Some 92,000 acres of mud and sand at the bottom of the Pacific Northwest’s Puget Sound is contaminated with dioxin, toxic metals, and PCBs (just for starters), all the result of industrial pollution. In turn, these nasties make their way into the sound’s critters. Crabs are poisoned, while orca whales, salmon, and even some herring stocks are disappearing. The sound’s beaches — important nursery grounds for many fish — are also in trouble because of rampant development. Scientists think global warming is also affecting the sound’s sea life.
Get Grist in your inbox