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Congress I,Salmon Slide

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"I, Salmon", the keynote presentation by Doug Myers of People For Puget Sound for "Puget Sound Starts Here! The 18th Annual Student GREEN Congress".

"I, Salmon", the keynote presentation by Doug Myers of People For Puget Sound for "Puget Sound Starts Here! The 18th Annual Student GREEN Congress".

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  • Bacterial pollution in Puget Sound has resulted in a large number of commercial and recreational shellfish beds being closed.
  • A consequence of population is the modification of the shoreline by armoring such as this bulkhead that has been built to protect the lawn of this house.
  • Stormwater pollution is now know to be one of the biggest problems in Puget Sound. Automobiles are the largest source of stormwater pollution. [Optional:] There’s the oil and grease that drip on roadways and parking lots Heavy metals such as copper dust from brake linings which is one of the most toxic substances to fish. It attacks their ability to smell, making it more difficult to find food and escape predators. Another big concern is Poly Aromatic Hydrocarbons or PAH’s, a byproduct of combustion that comes out of the tail pipe as air pollution then settles to the ground to be washed into the Sound with the next rain. At low levels (7 part per billon the equivalent of a half teaspoon in a swimming pools) PAH’s interfere with herring egg development. Herring are a key link in the Puget Sound food chain, comprising, for example, nearly two thirds of the diet of the endangered chinook salmon Studies show sediments with the highest levels of contaminants are found near stormwater-discharge sites,
  • We have lost most of our critical wetlands in urbanized areas.
  • Indicators of the environment continue to show that the ecosystem – the marine waters, habitat, and life in the Sound – are declining.
  • There are solutions. Let me tell you a little bit about what we are doing.
  • [PHOTO: Cascade Pole cleanup site] Many of these sediments are legacies of the past, of a time when we didn’t know the specific impacts of some of these compounds. We don’t believe that new hot spots are being created. Between  July 2003 and June 2005, Action Team partners are working with many partners  to clean up 500 of the  more than  5, 000  acres of hi ghly contaminated sediment s  in Puget Sound.
  • Eelgrass grows in shallow sunlit waters with the appropriate grain size of substrate replenished by the continuous erosion of the bluffs.
  • Stormwater pollution accounts for one-third of the pollution in tested waterways statewide. Onsite sewage systems throughout the region need regular maintenance checks and many need to do a better job of taking care of human sewage, so the bacteria in the sewage does not pollute the Sound and make it unhealthy.
  • As the sun sets on an era of site-specific and species-specific resource management, we need to expend the effort to give new management philosophies a chance.

Congress I,Salmon Slide Congress I,Salmon Slide Presentation Transcript

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  • Long-legged Fly – The preferred prey of juvenile Chinook salmon J. Kirk Condyle, NRDCs
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  • Placeholder for hatchery operations series
  • Shoreline destruction bit by bit
  • Impervious Surfaces and Polluted Runoff Photo Credit: Paul Joseph Brown/Seattle Post-Intelligencer
  • Habitat Loss
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  • Tough Issues
    • Nobody likes regulations, but voluntary actions aren’t even close to sufficient
    • Nobody likes paying taxes or utility rates, but how else do we get public things done?
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  • GAO’s recommendations
    • Decision-making body
    • Hold responsible parties accountable
    • Link funding to outcomes
    • Independent, transparent tracking of results
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  • Schooling Sandlance – The most important forage fish for marine birds in Puget Sound
  • However, significant problems are looming in Puget Sound Bacterial pollution from failing septic tanks
  • People For Puget Sound
    • Mission: to protect and restore Puget Sound and the Northwest Straits--our living waters, the land and our common future.
    Kelp greenling and California sea cucumber on rocky reef
  • Hugh Shipman, Washington Department of Ecology Shoreline Habitat Destruction from Residential Development
  • Endangered: Southern Resident Orca Whales
    • Some 5700 acres of highly sediments in Puget Sound need clean-up.
    Legacy Pollutants from past industrial practices Mohsen Kourehdar, Washington Ecology, photo
  • Great Blue Heron
  • Continuing Toxic Discharges from stormwater re-contaminate cleaned up sites Photo courtesy of Puget Soundkeeper Alliance
  • Opalescent nudibranch in eelgrass bed
  • Some 5 millions pounds of toxics are released annually to the air in Western Washington. When it rains, they fall right back into Puget Sound!
  • NOAA photo library Endangered: Marbled murrelet
    • Harmful impacts from stormwater runoff:
    • Undersized culverts disrupt fish passage and sediment transport
  • NOAA photo library Pigeon guillemot
  • Beggiotoa bacteria mat – an indicator of low dissolved oxygen
  • Which future will you choose?