Preserving The Sacred Waters Of The Puget Sound
Soundkeeper’s mission is to protect and preserve the waters of Puget Sound, including all freshwater tributaries. Soundkeeper has strategically prioritized its work to address the primary threats to Puget Sound water quality: stormwater and wastewater pollution, agricultural pollution, fossil fuel spills and discharges, and plastics/ marine debris.
The Clean Marina Washington Program was created in 2005 as a method to help boaters and marinas leave a healthy wake. Clean Marina addresses the environmental stressors that come from over 50,000 permanently-moored vessels in approximately 220 separate marina facilities in the Puget Sound alone: the equivalent of a small city built entirely over the water. These stressors include oil and fuel spills, illicit raw or treated vessel sewage discharges, aquatic invasive species, marine debris, and gray water. This project is part of Puget Soundkeeper’s education and stewardship efforts to engage marinas and boaters on water quality issues and encourages protection of water quality through environmentally sound operating procedures.
In 2021, The Soundkeepers have been actively working with Ecology to reach out to recreational boaters, with the ultimate goal of creating new educational materials and messaging to push enforcement of the No Discharge Zone. They also assembled a committee of active Clean Marina Managers to weigh in on new requirements of the Clean Marina program that would help marinas enforce the NDZ in their own waters.
Soundkeepers partnered with The Seattle Aquarium on their new Whale Watching Pledge. The pledge asks boaters to stay 1,000 yds from Orca, which goes further than the regulated 300 yards. According to experts 300 yards is considered a minimum, and the additional space is much more protective of our Orca in terms of noise pollution and strike risk.
The Soundkeepers printed 5,000 newly designed rack cards regarding Greywater education and best management practices implementation for recreational boaters. They also published an article on greywater that will be featured in the annual issue of SunCruiser magazine. This year they were able to distribute nearly 2,000 boating literature and materials including NDZ/BMP rack cards, spill kits, boater guides, fuel bibs, and pumpout adapters.
Images courtesy of Puget Soundkeeper Alliance