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Benthic invertebrates range in size from those easily seen with the naked eye to those that cannot be spotted without the use of a microscope. Photo: Christopher Dunagan

Are some streams in Puget Sound getting cleaner?

Scientists are reporting some potentially good news about the health of Puget Sound’s streams. Ten years of data from 126 stream sites within King County have shown a slight improvement in water quality, according to the county’s Water and Land Resource Division. The study examined the variety of insects and other invertebrates that were collected …

Screenshot from video.

Video: Identifying sources of pollution in the Skagit Valley

A video produced by the University of Washington Center for Urban Waters shows how chemical tracers can identify sources of pollution affecting shellfish growers in Puget Sound’s Skagit Valley. Fecal coliform pollution is a widespread problem in Puget Sound, resulting in costly beach and shellfish bed closures whenever it is detected. Analytical techniques can now …

An algae bloom covers a huge section of Lake Erie. Photo courtesy of NASA.

Puget Sound’s growing nutrient problem

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 …

New project searches for contaminants of emerging concern

PSI research scientist Andy James has been funded by the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Estuary Program to identify contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) in the waters of Puget Sound. There are literally thousands of man-made chemicals known as CECs circulating in local waters, but very little is known about their impacts on wildlife. They are …

Marine Waters report provides overview of 2015 conditions in Puget Sound

The Puget Sound Ecosystem Monitoring Program released its fifth annual Marine Waters Report today. The report provides an assessment of marine conditions for the year 2015 and includes updates on water quality as well as status reports for select plankton, seabirds, fish and marine mammals. According to the report, water temperatures broke records throughout Puget …

New theory rethinks spread of PCBs and other toxics in Puget Sound

Last month, more than 1100 scientists and researchers converged on Vancouver, B.C. to attend the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference. The biennial conference is the region’s largest gathering on the state of the ecosystem, and we sent a group of reporters to bring back some of the highlights. Over the next several months, we’ll be collecting those highlights into …