The Puget Sound Vital Signs are measures of ecosystem health that guide the assessment of progress toward Puget Sound recovery goals. They were adopted by the Puget Sound Partnership at the state of Washington to help guide local, state and federal ecosystem recovery efforts.
--Source: Puget Sound Partnership
The Puget Sound Vital Signs are measures of ecosystem health that guide the assessment of progress toward Puget Sound recovery goals. They were adopted by the Puget Sound Partnership at the state of Washington to help guide local, state and federal ecosystem recovery efforts. Each of the six Puget Sound recovery goals are expressed with one or more Vital Signs. Vital Signs represent an important component of the ecosystem (e.g. marine water, economic vitality). Each component is, in turn, represented by one or more indicators. The indicators are specific measures of Puget Sound conditions, including human wellbeing, while ecosystem recovery targets are policy statements that express desired future conditions for human health and quality of life, species and food webs, habitats, water quantity, and water.
Many creeks and waterbodies in Puget Sound may look pristine, but most face serious threats from stormwater pollution. A new study at Soos Creek shows how mud-dwelling bugs, traditional chemistry and digital "heatmaps" can be used to track stormwater impacts and identify the most polluted areas. Scientists and planners hope that this may one day lower the price tag on costly stormwater fixes.
Whose Puget Sound?: Examining place attachment, residency, and stewardship in the Puget Sound region
A 2020 article in the journal Geographical Review examines the current status of place attachment among Puget Sound residents in connection with environmental stewardship behaviors. The authors challenge often-touted negative perceptions of the region’s newcomers and conclude that residents, new and old, share a strong positive place attachment and sense of pro-environmental stewardship.
The Pathogens Prevention Reduction and Control agreement between the Environmental Protection Agency and the Washington State Department of Health focuses on the prevention and reduction of pathogen pollution in Puget Sound through the management of human and animal waste. The primary objectives of the agreement include restoring shellfish growing areas, avoiding shellfish closures, and protecting people from disease.
Researchers studying the killer whales that frequent Puget Sound are growing increasingly concerned that a dangerous virus or other disease-causing organism could spread through the population and hasten extinction of these critically endangered southern resident orcas.
As officials struggle to track and contain the outbreak of the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19, ecologists say widespread impacts from viruses and other pathogens are also a growing threat to the species of the Salish Sea ecosystem.
Scientists are still trying to understand what caused the deaths of thousands of rhinoceros auklets in the Salish Sea in 2016. Some studies point to disease as a central factor in that incident and potentially other large seabird die-offs along the coast. That is prompting a deeper look at what makes these birds sick, and how local populations are faring. We followed a group of researchers as they gave a health checkup to a breeding colony of rhinoceros auklets on Protection Island.
New EPA-funded Implementation Strategies are designed to target Puget Sound recovery in the most direct and coordinated way ever conducted by state and federal agencies. We report on how these strategies will affect Puget Sound’s Vital Signs for years to come, and why you should care (a lot).