1990 Puget Sound Update

This is the first annual report of the Puget Sound Ambient Monitoring Program (PSAMP); it briefly describes PSAMP, explains the significance of each type of measurement, and provides initial interpretation of the results.

1990 Puget Sound Update report cover page
1990 Puget Sound Update report cover page

Purpose of this Report 

The report provides a background on the history of contamination problems and solutions, as they have unfolded in Puget Sound, and explains the interaction of different parts of the Sound's natural ecosystem. In addition, this report touches on the significance of contamination, source control and prevention programs, cleanup activities, and the protection of critical habitats.

PSAMP is intended to monitor ambient, or background, conditions in Puget Sound, which include the cumulative effects of contamination and habitat degradation from many individual actions. The scientists who designed PSAMP purposely located sampling stations away from the influence of single sources of contamination. The results of PSAMP cannot be used to estimate the amount of contamination or change that is occurring as the result of individual discharges, development projects, or other human-induced disturbances. PSAMP was developed to collect baseline and long-term information which will be used to detect long-term trends and changes in the Puget Sound environment.

This report is organized around the many parts of the Puget Sound ecosystem which are monitored by PSAMP. The sediments, marine waters, fish, shellfish, marine mammals, birds, nearshore habitat, and freshwater rivers and streams of the Puget Sound basin are described and 1989 PSAMP information is discussed, where it is available. We have attempted to describe the results of PSAMP in pictures and graphics wherever possible.

We compare data that have been collected in Puget Sound over time to the current PSAMP data, and discuss the implications of the information. Data collected by other organizations in the basin, such as fisheries harvest, are discussed as they relate to PSAMP results. Finally, we draw conclusions about the overall status of Puget Sound waters, sediments, and biological populations, and make some recommendations for future monitoring.

Download the full report