Campaign urges residents to protect Puget Sound

February 9, 2010

By Staff

Issaquah is one of more than 50 Washington cities and counties involved in a coalition to educate people about how storm water runoff can harm Puget Sound.The coalition — known as STORM for Stormwater Outreach for Regional Municipalities — teamed up with the Puget Sound Partnership and more than 200 environmental organizations in a campaign called Puget Sound Starts Here to restore the waterway. The program encourages Puget Sound-area residents to adopt certain behaviors to curb storm water pollution.

Gov. Chris Gregoire created the Puget Sound Partnership in 2007. The partnership includes regional and tribal governments, as well as citizens and environmentalists. Learn more about the Puget Sound Starts Here campaign at http://pugetsoundstartshere.org.

The campaign focuses on four common behaviors. Organizers said most residents could easily adopt the following habits to cut the amount pollution entering Puget Sound:

  • Take cars to a commercial car wash, where wash water is properly handled. Car wash water can be as potentially toxic to marine life as some industrial wastewater discharges.
  • Fix car leaks, or place cardboard under the car in the short term to catch leaking oil or fluids.
  • Use compost, instead of fertilizers or pesticides, to grow a healthy lawn and garden.
  • Pick up pet waste with a bag — both in the yard and in public places — and place it in the trash.

Across the 12 counties bordering the 2,500 miles of Puget Sound shoreline, thousands of storm drains and streams pour polluted water into the ecologically sensitive waterway. About 75 percent of pollution in the sound comes from storm water runoff traced to neighborhoods. Puget Sound also has unhealthy levels of toxic chemicals.

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