Thank you to everyone who joined Puget Soundkeeper in celebrating another year of vital community advocacy for a clean and vibrant Sound! This year, we had four ways to join Soundkeeper in Saluting the Sound. On the water, on the shore, or online, we thank you for supporting our mission and our communities.

Thank you especially to everyone who came out for our Floating House Party on Lake Union at the Center for Wooden Boats, donated items – or bid on items – during our annual silent auction, and, most especially, joined us at one of our Week of Action volunteer opportunities around the Sound!

2021 Virtual Salute to the Sound & Award Show

Hosted by Nelson Jay, this live virtual event featured remarks from our new board president Patricia Baird and Soundkeeper’s new executive director Sean Dixon.  

Thank you to everyone who joined our event; and thank you especially to our award winners!

2021 Soundkeeper Inspiration Award

Puget Soundkeeper’s annual Inspiration Awards recognize individuals and organizations that show excellence in the stewardship of a healthy Puget Sound ecosystem, and who provide leadership to inspire advocates and activists for the future. 

This year, we were most inspired by the commitment, courage, and spirit by over 1500 people around the Sound, and are awarding our Inspiration Award to YOU, the Soundkeeper Volunteers.

Over the past year, clean water volunteers donned their masks, kept a safe distance from each other, and stepped up for clean water. At salmon mortality surveys, on kayak patrols, at coastal cleanups, and online for virtual lobbying actions, you made sure that there would always be stewards on the waterfront, despite the pandemic. We were, are, and will always be inspired by everything you risked and everything you gave to see our shared mission succeed over the past year. Thank you to our volunteers, and we’ll see you soon!

2021 Resident Orca Award

Puget Soundkeeper’s work is driven by our community, for our community, and with our community. Indeed, Puget Sound wouldn’t be what it is today without the energy and passion of the volunteers, members, organizations, and leaders we work with across the watershed. This year, Soundkeeper is announcing a new annual award to recognize the exceptional work of these partners who help us keep an eye on the health of Puget Sound and stand with us in support of clean water.  

Awardee: Walt Tabler

For his dedication to Puget Sound, and our organization, Puget Soundkeeper is proud to give one of the inaugural Resident Orca Awards to Walt Tabler. Over the course of his continuing career, and as Soundkeeper’s most recent Board President, Walt has always been ready to help steer our ship in the right direction, and has been able to navigate rough seas. During his tenure as Board President, Walt helped guide Soundkeeper through significant financial, operational, and pandemic-driven challenges – no doubt a skill picked up during the decade he spent at the helm of the Puget Sound Pilots. Soundkeeper wouldn’t be where it is today without his partnership and his leadership over the past few years; for that and more, we’re happy to present this award to Walt Tabler. 

Awardee: International Rescue Committee – Seattle

In honor of the transformative work strengthening what it means to be a community, Soundkeeper is proud to present our first ever “Resident Orca” Award to the International Rescue Committee – Seattle. IRC Seattle works with newly settled refugees as they make their transition to becoming Washington residents. Often, these families face enormous barriers (language, economic, and cultural) figuring out how to navigate life in a new country. Through a growing partnership with Soundkeeper, one part of IRC’s approach is to introduce our newly settled neighbors to the Puget Sound. Along waterfronts, in our urban creeks, and throughout our shared watershed, Soundkeeper is thankful for the opportunity to work with IRC in connecting these refugees to their new environment, helping them learn about our ecological and public health challenges, and opening the door to future collaborative, community-driven clean water advocacy.