The Washington Department of Ecology should augment key watershed monitoring stations with continuous nutrient monitoring technology to improve our understanding of watershed nutrient loads and establish baseline conditions to measure future change.
Making science-based, nutrient management decisions depends on having the right tools and high-quality data. The Salish Sea Model is our best tool for understanding the marine waters of Puget Sound and evaluating the best suite of nutrient reductions that will produce clean water.
In 2020, the Department of Ecology received $748,000 to monitor freshwater nutrients, including dissolved oxygen, acidity, nitrates, turbidity, temperature, and conductivity in Puget Sound. The funding also targeted storm sampling at the mouth of the seven largest rivers discharging into Puget Sound. The data collected will support a nutrient reduction strategy for Puget Sound and help inform decisions about the need for infrastructure investments across the region.
More details may be found in the progress reports in the resources library.