We’re off to Puget Sound Day on the Hill!
Here in our Seattle office, we enjoy this spectacular view from our lunch room and rooftop deck:
While we do so love taking a break from our computer screens to gaze at Puget Sound, we know that the beauty of this gorgeous estuary belies the problems beneath its surface: Our Sound is sick, and it needs our help.
That’s why three of us are leaving the office and this view to head to Washington, D.C., for Puget Sound Day on the Hill this week. Along with more than 60 partners from around the sound, including farmers, tribes, scientists, the shellfish industry, business owners, other nonprofits and state and local government representatives, we’ll head to the halls (and conference rooms) of Congress to talk about the health of Puget Sound and what is needed for its recovery.
Puget Sound Partnership, the state agency formed to restore and protect our Sound, has organized three days of meetings and events dedicated to raising awareness about Puget Sound in the “other” Washington. In addition to meetings with our own senators and representatives, we will also meet with staff from congressional offices and committees and agency representatives.
Of course, Washington state’s congressional delegation is already aware of the importance of “America’s sound” — the Congressional Puget Sound Recovery Caucus is co-chaired by Reps. Denny Heck (D, Olympia) and Derek Kilmer (D, Gig Harbor), and includes Rep. Dave Reichert (R, Auburn). Rep. Rick Larsen (D, Everett) is a co-founder of the Congressional Estuary Caucus.
We hope that members of the Estuary Caucus from other states (Rep. Larsen’s co-chairs include members from Florida, Oregon, and New Jersey) will be among those interested in reading a set of stories from Puget Sound that represent innovative solutions to chronic Puget Sound problems, including flooding, stormwater pollution, shellfish and salmon recovery. Many of these groundbreaking solutions can be applied in other parts of the country. You can read a sampling of these stories on the Puget Sound Innovation Stories Blog, and check back later, as more stories are slated to be added.
In addition to showing up en masse, the Puget Sound group will also carry a letter of support with more than 100 signatures (and counting!) to share with members of Congress. The ever-growing list of signatories reflects the great diversity of support for federal funding for Puget Sound recovery.
Watch for our tweets from Puget Sound Day on the Hill events to keep up with the action. To stay up-to-date on our involvement in Washington, D.C., and in Olympia, join our Advocacy mailing list.