A New Year’s Message from your Puget Soundkeeper
By Chris Wilke, Puget Soundkeeper and Executive Director
On behalf of the Board and staff of Puget Soundkeeper, thank you so much for your support over the last year. Puget Soundkeeper would not be able to protect and preserve Puget Sound and our precious lakes, rivers, streams and drinking water sources without your help. Together, we are making a difference for our salmon, our orca whales and the health of our communities.
As we say goodbye to 2018 and look forward to fresh challenges ahead, it’s worth reflecting on some of our successes in the last year, including:
- Securing a major court victory rebuking the Trump administration’s plan to illegally delay and roll back Obama-era clean water protections;
- Working with partners to ensure major policy wins, including establishing a federal No Discharge Zone for Puget Sound, a legislative ban on harmful Atlantic Salmon Net Pens, and ensuring Governor Inslee’s Orca Recovery Plan includes a call for strong enforcement, improved water quality protections and robust funding for implementation;
- Watchdogging our waters with 77 Boat patrols, 41 field investigations and 3 aerial patrols of Puget Sound watersheds;
- Investigating, documenting and reporting over 70 instances of pollution to local, state and federal authorities;
- Settling four Clean Water Act actions in federal court to better protect Puget Sound waterways from illegal industrial pollution, directing $525,000 to third-party community organizations to implement pollution mitigation projects;
- Working to advance environmental justice and community empowerment by expanding our partnership with Unleash the Brilliance in our Lost Urban Creeks project, a program for at-risk youth that trains and empowers the leaders of tomorrow in watershed protection, while advancing Soundkeeper’s mission;
- Mobilizing over 2,200 volunteers in 81 waterway cleanup events to remove over 13,000 pounds of harmful marine debris;
- Documenting trends in watershed health through our Microplastics, Mussel Watch, and Urban Runoff Salmon Mortality monitoring projects;
- Certifying six new marinas in our award-winning statewide Clean Marina Washington program, and helping roll out the new Puget Sound No Discharge Zone with area boaters.
As you can see, this selected list is not short! I am extremely proud of what we accomplished together.
Thank you so much for your generous financial support, your volunteer time, your expertise, your energy and words of encouragement when they are needed most. We could not do this work without you!
We look forward to seeing you on the water in 2019!
Stay tuned for more updates or visit our Blog.