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Pollution in Carkeek Park and Restoration

Pollution in Carkeek Park and restoration

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Pollution in Carkeek Park and Restoration

Carkeek Park stretches on a 216-acre piece of land that is situated in the neighborhood of Broadview, Washington state. The park shelters Pipers Creek and its Mohlendorph Creek and Venema Creek tributaries. The BNSF railway hosts a pedestrian bridge that connects the park with Puget Sound sand beach. However, the well-being of the park is being compromised by pollution. Polluted runoff or storm water is the main form of pollution threatening Carkeek Park. This water flows from building rooftops, through street alleys and across parking lots and finally makes its way into Pipers Creek in Carkeek Park (Environmental Quality Analysts., & Municipality of Metropolitan Seattle, 2004). This paper will look to highlight on the effects of this and other forms of pollution on Carkeek Park as well as restoration and protection measures implemented in the park.

Carkeek Park hosts a variety of resources supported from its terrestrial rocky shorelines, river deltas, forests, and mountain ranges. Uniquely compared to other developed parks in the rest of the United States, Carkeek Park comprises an essential fjord like system with varying terrain and elevation both below and above sea level. This varying topography gives rise to many animal and plant communities that adapt to this specialized habitat. Nevertheless, it is important to understand that the Carkeek Park habitat is highly sensitive to both human and natural disturbances in temperature, climate, rainfall, light availability and nutrient content. Despite the attractive appearance of the park, several indicators suggest that the natural eco system in the park has been negatively impaired or disrupted. The recent pollution of Carkeek Park has led to the creation of a toxic environment that continually works its way through the delicate food web (DeMoisy, 2005). Eventually, this is expected to affect mainly the health of freshwater and marine species and finally to humans altogether.

In connection with Carkeek Park, Pudget Sound sand beach acts as shelter for an estimated four million people. Even though the scenery provides good visual beauty, it is a clear observation that the high and growing population in the region has posed a major factor in changing the ecosystem. A considerable amount of fish, mammals, birds, and plants are considered endangered, threatened, or are in the list of being considered endangered. The most notable population affected by this pollution is the Pudget Sound Chinook Salmon. In the course of the years, numerous species of animal and marine life have found their way into Pudget Sound either intentionally or accidentally. The recent pollution of Carkeek Park has led to the creation of a toxic environment that continually works its way through the delicate food web. Freshwater rivers, streams, and lakes have been dramatically modified by polluted runoff or storm water that flows from building rooftops, through street alleys and across parking lots (DeMoisy, 2005). The pollution of this water adversely affects the delicate marine ecosystem the Chinook salmon largely depends on. This pollution has led to the approximated loss of twenty five percent of freshwater habitat for Chinook salmon.

Consequently, the rate and effect of pollution in Carkeek Park and Pudget Sound has raised an alarm of conservation aimed at returning it to its original state. One restoration and protection measure that has been employed involves shoreline armoring. This cultural ecosystem service is aimed at enhancing property value. However, this posses the risk of altering the supply of sediment to the beach and consequently result to the loss of shoreline vegetation. Fish species such as herring and forage fish largely depend on such vegetation for their survival. The food chain in Pudget Sound dictates that the Chinook salmon will also be affected since predates on herring and forage fish. The eventual result signifies that little food leads to reduced salmon population and the eventual reduction in recreational and commercial fishing in the region.

The restoration of Carkeek Park began in the 1970s. This exercise was aimed at restoring salmon and trout back to Pudget Sound as well as the partial improvement of the surrounding environment. The restoration process also looks to grow surrounding vegetation that will provide nutrients, shade, and habitat for other life species in the park. Handmade restoration: water flow monitors, rocks, handmade wooden fish steps, trucked in gravel, asphalt chunks, and logs will all provide a safe environment for eddies, salmon, and other marine life in Pudget Sound. Park stuff attempt to restore some parts of the park to their original status by making them look natural and provide safe spots for salmon and other fish. Carkeek Park has moved to address the entrance of polluted runoff or storm water into Pudget Sound by installing a pumping station for filtering combined sewer and run off (Brown and Caldwell, 2007).

Another restoration method being implemented in Carkeek Park is the introduction of the Chum salmon fish species. They are non-native but when compared to the Chinook salmon, they are harder and exhibit a better chance of spawning and good for public education and conservation. Compared to the Chinook salmon, they spend less time in their spawning grounds. This implies that they have less time accumulating at single points. More time spent on accumulated points, means presentation of toxins on systems of Carkeek creeks. The introduction of Carkeek wetlands are intended to allow the additional filtering of contaminated water before being drained into Pudget Sound (United States, 2007). In conclusion, freshwater rivers, streams, and lakes in Pudget Sound have been dramatically modified by polluted runoff or storm water that flows from building rooftops, through street alleys and across parking lots. The continuation of the ecosystem in Carkeek Park requires imminent restoration and conservation strategies and the above measures are intended to do just that.

Reference

Brown and Caldwell., & Municipality of Metropolitan Seattle (Wash.). (2007). 201 facility plan, Carkeek Park treatment plant. Seattle, Wash.: Municipality of Metropolitan Seattle.

Environmental Quality Analysts., & Municipality of Metropolitan Seattle (Wash.). (2004). Report on study of wastewater discharge areas at the Richmond Beach, Carkeek Park, West Point, Alki Point submarine outfalls. Pasadena, Calif.

DeMoisy, R. G. (2005). Pudget Sound Pollution: A comprehensive review. Seattle, Wash.

In my notebook on Pollution in Carkeek Park and restoration, (Wed, July 25, 2012) I discuss the effects of pollution and restoration strategies.

United States. (2007). Sound science: Synthesizing ecological and socioeconomic information about the Puget Sound ecosystem. Washington, D.C.: National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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