Scientists say Puget Sound sediment is suffering

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by GARY CHITTIM / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @gchittimK5

KING5.com

Posted on June 4, 2013 at 4:36 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jun 4 at 6:59 PM

There is an expanding health problem on the bottom of Puget Sound. Washington Department of Ecology scientists said when they compared sediment samples collected this year with those taken 10 years ago, they found that the sediment health is getting worse.

Working off the back of a research vessel near Magnolia Bluff, the team lowered a clam shell scoop which returned to the surface with a sample of the top three inches of sediment.

The sandy muck was packed with creatures, but the scientists say there should be more. The numbers of tiny clams, worms and other bottom dwellers are declining and the scientists say that is a sure sign of declining health.

They are not prepared yet to say the cause for the issue but they said they did find expanded zones of toxins. They said it could be a combination of natural and manmade problems but its serious.

The creatures living in the sediment are the broad base of the bottom of the Puget Sound food pyramid.

 

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