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Saving Puget Sound

Water Quality Program Manager, Heather Bartlett, gives her opening address to the audience.
Water Quality Program Manager, Heather Bartlett, gives her opening address to the audience.

Puget Sound Nutrient Dialogue

On July 19, 2017 the Department of Ecology (Ecology) convened a 1-day workshop at the Green River College. The workshop brought subject matter experts together to talk about how nutrient over-enrichment affects their different technical areas, from water quality to salmonid survival. They also discussed the Salish Sea model which will be used to evaluate the extent of the water quality problems as well as potential solutions for nutrient reduction.

Ecology has initiated the Puget Sound Nutrient Source Reduction Project which starts with understanding the impacts that excess nutrients from human sources are having on multiple facets of Puget Sound water quality and marine species. Beginning in 2018 we will use that understanding to guide the collaborative development of an implementation strategy to reduce human sources of nutrients resulting in improved Puget Sound water quality.

Workshop audience

The Puget Sound Nutrient Dialogue brought together scientists from county, state, and federal agencies who talked about their research, shared the results they are finding, answered questions, and engaged in discussions. The event was well attended and participants asked tough questions.

Information presented at the Dialogue is available from the links below.



Presentation Materials

Presentation Presenters Videos* Other information
Opening Remarks Heather Bartlett, Ecology YouTube link Speaker information handout
What is the Puget Sound Nutrient Source Reduction Project? Dustin Bilhimer, Ecology YouTube link Agenda
Nutrient and phytoplankton trends and ties to climate in central Puget Sound Kimberle Jaeger and Stephanie Stark, King County YouTube link Summary report
Changes in Puget Sound from Ecology’s long-term marine water quality monitoring program Christopher Krembs, Ecology YouTube link Pictures from the events
Impacts of excessive nutrients on eelgrass and kelp Bart Christiaen, Natural Resources YouTube link  
Regional declines in Puget Sound benthic communities Sandy Weakland, Ecology YouTube link  
Salish Sea Model Panel multiple speakers Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
The role of nutrients in Puget Sound food webs: insights from empirical and modeling studies:
 - Greene
 - Harvey
Correigh Greene and Chris Harvey, NOAA Department of Fisheries YouTube link  

* We are preparing the videos to meet our accessibility requirements and will post them as soon as they are available.

One day wasn’t enough to cover all of the issues connected to nutrients and we want to connect with experts and learn from them. We will continue talking with researchers and practitioners in the region fully understand the problem.

If you are interested in learning more about the project and staying up to date on the progress, please sign up for our listserv. We will also continue the conversation on our Puget Sound nutrients blog.


Dustin Bilhimer
Puget Sound Nutrient Source Reduction Project Manager
Email: dustin.bilhimer@ecy.wa.gov
Phone: 360-407-7143