The 1st Edition State of the Island's Waters Report is released
As an Island community, Bainbridge Island depends upon the 59 seasonal and perennial streams and 53 miles of shoreline as a food source and economic driver, through tourism and recreational retreats. The Water Quality and Flow Monitoring Program, developed through a Centennial Clean Water Fund grant, was designed to monitor freshwater, nearshore (marine) water, and stormwater quality to restore and protect these beneficial uses.
Most pollutants found in waters of the state are believed to be delivered via stormwater runoff; therefore, the quantification of stormwater runoff impacts on our Island streams and along our shoreline is critical in our success in restoring and protecting our waters. In 2008-2010 a Stormwater Work Group
established by the Department of Ecology and Puget Sound Partnership developed a Stormwater Monitoring and Assessment Scientific Framework and Implementation Strategy for Puget Sound
. The primary strategic initiative involves the monitoring and assessment of streams and nearshore environments to determine the presence of pollutants, identify likely pollutant sources, and provide education and technical guidance to eliminate these sources.
The State of the Island's Waters report summarizes monitoring data collected since the Water Quality and Flow Monitoring Program’s development in 2007. The primary water quality parameters monitored included stormwater runoff pollutants such as bacteria, nutrients, pesticides, hydrocarbons, metals, and other toxics; in situ physio-chemical parameters such as pH, temperature, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, turbidity, and biological integrity indicators such as macroinvertebrate (stream bug) diversity. The report also briefly summarizes the Washington State Department of Health shellfish growing and harvest area assessments and swimming beach advisories, as well as, the Department of Ecology's Water Quality Assessments.
Current monitoring includes automated continuous flow monitoring in three streams and one stormwater outfall, monthly water quality grab sampling in 15 streams and one stormwater outfall, and annual macroinvertebrate sampling in six streams.
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