Friday, July 10, 2015

Puget Sound conditions are getting soup-y

Puget Sound is a terrific place for kayaking... or more precisely, there are several good launching places in the sound. I was glad to enjoy a couple of them last year during a short trip to Whidbey Island. (Yes, John, I am working on my trip report and yes, there are some photos.)
But this summer in particular, there are concerns with the extra-warm conditions leading to algae blooms. If paddlers want to know what conditions to expect, a good online resource is Eyes Over Puget Sound. As their website says:
The Washington Department of Ecology distributes a monthly report combining high resolution aerial photographs with satellite and ground-truthed monitoring data for Puget Sound surface conditions.
Ecology's Marine Monitoring Unit takes monthly samples at 40 core stations throughout the Puget Sound region. During a transit flight between stations, monitoring team member Dr. Christopher Krembs takes photographs of surface water conditions in the Sound. These high-resolution images are combined with satellite photos, ferry data between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C. and measurements from instruments moored in the Sound to create the Eyes Over Puget Sound report.The report observes changes in water conditions that can be seen on the surface, such as algal blooms, wildlife activity, and oil spills, and provides contextual and interpretive data. Reports are released within two days of observations and have been published monthly since April 2011.

While I'm not sure about that word "ground-truthed" I'm sure the reports have the details I'd want to know if I were paddling in Puget Sound again. Scroll down for news of algae blooms, jellyfish, and water clouded with sediment that would help small boat users know what to expect in this unexpectedly-hot summer.

1 comment:

  1. Yes its sad Puget Sound has these pollutants, it is great river for paddling.