Environment

Environment: Links to Other Data Sites

As Communities Count re-evaluates its Environment indicators, this page offers access to other sites that
provide data (or potentially valuable perspectives) on a range of environmental topics.

SPECIFIC ENVIRONMENTAL TOPICS

Air Quality:  Puget Sound Clean Air Agency provides a wide range of air quality data and reports on air quality for King, Pierce, Snohomish, and Kitsap counties, plus the Cascade Foothills.  Real-time air quality monitoring is available for 10 King County locations on an interactive map

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

  • In 2012, the Stockholm Environment Institute released a report on greenhouse gas emissions in King County in which emissions were measured from transportation, buildings, industry, waste, agriculture, and land-use change.  An alternative consumption-based method measured emissions from personal transportation, home energy and appliances, food, services, construction, and other goods and services.  The beneficial effects of forest cover and recycling were also documented.  From the consumption perspective, the per-person emissions footprint for King County residents was about 4 times the global average, with personal transportation making the largest contribution. Appendix A details data sources (with ratings of measurability), probable policy implications, and the pros and cons of alternative tracking methods.

Walking/Biking

Water Quality of Streams and Rivers: 

  • King County has posted an interactive map linking to Water Quality Index scores for streams and rivers throughout King County.

MULTIPLE ENVIRONMENTAL TOPICS

  • Crosscut.com posts articles on environmental issues.  Sample topics have been water conservation, urban walkability, walkability and real estate values, and environmental justice.
  • The Encyclopedia of Earth is an electronic reference that provides extensive, expert-reviewed information about the Earth, its natural environments, and their interaction with society.  It’s section on Environmental Monitoring offers a perspective on measurement and sustainability, and links to several articles relevant to Communities Count audiences.
  • Although global in scope, the archives of Environmental Health News provides access to an extensive, searchable database of scientific studies, news stories, opinion pieces, and organizational reports on links between human health and environmental exposures of various kinds.
  • King County Performance Reporting tracks indicators across 8 categories of goals related to implementation of the King County Strategic Plan. 
    • Yearly updates on air quality are found in Community Health > Natural and Built Environment > Days with good or moderate quality.
    • Environmental data > Environmental indicators > Aquatic environment provides King County data on: streams and offshore marine water quality, number of Chinook salmon returning to spawning grounds, and phosphorus index ratings of major lakes
    • A map of farm and forest lands in King County can be found at Environmental data > Environmental indicators > Agriculture 
  • Mountains to Sound Greenway works on sustainability by connecting regional bicycle trails, restoring natural lands, planting trees and shrubs, and enabling land acquisition efforts.  Most of the 23 Greenway cities are in King County (Greenway maps).
  • Puget Sound Partnership, a state agency leading the recovery of Puget Sound, reports on ‘Vital Signs’ of Puget Sound’s health.  Each of the 22 indicators on the Vital Signs wheel has a “Latest data and maps” section; the maps clearly show county boundaries. 
  • Sightline Institute produces reports, graphics, and articles about public policy related to sustainability in the Pacific Northwest. Topics include Climate & Energy, Economy & Jobs; Environment; Land Use & Transportation.
  • The Environment section of Smart Growth America offers information on how smart growth strategies protect air quality, water quality, and natural habitats. One of the case studies presented (on walkability) was done in King County.  The site provides links to additional useful resources.

Notes, Sources & Related Links