Puget Soundkeeper is excited to be turning the page and moving forward. We have learned this year, more than ever, the importance of a safe and healthy home, of clean water and fresh air. Water is so much a part of our sense of place here in Puget Sound. We are grateful to be on the water, serving as the first line of defense for Puget Sound.

2020 was a year when the world seemed to simultaneously come to a standstill and speed up at the same time.

Despite shutdowns and lockdowns, pollution did not stop. Calls to our Pollution Prevention hotline continued to report marine debris, sewage and toxic spills. We investigated over 66 incidents. Soundkeeper volunteers continued to show up with kayaks, trash bags and masks for small-group clean up events, salmon monitoring and water quality testing. 

Meanwhile, we continued to fight against state and federal rollbacks of clean water protections. In the courtroom, Soundkeeper’s advocacy resulted in stronger stormwater practices at industrial facilities and municipalities from Anacortes to Bremerton. These decisions help keep toxic pollution out of our waterways, and the settlements we negotiated provided more than $1.3 million to local restoration projects along the Duwamish River and throughout Puget Sound.

Thank you for being part of this important work.  

With today, more than ever, our future begins. 

Puget Soundkeeper and more than 100 other Waterkeeper organizations have called on President-Elect Biden to prioritize clean water, environmental justice and climate in a 5-point Clean Water Action Plan. There are hundreds of executive orders that need to be reviewed, and new rules needed to undo the damage of the past four years. The Clean Water Action Plan is an important place to start.

Our future begins today. It needs to be toxic-free and climate resilient.  

Soundkeeper supports legislation in Olympia that will reduce plastic pollution and transform our recycling system, keeping plastics out of our landfills and the environment. Small plastics comprised more than a third of the marine debris our volunteers picked up from beaches last year—and that’s not counting larger items like plastic bottles and bags.

Meanwhile, water itself is adding stress to our marine ecosystem as climate change brings heavy rains that tax our already burdened stormwater infrastructure. Industrial sites and urban streets are funneling toxics into Puget Sound. Soundkeeper is fighting for upgrades to stormwater and wastewater treatment throughout the region that would filter out the chemicals that poison fish and the  nutrients that deplete Puget Sound of oxygen. 

A wastewater treatment plant measures its output in millions of gallons a day. Sometimes, we measure our success by the simplicity of a single, important action, taken over time. For the 5th year, the Lost Urban Creeks Project will provide paid STEM education, leadership and mentorship for youth interns along Springbrook Creek in South King County. We’re building up a voice for a neglected tributary —and helping raise the next generation of leaders.

Our future is what brings us together. 

Whether we gather in small groups or large, Soundkeeper will fight to keep pollution out of our local waterways, away from vulnerable communities, and from the fish and marine environment that is our lifeblood. 

Our waters have the power to sustain and restore us. This is the future we can create today. 

Thank you for supporting Puget Soundkeeper and protecting clean water.