Thousands of people may have breathed a sigh of relief that Western Washington didn’t quite see the destructive wind that was predicted but a local diver says the storm runoff caused damage in a different way.
There was plenty of rain and Laura James says much of that water goes right from the streets of Seattle into the sound.
“After that big storm the streets are all very clean. The problem is, where did all that go?” James said.
James believes most people have no idea that the storm water outflow goes right into the sound. “As soon as the rains start, they start flushing into Puget Sound."
When the rain started this weekend, James grabbed her dive gear and her cameras. Using livestream technology, she showed people the debris near West Seattle and answered questions while she was under water.
James understands that most people don’t have the ability to become scuba certified and go underwater so she hopes her videos take people there. “You can literally pop down under water and you're in this magical land,” she said.
She wants people to see how careless litter around city streets can impact critical marine habitat. “People protect what they love and they can't love it unless they know it," she explained.
When she went in Saturday, James captured plenty of debris. “We see everything down there, literally anything that can fall out of your pockets.” Small pieces of plastic, cigarette butts, alcohol bottles; all things that down belong down there.
She is hoping these videos will make people think twice when they see trash on the sidewalks and streets and take the time to clean it up. “Don't walk on by; if you see it, pick it up.”
James has been tracking the trash under Puget Sound for years and things aren't getting better but she's not giving up. She believes as long as she can keep showing people how carelessness on streets is trashing Puget Sound things can change.
“There is hope because we can stop it before it gets there, we can pick it up off the side of the streets.” You can find Diver Laura’s videos: https://youtu.be/Ao4wyTphHjI.