We all know that in the month of April, you can celebrate the environment on Earth Day (April 22) and on Arbor Day (April 29). Now April has a new cause to celebrate— April 2011 is “Puget Sound Starts Here Month.”
The County Council is considering a resolution highlighting the importance of water quality education in keeping our streams, lakes and Puget Sound clean. It is estimated that 75 percent of water pollution in Puget Sound and local waterways is the result of daily activities of people, not industrial activity. Simple changes by local residents result in significant improvements to local streams and rivers that flow directly into Puget Sound.
The resolution will encourage participation in fun events that contribute to cleaning up Puget Sound and local waterways. Here are a few things you can do to get involved and improve water quality in Pierce County:
- April 16, 9 a.m.-noon. Parks Appreciation Day. Park locations throughout Pierce County will be restored, maintained, and improved by volunteers. Visit Metro Parks or Pierce County Parks and Recreation to find a site and sign up to volunteer.
- April 21, Puget Sound Starts Here Night at the Tacoma Rainiers. Come out and watch the Rainiers take on the Colorado Springs Sky Sox at the newly remodeled Cheney Stadium. Tickets are $15 each and include reserved seat, hot dog, drink, and chips. Call Puget Creek Restoration Society to purchase your tickets 253-779-8890, or email firstname.lastname@example.org. For each ticket sold, 33 percent will go toward their efforts to revitalize Puget Creek and other local watersheds.
- In your yard. Use fertilizer and pesticides sparingly, or just use compost. www.tpchd.org/naturalyardcare
- Around your dog. Scoop up dog poop, bag it, tie securely and place it in the trash. www.piercecountywa.org/petwaste
When polluted stormwater flows into most storm drains, it is released into local waterways without treatment. Pollution flowing into the Puget Sound negatively affects wildlife and the environment.
“Protection of our waters is crucial, not only for the preservation of the quality of life for our citizens, but for the ecological well-being for our natural environment,” Councilmember Stan Flemming said. “Puget Sound Starts Here highlights both the need and opportunity for all of us together to join into doing our part,” he added.
“While Puget Sound and our local waterways appear pristine from the surface, everyday activities like car washing, using pesticides and fertilizers, pet waste, and car leaks have huge impacts,” said Harold Smelt, Pierce County Public Works and Utilities Surface Water Management manager. “By making small changes, we can be part of the solution to improve water quality in Puget Sound.”
A list of more local events to celebrate Puget Sound Starts Here Month is at www.pugetsoundstartshere.org/in-your-local-area/events-around-the-sound/.