USGS Washington Water Science Center
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The Issue: The State of Washington issues Municipal Stormwater Permits to local governments in the Puget Sound region that require them to develop and implement a stormwater management program that reduces the discharge of pollutants and protects the quality of water in rivers, streams, lakes and Puget Sound. The permitees in partnership with the State need to measure whether water quality and watershed health is getting better or worse as a result of stormwater management. The monitoring is a critical component of the Status and Trends in Receiving Waters element of the Regional Stormwater Monitoring Program (RSMP).
How USGS will help: As members of the State's small streams and the nearshore sediment monitoring teams, USGS will help by (1) monitoring status and trends of water quality, physical habitat, sediment chemistry, and biological communities of small streams in the Puget Sound lowlands during 2015 and (2) monitoring nearshore marine sediment chemistry in the Puget Sound during summer 2016. In addition, USGS will be part of a team conducting analysis of the small streams data to inform future monitoring and implementation of stormwater permits during 2016-17.