The Puget Sound Partnership
released its 2013 State of the Sound report on November 1st, showing mixed progress for the agency’s 21 designated Puget Sound “Vital Signs.” Three showed slight improvement, although “many of the Vital Signs continue to struggle, and three show a worsening trend,” according to the Partnership.
The State of the Sound is the state’s most comprehensive overview of Puget Sound health, and the wide variety of ecosystem components being measured is expected to lead to a mixed report, the agency says.
On the positive side:
- 2,888 acres of shellfish beds were reopened to harvest between 2007 and 2013.
- Approximately 2,260 acres of estuary restoration was completed between 2006 and 2012 in Puget Sound’s 16 major river delta estuaries.
- The percent of swimming beaches meeting water quality standards in 2012 was higher than the 2004 baseline reference.
On the negative side, water quality and Sediment Quality Triad Index (SQTI) scores declined, and Orca numbers were down from 86 in 2010 to 82 at last tally. Herring numbers also worsened. Other indicators were listed as “mixed” such as shoreline armoring which continues to increase, even as old armoring is removed. “The amount of new shoreline armoring in Puget Sound was substantially greater than the amount removed for every year from 2005 through 2011,” according to the report.
Read more in the Partnership’s enewsletter.
Download the full report.
Read the Partnership’s Action Agenda Report Card