Stopping toxic pollution before it starts is the most effective way to protect healthy waters and ensure that our region is resilient in the long term. Soundkeeper’s team is dedicated to building partnerships with businesses, government, and individuals to find sustainable solutions that reduce pollution. And every year Soundkeeper teams up with thousands of volunteers and dozens of businesses, agencies and organizations to improve our waterways for people and wildlife by hosting waterway cleanup events and water quality monitoring projects. Please visit our volunteer page to learn more about these activities and opportunities to get involved. Our volunteers are heroes for clean water, and help to spread the word about how to protect Puget Sound!

Volunteer Activities

Soundkeeper conducts weekly boat patrols and kayak patrols with volunteers who want to learn about spotting pollution and get more familiar with our local waterways. And we hold beach cleanups throughout the year to remove trash and marine debris from shorelines and protect wildlife and the environment. Our major cleanup events include the Seattle Summer Sweep and International Coastal Cleanup, but we also support teams around the Sound who want to host their own events. Get in touch to find out more!

Water Quality Monitoring

Every year Soundkeeper participates in water quality monitoring projects to track the health of Puget Sound waterways. These include salmon surveys in Longfellow Creek, which drains over 2,000 acres of land into the Duwamish River, and Mussel Watch, a long-running regional project that uses mussels to figure out what pollutants are in the water. We also sample local waterways for microplastics, tiny fragments of plastic that can carry toxics into the water and are often eaten by fish and other wildlife.

Clean Boating Programs

Boaters and marinas are key partners in protecting clean water. For those who work and play on Puget Sound, every day is an opportunity to prevent pollution and protect wildlife and water quality. Through the Clean Marina Program, a partnership between Soundkeeper, Department of Ecology, State Parks, Department of Natural Resources, Washington Sea Grant, the Northwest Marine Trade Association, and the EnviroStars Cooperative staff work directly with marinas across the state to provide practical solutions to prevent pollution. Certified marinas (73 state-wide) promote Best Management Practices (BMPs) and provide boaters with free resources and educational materials.

To learn more about what you can do to prevent pollution while you’re on the water, download the newly published “Pollution Prevention for Washington State Marinas” here: or pick up a copy of “Sound Information: A Boater’s Guide” online or at your local marina.

Important Clean Marina news: OSHA is updating its traditional MSDS format and replacing it with the Globally Harmonized System. Many of the transitions have taken place, and the last one is effective June 1, 2016. This is the date by which places of work need to comply with the new format—and this affects many marinas! While Puget Soundkeeper and Clean Marina will not be hosting any trainings, we are here to help with references and answering the big picture questions. We are providing an FAQs sheet and some quick references from the OSHA website that help explain the changes:

comparison table of what has changed
An image to explain the new safety sheet data
Definitions of each part of the new data sheets

We hope you have a smooth transition!