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Testing the Waters

By Susan Colby

Puget Sound Water Monitoring It’s a match made in heaven, or at least in the skies over Puget Sound. For many years, the Kenmore Air deHavilland Beaver has been an integral part of the Puget Sound Marine Water Quality Monitoring project, a Federal program run under the auspices of the Washington State Department of Ecology (ECY). With the ability to fly low and slow over the Sound and with experienced pilots, the program provides important and timely information to the Department about the health of Puget Sound. With 39 core stations, which are 62

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visited once a month (weather permitting), understanding and respecting sea and weather conditions are paramount, as these stations are, to the uneducated eye, random points at random spots around the Sound. These are actually historical points of reference used by a number of agencies, including the University of Washington, to collect data. They are all marked as waypoints in the onboard GPS, with no actual buoys or X to mark the spot. The testing stations extend from the North Sound and the San Juan Islands, to the Central Sound and

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Whidbey Basin, Hood Canal, South Sound and all the way out the coast at Grays Harbor and Willapa Bay. A Unique Partnership What makes this partnership so unique is not only that it is the only marine water monitoring project in the world that uses floatplanes as the testing platform, but more importantly, the relationships that have grown within the program; friendships that continue long after leaving either employer and even the Puget Sound area. The friendships and collaboration

HARBORS Fall/Winter 2013  

The Seaplane and Boating Destination Magazine

HARBORS Fall/Winter 2013  

The Seaplane and Boating Destination Magazine

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