Throughout the Salish Sea, coho salmon are a sentinel species for healthy watersheds. Coho need cool, clean water to survive and thrive, and they are very vulnerable to the harmful effects of toxic stormwater runoff. As our regional human population grows, more land is converted to parking lots, streets, and other impervious surfaces. As a consequence, rainfall and runoff transport more chemical pollutants to salmon spawning and rearing habitats.
This session will showcase ongoing stormwater research by NOAA scientists and our many regional collaborators. Our mission is twofold: 1) identify the most important water quality threats to salmon and their food webs, and 2) identify clean water strategies that remove these contaminants and demonstrably protect the health and integrity of our watersheds. Although the challenges ahead are enormous, we’ll report some initial good news.