Puget Sound photo identifier

Saving Puget Sound

Actions to Protect Puget Sound


  • Water Quality Standards - The basis for protecting and regulating the quality of all surface waters in Washington. They address designated uses, water quality criteria and antidegradation.
  • Spill prevention – Zero spills strategy, to prevent any oil or hazardous substances from entering our waters.


  • Puget Sound Initiative (PSI) Site Cleanups - In response to the Puget Sound Initiative and increased funding, efforts to clean and restore contaminated sites within identified priority bays have accelerated. These bays are the cornerstones of protecting and restoring Puget Sound.
  • Stormwater – Stormwater is rain and snow melt that runs off surfaces such as rooftops, paved streets, highways, and parking lots. As water runs off these surfaces, it can pick up toxic contaminants and other pollution and carry them to Puget Sound.
  • Water quality cleanup – The federal Clean Water Act establishes limits on pollutants that can be discharged to state water bodies and still allow state standards to be met. This site provides information on current and historical Water Quality Improvement Projects (also known as TMDLs).
  • Wastewater – Specific wastewater discharges at a specific location need a permit. Individual permits are tailored to regulate the pollutants in the discharge. Learn more about NPDES and State Waste Discharge permits issued to individual wastewater treatment plants, municipalities and industries.
  • Loans and grants for water quality projects – Find out more about Water Quality grant and loan opportunities and recipients as well as case studies about specific projects.


  • Shoreline Management - Shoreline Master Programs (SMP) govern the use and development of shorelines in Washington State, striving to balance responsible shoreline development with environmental protection and public access.
  • Puget Sound Watershed Characterization Project - includes watershed assessments of: water flow; water quality; landscape assessments of fish and wildlife habitat in three environments (terrestrial, freshwater, marine). The assessments prioritize small watersheds, or habitat areas, relative to one another for their protection and restoration value.
  • Wetland mitigation banks - Mitigation banking creates an economic incentive for restoring, creating, enhancing and/or preserving wetlands. (For more information, see Ecology's priority, Mitigation that Works.)