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Puget Partnership picks ecosystem targets

SEATTLE During two days of intense discussions, the governing board of the Puget Sound Partnership adopted numerical for the recovery of fish, sediments, water quality and other ecological components of Puget Sound.

The legal mandate to establish ecological targets has loomed over the seven member Leadership Council for three years. Targets are designed to serve as mile markers along the path toward ecological health for Puget Sound.

of the whole process is being able to monitor and hold the partnership accountable, said Martha Kongsgaard, chairwoman of the Leadership Council. targets and goals and measurables, you are not going to get to the end game. targets approved Thursday and Friday tend to describe conditions as they ought to be in the year 2020, as opposed to an ultimate restoration goal. Members of the Leadership Council said if the 2020 goals are met, it would put their efforts on an appropriate but it may not result in a perfect model of health for Puget Sound.

Success at reaching the 2020 targets would demonstrate that significant progress can be made, even as the region accommodates potentially millions of new residents. The targets are expected to be refined, as needed, to define what a healthy Puget Sound would look like, said Kongsgaard.

(targets) are not going to be perfect; we are going to adaptively manage them, she said.

Kongsgaard said Puget Sound provides a tremendous economic benefit, in terms of recreation as well as commercial fish and shellfish harvesting.

Opinion polls have shown that people truly love their waterway and wish to pass on a healthy Puget Sound to their children, she said. Generally, people are willing to pay for restoration, she added.

have to get to an understanding that says, what happens to you happens to me, she said. have to imagine a world where change is possible. We have to agree to do the Billig Generisk Cialis enduring thing, what is in the public interest and, not coincidentally, in the long run what is in our personal and private interest.

Furthermore, he stressed, the partnership must be realistic about what is possible.

live in a developed area, he said. need to protect what we have and restore what we can. The "Buy Cheap Jintropin Online" overall goal is a clean and healthy sound. We have to do that in the context of a vibrant economy. that reason, McCabe proposed an indicator to track economic health. Kongsgaard said she would place the idea on a list of possible targets scheduled for future review.

Dan O of Belfair, a member of the Leadership Council, said it is important, in setting numbers, to also consider how the targets could affect local governments and others called on to carry out the restoration work.

With the approved targets which relate to ecosystem indicators adopted last year the Leadership Council passes a major milestone in its duties. Next, using the targets, the council must update the Puget Sound Action Agenda, a list of specific projects with funding recommendations for restoring Puget Sound.

Here are the targets approved Thursday and Friday:

Swimming beaches: By 2020, all monitored Puget Sound beaches meet state standards using the bacteria enterococci as a measure. The information comes from the Washington State BEACH Program, a joint effort of the Washington departments of Health and Ecology.

Shellfish beds: By 2020, increase harvestable acres to 10,800, including 7,000 acres where harvest is currently prohibited by the Washington Department of Health. Currently, 41,000 acres are classified out of 194,000 acres that are classified for shellfish.

Salmon: By 2020, stop the overall decline and observe an improvement in wild chinook returns to each region of Puget Sound. The Leadership Council discussed higher numerical goals for improvement, but state experts said just turning around 25 years of declines in the next 10 years would be a major accomplishment.

Orcas: By 2020, reach a population of 95 Puget Sound killer whales, which would represent a 1 percent annual average growth rate. That would be an increase from the recent 0.66 percent. Orca populations are affected by many problems, from toxic chemicals to salmon abundance, and few are easy to solve.

Pacific herring: By 2020, achieve spawning biomass of 5,000 tons for Cherry Point stock near Bellingham, 880 tons for Squaxin Pass stock in South Puget Sound and 13,500 for other Puget Sound stocks combined. This was an increase over the advice offered by experts from the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, who said they were not sure how this improvement could be achieved. Members of the Leadership Council encouraged studies to figure out what it would take, since herring play a key role in the Puget Sound food chain.

Eelgrass: By 2020, increase acres of eelgrass by 20 percent over measured levels in the 2000 2008 baseline period. In 2005, state researchers estimated a total of about 49,000 acres of eelgrass beds in the region.

Estuaries: By 2020, meet salmon recovery goals for rivers supporting chinook salmon, including the restoration of 7,380 acres throughout Puget Sound. At 16 large river estuaries, about 45 percent of the historic estuary areas remain intact. The long term goal is to restore enough land to bring that to 80 percent.

Flood plains: By 2020, restore 15 percent of degraded floodplain areas or launch projects to achieve that outcome. According to federal officials, about 73 percent of historic flood plains have been diked and filled. Environmental groups called for 25 percent improvement, while business representatives called for the issue to be tabled until federal officials complete regulations now under review.

Shoreline armoring: By 2020, remove more miles of bulkheads than are built, with specific attention given to protecting and restoring bluffs that beaches with sand and gravel. According to experts, about 27 percent of Puget Sound marine shoreline (666 miles) has been altered with bulkheads. New structures are being added at a rate of more than a mile per year.

Streamflow: By 2020, Cialis 10 Mg Goedkoop ensure that summer streamflows are stable or increasing in the Nisqually, Cedar, Skokomish, Skagit and Green rivers; maintain stable levels in the Puyallup, Dungeness and Nooksack; halt the weak decline in the Snohomish; and slow the strong decline in the Deschutes, North Fork Stillaguamish and Issaquah Creek. Summer streamflows are considered a limiting factor for several species of fish and other creatures.

Fish toxics: By 2020, toxics in fish fall below threshold levels, with specific numerical targets for English sole, salmon and herring. The standards focus on four classes of chemicals that are measured regularly in fish from selected bays and estuaries.

Marine sediments: By 2020, toxic chemicals in bays currently monitored reflect exposure Buy Cialis Switzerland and none exceed state sediment quality standards. Toxics in four of eight regions where sediments are monitored appear to have impacts "Anabolika Definition" on marine organisms. Reaching this target would bring the levels to a minimal problem.

Dissolved oxygen: By 2020, human related contributions of nitrogen do not cause oxygen levels to decline more than 0.2 milligrams per liter anywhere in Puget Sound. Nitrogen triggers the growth of plankton, which consume oxygen when they die and decay. Human sources of nitrogen may be a serious problem Steroids Injection Gone Wrong in Hood Canal, South Puget Sound and areas near Whidbey Island. Identifying the problem requires computer modeling, which is under way for those areas.

Benthic invertebrates: By 2020, 100 percent of lowland streams listed with populations of maintain that standard while at least 30 other streams improve Oximetolona Y Turinabol from to Reducing toxic chemicals in stormwater has shown to improve the health of these organisms that live in sediments on the bottom.

Freshwater quality: By 2020, at least 50 percent of all monitored streams Methandienone Msds achieve a freshwater quality index (made up of several measurements) score at 80 or higher and the state larger list of impaired streams the 303(d) list shows an improving trend.

Septic systems: By 2020, all systems in sensitive areas of Puget Sound have been inventoried, 95 percent are up to date with inspections and all failed systems are repaired. Sensitive areas are defined by their designation as recovery areas. The Leadership Council indicated that it would like to expand such areas to 90 percent of Puget Sound not served by sewers.