world. The project is jointly sponsored by King County and the Puget Sound Institute. By Christopher Dunagan If you are planning a hike, picnic or other outdoor activity, it might be wise to take a look at the local […]

North Pacific expedition gets underway aboard four ocean-going research ships

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A North Pacific research expedition is underway, with projects said to be bigger, bolder and more scientifically sophisticated than cruises in 2019 and 2020. Four research vessels carrying more than 60 scientists from various countries will span out across the Pacific Ocean to increase their understanding of salmon — including migration, environmental stresses, availability of prey and risks from predators. Researchers aboard a U.S. ship operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration left from Port Angeles this morning. There has never been a research cruise as involved as this […]

Ecology, EPA now under the gun to adopt new water quality criteria for aquatic creatures

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Long delays in updating state water-quality standards to protect orcas, fish and other aquatic species appear to have finally caught up with the Washington Department of Ecology and its federal counterpart, the Environmental Protection Agency. In a court ruling this week, U.S. District Judge Marsha Pechman of Seattle found that Ecology has “abdicated its duties” to update certain water-quality standards, as required by the federal Clean Water Act. Meanwhile, she said, EPA has failed to meet its legal oversight obligations to ensure that adequate water-quality standards are protective of aquatic […]