By Sandy Howard, Environmental Assessment Program
The Puget Sound Marine Waters workgroup of the Puget Sound Environmental Monitoring Program (PSEMP), part of the collaborative effort of the Puget Sound Partnership, has released its first annual report on marine water conditions in Puget Sound.
The report combines a wealth of data from comprehensive monitoring programs and provides a concise summary of what was happening in Puget Sound’s marine waters during 2011. It covers areas such as climate and weather, river inputs, seawater temperature, salinity, nutrients, dissolved oxygen, ocean acidification, phytoplankton, biotoxins, bacteria and pathogens, shellfish resources, and more.
The report represents an unprecedented collaborative effort among various agencies and groups and provides a collective view of marine water conditions in Puget Sound for 2011, enhancing our understanding of this complex ecosystem that is an economic lifeline for Western Washington.
This collaborative and fruitful effort will improve transparency, data sharing, and communication of relevant monitoring programs in Puget Sound’s marine waters and help to determine how well these programs are meeting priority needs. It will also help the Puget Sound Partnership update and expand the dashboard indicators that are used to determine whether progress is being made towards restoring the Sound.
The report is available for download at: www.psp.wa.gov/downloads/psemp/PSmarinewaters_2011_overview.pdf
The workgroup looks forward to delivering a 2012 review of marine water conditions next year.