Dear Puget Soundkeeper Supporters, Partners, and Friends,
After a great deal of thought and reflection during what has been an extraordinarily tumultuous and challenging year, I have decided to focus on my family and loved ones, and will be stepping down as Puget Soundkeeper and Executive Director. Though my role will change, I will continue to wholeheartedly support the work of Puget Soundkeeper. I am confident that Puget Soundkeeper is in good hands and will continue to be a leading voice for protecting and preserving the waters of Puget Sound.
Even in the midst of the pandemic, the Soundkeeper team made great strides in holding polluters accountable throughout Puget Sound, collected over 5,000 pounds of marine debris in our waterways, stood up against rollbacks of the Clean Water Act and our state’s water quality standards, secured over $750,000 in settlement funds for a salmon habitat restoration project on the Green River in the Puget Sound watershed, and fought for stronger protections against the fossil fuel industry and toxic pollution from entering the Sound.
The movement for racial and social justice locally and throughout the country also inspired Soundkeeper to confront the legacy of environmental injustice, made worse by the disproportionate impacts of both pollution and COVID-19 on marginalized communities and communities of color in the Puget Sound region, particularly along industrial corridors, like Seattle’s Duwamish River, during the pandemic.
Puget Soundkeeper is also pleased to announce that Elizabeth Lunney has been hired to serve as Interim Executive Director while the search for a permanent Executive Director moves forward. As a Senior Associate with the Valtas Group, she provides interim executive support, organizational assessment and transition planning for nonprofits looking to use executive transition as an opportunity to strengthen the organization and prepare it for future challenges. Elizabeth is an accomplished nonprofit and community leader, with deep roots in the outdoors and conservation community. For more than a decade, she was the Executive Director for Washington Trails Association, served as Interim Executive Director for the Mountaineers, Northwest Natural Resource Group and a number of other local environmental organizations, and serves on the boards of the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust and Resource Media. With the addition of Elizabeth, alongside Soundkeeper’s dedicated and talented team, Puget Soundkeeper’s commitment to clean water will not waver, nor will its leadership.
I would like to thank all of Puget Soundkeeper’s staff, Board, volunteers, partners, and supporters who make this organization the success that it is. It was an honor to be of service to the Puget Soundkeeper team, to the Sound, to the communities and marine life that rely on our waterways, and to all of you.