Category: Fish/Shellfish Research
Published: June 2015
Publication number: FPT 15-04
Development of a Stormwater Monitoring Strategy for the Puget Sound Region
The Stormwater Work Group (SWG) is a coalition of federal, tribal, state, and local governments; business, environmental, and agricultural entities; and academic researchers. All SWG members have interests and a stake in the Puget Sound watershed. The SWG was convened by the Puget Sound Partnership (PSP) and the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) in October 2008 to develop a regional stormwater monitoring strategy and to recommend monitoring requirements in National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) stormwater permits issued by Ecology. In 2012, the SWG became the first â€�"topical workgroupâ€ included in the Puget Sound Ecosystem Monitoring Program (PSEMP), an organization designed to coordinate regional monitoring efforts to assist in providing information to support Puget Sound recovery efforts.
An overall strategy for stormwater monitoring and assessment for the Puget Sound region was developed by the SWG in 2010 (SWG, 2010a). This strategy, summarized in Appendix A, included recommendations for status and trends monitoring in small streams and in the Puget Sound nearshore, with a focus on an integrated approach to quantify stormwater pollutant impacts in Puget Sound, and providing information to efficiently, effectively, and adaptively manage stormwater to reduce harm to the ecosystem.
The SWG also recommended a specific NPDES municipal permittee-funded plan for monitoring the effects of stormwater under the permits in the Puget Sound region (SWG, 2010b). The resulting program, a subset of the overall strategy, is called the Regional Stormwater Monitoring Program (RSMP). Specifically, the RSMP includes status and trends monitoring of water quality and "watershed health" (physical habitat, sediment chemistry, and biological communities) in small streams in the Puget Sound lowlands; and of sediment quality, bacteria, and contaminants in mussels in the marine nearshore of Puget Sound. The RSMP status and trends monitoring follows a probabilistic sample design (SWG, 2010a) such that data gathered can be summarized across the Puget ecoregion. Additional information about the experimental design, the goals, and the objectives for status and trends and other monitoring in the RSMP can be found in Appendix A of this report, in SWG (2010a and 2010b), and at the RSMP website http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/wq/stormwater/municipal/rsmp/rsmp.html).