Aerial Photos of Plankton Bloom in Puget Sound – Good, Bad, Ugly?

Chris Dunagan and the Kitsap Sun covers the aerial photography of “Eyes over Puget Sound” (EOPS) on the latest “Watching our Waterways”. EOPS is a DOE program to track the annual plankton blooms around the Sound. There is still no consensus about why these blooms are continuing to happen and apparently grow. Could it be simply natural? Are they expanding? Contracting? Is it caused by the continuing degradation of Puget Sound? As an example, the paper mill in Port Townsend pours 12 million gallons a day of very polluted water into the Bay, legally. While we won’t get into whether this is “good” or “bad”, whether this is causing these blooms by destroying water quality, is unknown, even after 40 years of the Clean Water Act.

What all this seems to show is that data gathering is still the basis for scientific and political action. Without properly funding data collection, the legislature will continue to lurch from crisis to crisis and throw money at the news headline of the day, without knowing whether it is going to do any good at all.

You can read the story on this at:

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The Foundation of All Life on Puget Sound – Chris Dunagan

Kitsap Sun reporter Chris Dunagan does a great job explaining current thinking on the food web in Puget Sound. While scientists and policy makers in processes like the Shoreline Master Progams (SMPs) struggle to help the public understand the complex processes at work, and why shoreline buffers, for example, are so crucial, this is a good primer on the situation.

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