Upcoming workshops on tools to evaluate water quality and biological integrity 

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New event: More than 130 researchers, scientists, modelers, and other experts attended our first workshop in July on The Science of Puget Sound Water Quality. The discussion continues with two interrelated workshops focusing on scientific tools for evaluating marine conditions and species health. Join us:  September 29th from 8 – 10 AM PT for Tools to Evaluate Water Quality. Learn about tools and new analyses from monitoring and modeling that help us better understand water quality and potential eutrophication impacts. We will look in particular at increased access to spatial and temporal […]

New sewage-treatment permit would be a step to curbing nitrogen in Puget Sound

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In an effort to stem the flow of excess nitrogen into Puget Sound, Washington Department of Ecology has proposed a new type of permit for some 60 sewage-treatment plants operating throughout the region. The flexible permit, called the Puget Sound Nutrient General Permit, aims to hold nitrogen releases close to or below their current levels at most of the treatment plants while offering plant operators options for how to meet those goals. It’s a temporary solution, because the long-term goal is to make significant cuts in the total amount of […]

Does Puget Sound need a diet?

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As the region’s population grows, scientists say we can expect to see increasing amounts of nitrogen and other elements flowing into Puget Sound. Known as “nutrients” these elements are naturally occurring and even necessary for life, but officials worry that nutrients from wastewater and other human sources are tipping the balance. That could mean big problems for fish and other marine life, gradually depleting the water of oxygen and altering the food web. Read our latest story in Salish Sea Currents. 

Puget Sound’s growing nutrient problem

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By Jeff Rice, Puget Sound Institute 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 and nitrogen have been flowing into the giant lake primarily from sources like agricultural fertilizer and wastewater. This has led to a 700-square-mile algae slick, alarming officials worried about potential […]