Spring 2016

Mayor Earling and the City of Edmonds will proclaim the month of May as “Puget Sound Starts Here Month” and encourages all citizens to take action to improve the health of Puget Sound.  Our local waterways provide food, fabulous views, jobs, and many diverse recreational opportunities for our citizens.  While it can be easy to take Puget Sound’s health for granted, shrinking salmon runs and a struggling orca population give all of us a reason to be mindful of our impacts on our environment.

PSSH crewIt’s not just about the pollution coming out of heavy industry and commercial activity these days.  Stormwater runoff is the single largest contributor to our region’s water quality challenges.  It comes from our cars and how we wash them, from the chemicals we put on our lawns and gardens, and from how diligently we remember to pick up after our pets.  When it rains, bacteria and toxic chemicals from all of these and other sources end up in our local waterways, and that’s a problem.

The goal of Puget Sound Starts Here is to raise awareness of how our everyday actions impact this place where we live, work, and play.  From the snowcaps to the whitecaps, our food, water and livelihoods are threatened by pollution and the increasing impacts of climate change.  A healthy Puget Sound is not only critical to our natural environment, it’s an integral part of growing our economy and creating jobs. Billions of dollars in economic activity are created in the Puget Sound region through tourism, working waterfronts, marinas like the Port of Edmonds, and fishing and shellfish industries.

What does the City do to protect the health of Puget Sound?  Your Public Works & Utilities Department manages a City-wide stormwater collection and transmission system consisting of hundreds miles of buried pipes, thousands of street catchbasins, an operating crew of seven maintenance workers, and a fleet of heavy equipment including Vactor trucks and street sweepers.  The City’s stormwater programs are driven largely by increasing state and federal regulations and employ the latest strategies and best management practices to comply with the Clean Water Act. 

What you can do to help the City protect the health of Puget Sound?  You can wash your car at a commercial car wash where the wastewater will be properly routed to the City’s treatment plant rather than mix with stormwater runoff on its way to Puget Sound.  You can find and fix your vehicle’s oil and other fluid leaks as soon as you notice them.  You can practice natural yard care, drive less, and make sure you use pumpout stations for your boats sewage.  Also, try and be aware if your property might have a buried, hidden, or long-forgotten heating oil tank which may be leaking.  There were a couple of these unfortunate discoveries in Edmonds over the last year.  It all adds up to a healthier future.

To learn about local activities and how you can help keep the Puget Sound watershed healthy for generations to come, visit www.PugetSoundStartsHere.org, or contact Mike Cawrse at the City of Edmonds at mike.cawrse@edmondswa.gov.  Also don’t miss the special ticket offer for Puget Sound Starts Here night at Safeco Field as the Seattle Mariners take on the Los Angeles Angels!



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