Stormwater Pollution: Less Than Half Of Puget Sound Cities And Counties In Compliance – KNKX

Why we of the Jefferson Marine Resources Committee work cooperatively with the city and county on rain gardens and the like.
Stormwater runoff is the largest source of pollution into Puget Sound. It comes from rain or snowmelt that travels over pavement and carries oil and other toxics into the water. New regulations under the federal Clean Water Act mean that 81 cities and counties around Puget Sound now have to update their building codes to address the problem. Two environmental groups just completed a scorecard to see how communities are handling this. Mindy Roberts is with the Washington Environmental Council, which teamed up with the Puget Soundkeeper Alliance to rate the communities. She said in many cases, contact from the environmental groups helped them improve their codes. Bellamy Pailthorp reports. (KNKX)

Death by dirty water: Storm runoff a risk for fish  – Bellingham Herald

As if you needed to better understand the importance of rain gardens, stormwater runoff and salmon, after my last post, here’s the next thing in my inbox. Another recent experiment that shows the affects that stormwater has on aquatic species.

Just hours into the experiment, the prognosis was grim for salmon that had been submerged in rain runoff collected from one of Seattle’s busiest highways. One by one, the fish were removed from a tank filled with coffee-colored water and inspected: They were rigid. Their typically red gills were gray….. This was the fate of coho salmon exposed to the everyday toxic brew of dirt, metals, oil and other gunk that washes off highway pavement after rains and directly into Puget Sound. Phuong Le reports. (Associated Press)

Mystery compound found to kill Coho salmon–Kitsap Sun

In the last year there’s been a growing body of evidence that seems to show that runoff from our roads may be a significant and possibly primary cause of loss of salmon in our creeks and rivers. Chris Dunagan reports on efforts to identify this substance in Kitsap County.

Meanwhile, researchers in Seattle have decided to simply look at rain gardens to filter the poisons out. With great success. The following video shows the problem, and wat may be the ultimate solution. The next question that needs to get asked is, “What happens with the rain garden? Does it become a toxic waste site?

“Drained: Urban Stormwater Pollution”

Kitsap study reveals much about stormwater–Kitsap Sun

Chris Dunagan in the Kitsap Sun reports about how the Sinclair-Dyes inlet pollution study shows how bacteria get easily transported by urban runoff into shellfish areas. ‘Kitsap study reveals much about stormwater

Puget Sound Chemistry Transformed by Climate Change and Runoff – Scientific American

Puget Sound is becoming more acidic thanks to a combination of agricultural runoff and rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere

A combination of carbon dioxide emitted by human activities and nutrient runoff is transforming the chemistry of Washington state’s Puget Sound, according to a new study.

Read the whole story at Scientific American:

-This threatens our entire shellfish industry, as well as other possible life forms. Runoff is one of the major causes, a reason that we value better shoreline management to slow or stop shoreline runoff. Also, stormwater runoff is another cause, which comes from roads with improperly created storm sewers.  Getting funding at the state level to correct these as quickly as possible is key.

While I have your attention: It may be a good time to review the map, commissioned by People For Puget Sound, done by the UW GIS group. It shows the exact locations of every one of the 4500 manmade storm sewers that empty to the Sound, along with 2123 natural drainages, and 297 DOT created drainages, including bridges.

Restoring Snyder Cove

What does it take to undo an old fashioned culvert keeping endangered salmon from going a mile or more upstream? Take a look at the three minute time lapse video from near Olympia, where a coalition of environmental organizations pushed for and achieved the reclaiming of a salmon stream. Now only a few thousand more to go!

Where’s Snyder Cove/Creek? If you use Google Earth, it’s here:

Fix the Road, Fix the Stream – Olympian

Since I took considerable heat from one angry citizen at the Wooden Boat show yesterday over storm culvert projects being worthless, I thought I’d share this with anyone wondering about costs and what the paybacks might be. Here’s why we are needing to raise money to support re-engineering of culverts over the next few decades. This seems to be one of those “green projects” that provided local jobs, and should benefit the salmon runs almost immediately. I’ll be interested to follow up on this to see how the runs restore themselves after this project. If you want to support this legislative effort, check out People For Puget Sounds web site for the Clean Water Photo campaign on the front page of

*9/14/09 Olympian
Fix the road, fix the stream
JOHN DODGE; The Olympian

Sometimes road-improvement projects go hand in hand with wild salmon restoration.

Such is the case on the campus of The Evergreen State College, where one mile of prime spawning and rearing habitat soon will be available with the replacement of a fish-passage barrier near the mouth of Snyder Creek.

A 3-foot-wide culvert in the streambed under Sunset Beach Drive Northwest is being replaced with a 55-foot-long, 14-foot-wide culvert that is built to mimic the natural streambed near the creek’s juncture with Eld Inlet.

“Fish won’t even know they are in a culvert when they pass through it,” predicted Jamie Glasgow, director of science and research for the Wild Fish Conservancy.

The college, the fish conservancy, People for Puget Sound and the South Puget Sound Salmon Enhancement Group teamed up on the $214,000 project, which should be completed by Horsley Timber and Construction in the next few days in time for returning sea-run cutthroat, coho and chum salmon and possibly steelhead.

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