Thursday, 18 April 2013

The University of Washington raises awareness for the Puyallup River watershed

The University of Washington raises awareness for the Puyallup River watershed, The Puyallup River Watershed, one of the main sources of fresh water into the Puget Sound, has been getting more attention in the past few years, primarily due to the effects of urbanization. A documentary released by the University of Washington in 2010, Water Undone: The efforts to save the Puyallup River Watershed, brings attention to the issues that our rivers are facing and what is being done to improve the areas of concern. Our dependency on water from irrigation and agriculture, to transportation, waste management, and electricity is taking a toll on a sustainable resource.

In an effort to bring awareness and support from local residents of King and Pierce County, the University of Washington Tacoma is having their first annual Puyallup River Film Festival: A Competition to Save Our Watershed. Application is open to the public and individuals must submit a 2-3 minute video on issues related to the Puyallup River and any of its tributaries.

View slideshow: The Puyallup River Watershed

High levels of fecal coliform bacteria have been found in many of the tributaries of the Puyallup River. This is from human and animal waste leaching into the aquifers that lead into our streams and can infect our whole water system. Chinook salmon rely on the Puget Sound and are among many of Puget Sounds animals that are on the endangered species list. Traveling upriver to spawn, Chinooks greatest threats are the diverting and over using of water resources, dams alternating speed of water flows and blocking access to natal streams. Another animal that doesn’t get too much attention is the Western Pond Turtle, a native to the Puget Sound area. The Western Pond Turtles disappearance started a conservation and reintroduction project in 1991. Since 2011 over 1,500 turtles have been released and observations show they are doing quite well. Woodland Park Zoo has a captive breeding program that has produced 30 babies that have all been released in a protected pond area in Pierce County.

The main focus is bringing awareness to everyone. Everything in our daily lives relies on keeping our rivers, streams, and oceans clean.

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