Cutting federal funding for Puget Sound protection is unacceptable. News that the Trump Administration would cut the EPA by 25% was devastating to all those who care about the health and safety of our communities. We then learned that those cuts would hit places like Puget Sound the hardest. Similar programs across the nation, from San Francisco Bay to Chesapeake Bay are being slashed by more than 90%. These misinformed ideas do not reflect the economic and cultural values of Puget Sound, and the cuts would severely undermine regional recovery efforts.
Washington cannot take these funding cuts without a fight. This is all the more reason why we need durable and strategic state and local funding sources for Puget Sound protection and recovery.
More and more people are getting involved and standing up for what we believe in – maybe the only upside to these short-sighted decisions. While we are fortunate to live in a region with a cultural connection to our shared waters and all that depend on it, we can no longer be complacent.
We will not save Puget Sound by hoping for it – we need to act. We will continue to roll out actions each week for people like you to get involved. Here’s how you can help:
Five ways you can stand up for Puget Sound
- We won’t save Puget Sound by hoping for it – we need to fight for it. The Trump Administration announced its dirty budget this week, with expected raids on Puget Sound recovery funds. That’s disturbing, but at least that made the news. Even more disturbing is what’s been happening behind closed doors. A lobbyist for Puget Sound’s marine industry is calling on Scott Pruitt to undo a key action in Puget Sound related to a proposed No Discharge Zone. This should sound very familiar to you, as WEC’s members submitted 5,000 comments to EPA in December supporting the Puget Sound No Discharge Zone! While EPA confirmed that enough pumpout capacity exists to serve the sewage needs of recreational and commercial boaters, in part thanks to your engagement, that is not stopping industry from trying to undo this step.We need your help to add a little daylight to this issue – now is your chance to tell Scott Pruitt what you think of protecting Puget Sound from raw or partially treated sewage.
- May is Puget Sound Starts Here month. This week’s tip on what you can do to lessen your impact to our beloved Puget Sound is from our friends at Puget Sound Car Wash Association:
Wash your vehicle at a designated car wash facility that captures the heavy metals, oil, grease, and toxic chemicals off your car and, ultimately, prevents it from entering Puget Sound. This toxic mix of chemicals has a deadly effect on aquatic life. How you choose to wash your car is important. When you wash your car in your driveway, the soap and chemicals can go into the storm drain, polluting our streams, rivers, and the Puget Sound. Professional car washes use oil/water separators that remove pollutants, which are ultimately pumped out and properly disposed of, and their wastewater is discharged into the sanitary sewer.
On a similar note, learn why and how you should use a car wash facility instead of a parking lot for your group’s fundraiser. It makes total sense.
- June is Orca Awareness Month here in the Pacific Northwest. With over 20 events planned throughout the region, Orca Month (www.orcamonth.com) is a chance for you to celebrate one of our region’s most iconic creatures, but also an opportunity to reflect on the plight of these fragile marine mammals. This year the Southern Resident Killer Whale population will need to survive without their leader, Granny J2, and five other family members. With just 78 individuals, the survival of each orca is vital for this critically endangered species’ future. Join WEC and our partners in the Orca Salmon Alliance this June for Orca Month.
- Don’t Let Trump Dump on Tacoma! The Stand Up To Oil (SUTO) coalition launched a petition to the Tacoma City Council to stay the course on saying no to fossil fuel export facilities in the Tacoma Tideflats. Tacoma is in the cross hairs of the emboldened fossil fuel industry, which is working behind the scenes to kill a local land use initiative that would prohibit these export facilities. Tacoma residents and our neighbors need to sign this petition calling on City Council members to stay on track for a future defined by local jobs in a diverse manufacturing and shipping hub.
- Thank Congressman Dave Reichert as he stands for his constituents against the EPA budget cuts. Rep. Reichert (WA-08) signed onto an April 4 letter with every other member of the Puget Sound Recovery Caucus. The letter calls on the Trump Administration to restore geographic programs like those that fund tremendous progress in Puget Sound. In a press release, Rep. Reichert expressed that “The health of Puget Sound is critical to Washington’s economy and local jobs, the safety of the food we eat, and the countless species that call the Sound home.” We couldn’t agree more! Now you can, too. Sign our thank you letter here.