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Dirty rain runoff is putting fish at risk

File photo

File photo

Cheryl Santa Maria
Digital Reporter

Monday, November 17, 2014, 2:29 PM - Salmon exposed to rain runoff from one of Seattle's busiest highways doesn't fare well in lab experiments, the Associated Press (AP) reports.

Four hours after a coho salmon was exposed to an average amount daily runoff from the highway -- which includes dirt, metal and oil -- it was dead.

But, when the runoff was filtered through gravel, sand and compost, fish appeared to be healthy and responsive 24 hours after exposure.

Researchers say the findings provide valuable insight into how officials can reduce pollution.

RELATED: Fish found with human teeth

The study was a joint venture between NOAA, Washington State University and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. 

Officials are working to have 12,000 rain gardens placed around Puget Sound to help reduce rainwater pollution.

"It's really promising, showing that rain gardens and bio-filtration are removing the pollutants that are killing the salmon,"  Chris Wilke of the Puget Soundkeeper Alliance told AP.


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