State of the Salish Sea, Salish Sea, stormwater, estuary, Puget Sound, urbanization, watersheds, pollution
One of the primary terrestrial pressures on the Salish Sea estuarine and marine environment is urban stormwater runoff. When rainfall runs across hard, impervious surfaces, rather than soaking into the soil, it picks up and delivers toxic contaminants directly to nearby streams, rivers, and eventually the Salish Sea. In fact, for most toxic substances, surface runoff is the largest contributing source of loading to Puget Sound. Unfortunately, the Salish Sea’s relationship with stormwater effluent is no outlier; stormwater is the fastest growing cause of surface water impairment in the United States as urbanization transitions forested and other natural landscapes to hard, impervious surfaces. Given that the Salish Sea is expected to house another 5 million people by 2040, stormwater interventions will be necessary in order to break the relationship between urbanization and stormwater-caused ecological degradation.
State of the Salish Sea
Salish Sea Institute
Howe, E. (2021). Stormwater Effluent Exerts a Key Pressure on the Salish Sea. In K.L. Sobocinski, State of the Salish Sea. Salish Sea Institute, Western Washington University. http://doi.org/10.25710/vfhb-3a69
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