Governments, agencies work to save Puget Sound
More than 50 cities and counties in the Puget Sound region have joined with non-profit environmental protection groups to launch a public outreach campaign encouraging residents to end behaviors that contribute to pollution in Puget Sound. The initiative hopes to reduce the flow of 140,000 pounds of toxic chemicals that run off into the sound every day.
Stormwater runoff from storm drains and streams in the 12 counties bordering Puget Sound’s 2,500 miles of shoreline contribute approximately 75 percent of the pollution in Puget Sound, according to the Puget Sound Partnership (PSP). PSP is the lead agency in a coalition that includes STORM, a group representing cities and counties, and more than 200 environmental organizations in the Puget Sound area that are organizing the outreach campaign.
Using a Web site, a television ad campaign, educational presentations, posters, public events, PSAs other methods, the coalition is urging residents to change their habits that contribute to the pollution — habits such as washing cars in driveways. Car wash water can kill fish and be as potentially toxic as some industrial wastewater discharges, according to PSP. “Puget Sound is dying, and many of us don’t realize that our own actions are contributing to its decline,” said PSP Director David Dicks in a statement. “The Puget Sound Starts Here campaign illustrates the severity of the problem and explains how each of us can be part of the solution by changing a few everyday activities. Everyone who lives in the Puget Sound region can make a difference.”
For example, residents are urged to wash their vehicles at commercial car washes, where the wash water can be handled properly. Also, they are asked to fix car leaks or place cardboard under the car to catch leaking oil or fluids; use compost — instead of fertilizers or pesticides — in their lawns and gardens; and pick up pet waste with a bag — both in the yard and in public places — and place it in the trash.
Read the campaign Web site for additional information.