Al Jazeera has published a detailed report on the world’s biggest marine ecosystem, a complex network of marine life that feeds and supports billions of people around the world.
In a story called “The Puget System”, Al Jazeera’s editor, Joanna Barrow, tells how the world is experiencing a critical moment in its marine environment and how the people of Puget are working together to fix it.
Al Jazeera’s “Puget System” investigation is based on interviews with more than 50 people, scientists and experts, as well as hundreds of images and videos from around the Puget Strait.
Alaskan fisherman Tom Gildea says the climate of the bay is changing rapidly.
“The climate is changing.
It’s not normal anymore,” he says.
“People are living in extreme weather conditions, with drought and flooding.”
In fact, there’s an alarming level of ocean acidification in the Pugets, and that’s having a dramatic impact on the marine environment.
Alaska State University marine scientist Scott Raffin says the acidification of the Pugelton Bay is affecting the health of the seals, seals and sea lions there.
“In Alaska, there are about 30 seals every year that die in the bay because of the high amounts of mercury that are entering the bay,” he said.
Alkali sea lions and polar bears have already died of the mercury-laced pollutants.
But now there are signs that they’re beginning to recover from their previous toxicity.
“The polar bears are now moving into the bay, and they are doing very well,” Raffins said.
“But they’re also not quite getting enough oxygen.
They’re getting too much oxygen.
So there are a lot of problems there, and it’s getting worse.”
Sea lions are particularly vulnerable to the toxins, because they eat a wide variety of fish.
“Sea lions do eat the fish,” Riffins said, “so they have the capacity to metabolise some of the toxins in the fish and to use that in their system.”
They’re not getting the same benefit that they had before.
It takes a long time to heal.
“It’s getting to a point where they’re really stressed, and so they are going to have to go to the shore and eat and then it gets worse.”
“It’s got to be done, and we’re going to try and do it ourselves,” he added.
But this is the time for people to take action.
“We need to start by making sure that we have some sort of management plan for the bay.
And it needs to be based on science, so that it’s sustainable for the next 100 years.”
Scientists say that climate change and pollution are the biggest threats to the health and well-being of people in the world today.
“If you look at the past few decades, there has been a huge increase in mercury contamination of the water,” Rolfe said.
“And now we have the mercury pollution that is starting to reach our shores, and the fish is being eaten, and now we’re seeing it in our seafood.”
Alaska’s salmon fisheries have been devastated by mercury pollution for decades, as have the fish caught by fishermen in the Northwest Passage.
But it’s not just in the Pacific.
In the Great Lakes region of the United States, mercury contamination has been documented in some lakes, rivers and reservoirs.
In 2015, the Canadian government announced that it would limit the use of mercury-containing chemicals in the Great Canadian Lakes, where the water meets all of Canada.
“We’ve got a problem here in Canada,” Ralfin said.
Scientists estimate that between 50 and 60 million people depend on the waters around Puget and in the rest of the world for their drinking water.
“It doesn’t seem like there is a lot that we can do about it, because we’re not trying to solve it,” Rafin said, adding that he hopes to use the report to encourage action.
“What we need is for everyone to be involved in making sure this happens, that it gets fixed.”
Alaskans have been working together on solutions for decades.
In 1991, Alaskans became the first state to pass a law that called for an environmental impact statement for the proposed construction of a liquefied natural gas terminal on the state’s coast.
“Alaska, the state of Alaska, is a leader in protecting the health, the environment, and our environment,” Governor Bill Walker said in the 1991 law.
“This is a huge issue.
We’re the number one water consumer in the state.”
But Alaskan legislators are reluctant to act.
The legislation was vetoed by then-Governor Sean Parnell in 2003.
The state is now in the middle of a lengthy, expensive, multi-year legal battle with the federal government.
In August, Alsop, Alaska became the sixth state to file a suit challenging the environmental impact of the proposed liquefaction terminal.
In November, the US Supreme