A vital, adaptable Sound
Variations on an ecological theme are evident in two news accounts about the health and future of Puget Sound. A climate-change-driven rise in...
Variations on an ecological theme are evident in two news accounts about the health and future of Puget Sound.
A climate-change-driven rise in ocean levels spells trouble for low-lying beaches and tide flats over the next half-century. A new study by the National Wildlife Federation said the effects are likely to be gradual, nonetheless they constitute a threat to a vulnerable Sound and its shoreline and marine life. Global warming brings higher water temperatures along with higher water levels, making potential problems all the more complex.
The Washington Department of Ecology announced last week it would distribute $113 million in grants and loans for sewer-collection improvements, wastewater treatment and water-reclamation projects around the state.
Money aimed at Puget Sound will go to repair leaking septic systems, a major problem along Hood Canal.
Ecology is about the relationship between organisms and their environment, and the nexus between efforts to clean up the Sound and sustain it through change is real.
In 2005, the Climate Impacts Group at the University of Washington published an important report on the Puget Sound environment. The role of adaptability was a key point of "Uncertain Future: Climate Change and Its Effect on Puget Sound."
A healthy Sound will have the resilience to better respond to changes in regional ecosystems. Change is coming to the Sound and its watersheds. Cleaning up Puget Sound cannot forestall the effects of climate change, but it prepares a vital body of water for the stresses and disruptions ahead.
Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company
Seattle Times transportation reporter Mike Lindblom describes some of the factors that may have led to the collapse of the I-5 bridge over the Skagit River in Mount Vernon on Thursday, May 23.