Airport offers a glimpse at tightening stormwater regulations

Alaska Airlines 737 taking off from Sea-Tac Airport with Mt Rainier and Central Terminal in background. Photo: Port of Seattle by Don Wilson

Alaska Airlines 737 taking off from Sea-Tac Airport with Mt Rainier and Central Terminal in background. Photo: Port of Seattle by Don Wilson

How does one of the West’s busiest airports deal with extreme stormwater, and what does that mean for water quality standards in the rest of the state?

Read the latest article from Salish Sea Currents in the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound. 

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New data could yield clues to herring declines

Pacific Herring. Photo by Mary Whalen, USGS

Pacific Herring. Photo by Mary Whalen, USGS

It was a treasure trove of data waiting to be uncovered. The Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (DFW) had been surveying Puget Sound herring habitat for more than 40 years, but until recently, much of that data remained in the original logbooks, un-digitized and unused. Recent efforts by a Puget Sound Institute biologist in collaboration with NOAA and DFW have now made this data more accessible. The scientists hope that it will help to answer some of the key questions behind recent declines in Puget Sound herring populations. Continue reading

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Puget Sound stormwater fixes could cost billions

Raindrops on a cafe window.  Photo: Jim Culp (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) https://www.flickr.com/photos/jimculp/7140363701

Raindrops on a cafe window. Photo: Jim Culp (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) https://www.flickr.com/photos/jimculp/7140363701

Pollution from stormwater has been called one of the greatest threats to Puget Sound. How much will it cost to hold back the rain? A new EPA-funded study says the price could reach billions per year, a figure that dwarfs current state and federal allocations.

Read the article in Salish Sea Currents.

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PSP appoints three new Science Panel members

The Puget Sound Partnership has appointed three new members to its advisory Science Panel.

The new panel members include Barbara Bentley, a former academic and now President and CEO of Noetica Naturalists; Robert Ewing, Director of Timberlands Strategic Planning for Weyerhaeuser; and Eric Strecker, Principal Water Resources Engineer and Fisheries Biologist with Geosyntec Consultants.

Four current members of the Science Panel were re-appointed, including Wayne Landis, Timothy Quinn, John Stark and Trina Wellman.

View the press release from the Puget Sound Partnership.

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The ecosystem is delicious

Olympia oysters. Photo: VIUDeepBay (CC BY 2.0) https://www.flickr.com/photos/viucsr/5778358466

Olympia oysters. Photo: VIUDeepBay (CC BY 2.0) https://www.flickr.com/photos/viucsr/5778358466

The shellfish industry is a cornerstone of the Puget Sound economy, but the region’s famed mollusks provide more than just money and jobs. They offer what are called ecosystem services—a wide variety of benefits that humans derive from an ecosystem.

Read Eric Wagner’s story in today’s Salish Sea Currents.

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Scientists examine the ‘time of emergence’ for climate change in Puget Sound

Mean sea level trend in Seattle, WA (1898-2006). A rising sevel trend of 2.06 mm/yr (0.68 feet per100 years) was observed at a station in the Seattle, WA area. (NOAA. 2012).

Mean sea level trend in Seattle, WA (1898-2006). A rising sevel trend of 2.06 mm/yr (0.68 feet per100 years) was observed at a station in the Seattle, WA area. (NOAA. 2012).

Climate change, like politics, is local. “At least that is how you have to look at the impacts,” says Encyclopedia of Puget Sound topic editor Amy Snover. Snover is the Director of the Climate Impacts Group at the University of Washington and has been conducting research on the expected ‘time of emergence’ for climate change in the Puget Sound region.

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Nature inspires new approach to flood control

Aerial photo of Hansen Creek restoration site in Skagit County, WA. October 15, 2010. Photo: Kari Neumeyer/NWIFC

Aerial photo of Hansen Creek restoration site in Skagit County, WA. October 15, 2010. Photo: Kari Neumeyer/NWIFC

Every year, winter rains bring the threat of millions of dollars in property damage, or even the loss of life, from floods. Rivers have historically been channeled and tamed to protect towns and farms in low-lying floodplains, but research shows that this approach may actually be making flooding worse while at the same time threatening Puget Sound’s salmon. At Hansen Creek in the Skagit Valley, scientists say nature is the best engineer. Read Eric Wagner’s story in the Encyclopedia of Puget Sound’s Salish Sea Currents series. 

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New research identifies ‘time of emergence’ of climate change impacts in Puget Sound

When can we expect to see the full impacts of climate change in Puget Sound, and what will those be? UW Climate Impacts Group Director Amy Snover will present new research in a talk tomorrow (November 19th) at the University of Washington Tacoma. Her presentation is from 2-3:30 at the UWT Research Commons, 3rd Floor Tioga Library Building (TLB) 1907 Jefferson Ave, Tacoma.

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PSI is hiring a research scientist

The Puget Sound Insti­tute is seek­ing a highly-motivated full-time research sci­en­tist to ana­lyze and syn­the­size, and help design a com­mu­ni­ca­tion plan for, the results of 30–35 research projects con­ducted over the last 4 years focused on recov­ery and pro­tec­tion of the nearshore and marine envi­ron­ments of Puget Sound. This is an 8-month project, and we are seek­ing a PhD-level indi­vid­ual with a back­ground in aquatic ecol­ogy, and con­nect­ing sci­ence to pol­icy; famil­iar­ity with the Puget Sound region is a plus. This is a real oppor­tu­nity to con­nect results from funded research to pol­icy, or imple­men­ta­tion activ­i­ties, in sup­port of ecosys­tem recovery. Continue reading

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Brighter future for salmon at downtown seawall

Juvenile salmon at the Seattle Aquarium. Photo: kamikaze.spoon https://www.flickr.com/photos/kamikazespoon/264239056

Juvenile salmon at the Seattle Aquarium. Photo: kamikaze.spoon https://www.flickr.com/photos/kamikazespoon/264239056

The decaying seawall along Seattle’s waterfront is providing scientists with an opportunity to improve long-lost habitat for migrating salmon. It could also show the way for habitat enhancements to crumbling infrastructure worldwide. One University of Washington researcher describes the project.

Read more about the Seattle seawall in Salish Sea Currents.

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