Storm Water Runoff
In addition to picking up pollutants from the land (such as oil and grease, heavy metals, bacteria and even manure from pets and livestock) the flow also comes at a cost to real estate through flooding, transport of soils, and scouring gravel from important salmon and trout streams.
As we remove forests or transform our land through development we lose the absorbing ‘sponge-like’ services of forest “duff” that forms from decades of bark, needles and limbs that form under old-growth forests.
We need to manage and prevent damage from polluted storm runoff. This becomes tangible if you see your own property being damaged from the downstream, or even down hill effects if property owners upstream or upslope from you who just channel their ditches and runoff to your property. We need to all realize we are connected to each other and the land, and our “mostly rural character” is changing to an urbanized one.
Polluted runoff can harm water quality as demonstrated in North Bay, near Allyn. Even when we worked to clean up poorly sited or failing septic system and form a utility and built a wastewater treatment system, fecal coliform bacteria levels in the bay can remain high, too high for safely harvesting shellfish during rain events. Polluted runoff comes off the land that has been developed to near urban densities.
Healthy natural resources and our quality of life in Mason County depend on protection, prevention and forward thinking to retrofit solutions to past problems and promote growth that depends on smart land use and development that’s low in impact.
Looking back to our past we know healthy forests, the timber industry, our shellfish and fish resources are key to our local economy and to tourist attraction.
We have the wisdom to protect these resources for our communities and our healthy economy and the environment. Mason County’s future depends on our stewardship more than ever.
From "Environmentally Sound/KMAS News Radio", Duane Fagergren, Nutrients, Pathogens and Shellfish Program Manager, Puget Sound Partnership, April 11