1991 Puget Sound Update

This is the second annual Puget Sound Update. Findings from the first two years of the Puget Sound Ambient Monitoring Program (PSAMP) form the basis of this report. This report briefly describes PSAMP, explains the significance of each type of monitoring, and discusses the results. It provides some background on the workings of the Puget Sound ecosystem and the history of contamination problems in the Sound. 

1991 Puget Sound Update report cover page
1991 Puget Sound Update report cover page

Purpose of this Report

The first annual Puget Sound Update (PSWQA, 1990a) provided a more complete description of contamination problems and the Puget Sound ecosystem.

PSAMP is a long-term program of which only parts have been initiated. The scientists who designed PSAMP recognize that five to ten years of data are needed for many parts of the ecosystem before we will begin see changes and identify trends in contamination levels and in natural resource populations. Some of the PSAMP water quality, sediment, and biological variables require extensive periods of time to process and review the collected data. PSAMP managers will report many of the second-year PSAMP results in the next Puget Sound Update.

This report is organized around the many parts of the Puget Sound ecosystem which are monitored by PSAMP. PSAMP information collected during 1989 and 1990 are described for sediments, marine waters, fish, shellfish, marine mammals, birds, nearshore habitat, and freshwater rivers and streams of the Puget Sound basin. For each ecosystem component, the report provides background information, describes the design of PSAMP, presents results from PSAMP and other monitoring efforts, and discusses future PSAMP monitoring. The first Puget Sound Update placed major emphasis on the results of sediment contamination monitoring. This year we will also emphasize fish and shellfish monitoring results. We have attempted to describe the results of PSAMP in maps and graphics wherever possible.

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