Dear Soundkeeper Members, Volunteers, Partners, and Supporters,

On Monday afternoon in response to the COVID-19 crisis, Governor Inslee issued a “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order closing all non-essential businesses for a minimum of two weeks, and banning all gatherings for social, spiritual and recreational purposes, whether organized by public or private groups.  In addition to our first notice in which we cancelled all Soundkeeper events for the next month, this “Stay Home, Stay Safe” order requires us to close our Soundkeeper offices for at least the next two weeks.  While our offices are closed, we remain focused on our mission of protecting and preserving the waters of Puget Sound. 

While we have postponed our kayak and boat patrols, and all other outreach events, for the past few weeks, our team is working remotely to mobilize several new, online, virtual environmental efforts to engage our volunteers and supporters in continuing to protect the waters of Puget Sound in this challenging new environment.  For those of you on Instagram, today we’re launching our first virtual cleanup.  Visit Puget Soundkeeper’s Instagram page and use #PSKvirtualcleanup to learn more and get involved.  We will continue to post updates on our Puget Soundkeeper homepage, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts to keep you abreast of new developments. 

We also invite you to browse our new Shop for Clean Water page for products that support our clean water work.  Results from our latest Microplastics in Puget Sound Waterways study was also released over the weekend to commemorate World Water Day. 

In an effort to help connect you, your family, and community with needed resources, here are links to the Governor’s and Seattle Mayor’s offices.  Both sites are updated regularly with links to programs and services for Washingtonians most impacted by this pandemic.  And if you are able, please join us in supporting our local restaurants and business community – many of which are also supporters of our clean water work in Puget Sound.

This has been a difficult time for our community, our state, and our country.  Our thoughts go out to those who have been impacted by this crisis.  We are also eternally grateful to all frontline workers – health care workers, first responders, grocery store clerks, sanitation and utility workers, and everyone else who may be risking their health and safety to respond to this crisis and keep our society functioning.

While there will undoubtedly be new challenges and obstacles that arise, we remain resilient, thankful and hopeful for our community, the greater public, and the waterways we rely on.  For these reasons and more, Puget Soundkeeper is steadfast in our commitment to fight for clean water and a healthy Puget Sound.  Together, we will get through this. 

Stay safe and healthy.

Chris Rilling

Puget Soundkeeper and Executive Director