Puget Sound and the Earth
We love the
Puget Sound area. But keeping it healthy and productive takes
commitments to action are a direct response to public concern
about protecting and cleaning up the Sound. Local watershed management
committees need your help. Our involvement in the public process
is as important as taking the personal steps outlined in the previous
chapters of this book.
community groups have already organized activities and projects
designed to improve water quality. Garden clubs, church and scout
groups, civic associations and service organizations, environmental
and business groups, all have a stake in improving local water
quality. If you belong to one of these groups, consider devoting
one or more meetings to learning about water quality issues in
your local area and in the region. You could feature a knowledgeable
speaker, show a film, organize a panel discussion with local officials,
or sponsor a half-day workshop on water quality issues.
or city planning department or any number of Puget Sound advocacy
organizations can help you find speakers for your meeting. The
list of resources in the next chapter can also help you find speakers,
as well as films and slide shows. Your group should plan to visit
the locations of the problems discussed in your meeting about
the Sound. If your local sewage treatment plant or landfill gives
you cause for concern, arrange a tour and learn first-hand. Invite
your city or county council member along.
Adopt A Stream Handbook
(available by calling 1-800-441-4115) will help you find and
diagnose potential problems. Walking the stream or shoreline
can alert you to erosion problems, debris, highway and construction
runoff, excessive algal growth, poisoned fish, foul smells,
and direct discharges into the waterway. Mark the location of
potential problems on a map, which your county government may
be willing to provide for just that purpose.
step might be to organize a community stream clean-up to restore
the stream and community pride in it. Once you become involved,
the actions needed and how to accomplish them will become obvious.
Your individual actions may be as simple as educating your neighbor
about recycling aluminum cans or as complex as taking part in
comprehensive plan development and zoning for your city or county.
or civic organization can make even bigger contributions toward
clean water. The cleaning of Lake Washington provides a national
model for community organizations tackling an issue, becoming
informed, using the scientific data, conducting publicity campaigns,
and coming up with an alternate plan for action.
health of our waters clearly depends upon the wise use of the
watershed. As our population grows, controlling the effects of
future growth is important. By getting involved in the planning
stage, you can help limit the adverse effects of development.
For more information about how you can participate in the process,
call your city or county planning office.
all begins at home
This guide can help all of us become stewards of Puget Sound.
Only when we understand how our daily routines affect our waters
can we restore their productivity and beauty. By taking care when
disposing of household chemicals, using pesticides only when necessary,
recycling oil and other materials, conserving water, planting
trees, shrubs and plants, and by maintaining your lawn, you are
taking steps to assure a healthy Puget Sound.
You may feel
frustrated when it seems that large polluters continue their activities
while you are taking steps to reduce your impact on the environment.
It may even make your efforts seem insignificant.
our efforts are important. The cumulative effect of the million
households in our watersheds represents a significant source of
pollutants. So minimizing our individual impact is a worthwhile
and important step.
large industries have already been mandated to change and have
taken steps to reduce pollution. Resources have been budgeted
to ensure that more time and money is directed toward the most