THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION IS FROM: People for Puget Sound
- The Washington State Department of Ecology estimates that millions of pounds of toxic pollution flow into Puget Sound each year, or about 140,000 pounds of toxics per day on average. This includes petroleum, copper, lead, zinc, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), and more. A large amount of this is derived from stormwater that flows off our yards, driveways, roads, and parking lots.
- Approximately 75% of the toxic chemicals that get into Puget Sound are carried there by stormwater flowing over impervious surfaces. This is why Ocean Friendly/Rain Gardens are so important. They help filter out these toxicants before they reach our watershed and become potentially more dangerous.
- As of 2008, there were 549 streams, rivers, and lakes across the Puget Sound Region that were designated impaired by poor water quality by the Washington State Department of Ecology (i.e. these are 303(d) listed).
- Our transient and southern resident orca are considered to be among the most PCB contaminated mammals on the planet according to Ross et. al. in Marine Pollution Bulletin in 2000.
- Harbor seals in Puget Sounds are seven times more contaminated with the persistent toxic chemicals known as PCBs than those living in Canada’s Strait of Georgia, adjoining the Sound just to the north, according to Cullon et al. in an Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry article in 2005.
- To report a stranded or deceased marine mammal in Whatcom County, please call 360-966-8845 or visit Whatcom Marine Mammal Stranding Network.
Healthy Ecology Means Business:
- Did you know that the tourism industry of the Puget Sound region is valued at $9.5 billion a year? Hundreds of thousands of people are drawn to the sound for its natural beauty and recreational opportunities.
- The fishing and shellfish industry of Puget Sound, which are heavily reliant on clean waters, is conservatively estimated to generate $147 million each year. This includes all recreational, treaty, non-treaty, commercial, and aquatic farm production activities.
- Many people choose to live in the Puget Sound region because they love the quality of life. There are 2.2 million private sector jobs in the Puget Sound area, accounting for an annual payroll of $102 billion.
- Puget Sound is growing. In 1960, 1.8 million people lived in the 12 counties that make up the Puget Sound region. By 2008, this grew to 4.4 million. The Washingotn State Office of Financial Management projects that by 2020, the population will grow to about 5.1 million. It is increasingly becoming important that we are aware of how we grow as our impact on Puget Sound grows. Things like Low Impact Development (LID) are luckily becoming more important and will help to alleviate the population’s growth spurt if done correctly.