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November 21, 2023

A carcass of a female coho salmon affected by the toxic chemical 6PPD-quinone in stormwater runoff in Seattle's Longfellow Creek. This salmon died before spawning, retaining nearly 100 percent of its eggs. Source: Tiffany Linbo, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. | GAO-24-105687">

GAO report calls for strengthening of regulations on nonpoint source pollution

By Sarah DeWeerdt A new report by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) is renewing calls to strengthen Clean Water Act protections against nonpoint source pollution such as stormwater and agricultural runoff.  The recommendation echoes findings made by the GAO in 2013 when it called for Congress to revise “largely voluntary” regulations for nonpoint pollution sources that […]

June 25, 2022

Audrey Rhodes is the recipient of this summer's stormwater internship at the Center for Urban Waters.">

Meet our intern: Audrey Rhodes

We are pleased to welcome Audrey Rhodes as a summer research assistant at the Center for Urban Waters. Audrey will be working in cooperation with the Stormwater Equipment Manufacturer’s Association (SWEMA) to analyze the effectiveness of new stormwater treatment technologies through literature reviews of published research. As part of her internship, she will work closely with experienced stormwater professionals to provide […]

September 22, 2020

Toxics in Fish report cover.">

New guidance for cleanup of toxics in Puget Sound

An EPA-funded team of scientists and other experts has completed draft recommendations for the future cleanup of toxic chemicals in Puget Sound. The group’s Toxics in Fish Implementation Strategy addresses pollutants such as PCBs and a slew of emerging contaminants that can affect species throughout the waterway. The strategy will be available for public review […]

April 7, 2020

Could Seattle's tech industry help tackle Puget Sound's stormwater problem? Image courtesy of NOAA.">

‘Water 100 Project’ seeks to enlist region’s tech industry

Few cities in the world can rival Seattle’s combination of money and brain power. It’s a town where the world’s two richest men live within walking distance. Amazon and Microsoft and hundreds of other leading tech companies call this region home, driving the economy and influencing the way we live. Could this same corporate culture […]

August 30, 2019

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Project seeks to “depave” Puget Sound

This is a guest blog from Partners in Puget Sound Recovery, an inter-agency group focused on strategies for stormwater mitigation, habitat protection and shellfish recovery in Puget Sound. Project Spotlight: Replicable Model for Depave and LID Retrofits Overview:  This project will conduct three depave and retrofit activities providing direct stormwater benefit to three communities resulting in […]

September 19, 2018

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

Chemicals from automobile tires suspected in coho deaths

Findings authored this month by University of Washington scientists at the Center for Urban Waters and their collaborators provide new insight into “urban runoff mortality syndrome” affecting Puget Sound coho.   By Jeff Rice Chemicals linked to automobile tires have been found in stormwater associated with the widespread deaths of coho salmon in Puget Sound. The […]

August 27, 2018

University of Washington associate professor Ed Kolodziej">

PSI collaborator receives NSF grant to study coho deaths

PSI collaborator Ed Kolodziej has received a $330,000 National Science Foundation grant to expand his research on toxic pollutants in Puget Sound. Kolodziej’s project will identify chemicals in stormwater that are killing coho salmon and endangering some spawning runs. The project includes a collaboration with citizen scientists who will alert project members to salmon die-offs […]

December 6, 2017

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

What makes stormwater toxic?

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 […]