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
- Action 1: Tell EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt – Don’t roll back clean water protections!
EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is at it again, trying to roll back critical protections for our nation’s waters, and we need your help to stop him. The Clean Water Rule, also called “Waters of the United States,” refers to EPA efforts completed in 2015 that define what waters are subject to the Clean Water Act. The robust process and scientific basis confirmed that wetlands and small streams fundamentally connect with downstream water bodies and are protected under the Clean Water Act. Polluters have been trying to kill it ever since.
We are fortunate in Washington to have state protections that pre-date the Clean Water Act. However, a federal rollback could provide fodder for polluters to fight our state protections and would create significant confusion over jurisdiction. Wetlands and small streams provide drinking water for 1 in 3 Americans and provide our communities with flood protection, pollution filtration, recreation, and wildlife habitat.
Pruitt has proposed a short comment period. Please take action today to maintain protections to defend our waters!
- Action 2: Cast your vote for Stand Up To Oil Campaign
WEC is a founding member of the The Stand Up To Oil campaign. The coalition has to opportunity received big financial support from CREDO Donations—but the amount of funding we receive depends on you. Each month, our friends at CREDO donate a portion of their revenue to progressive causes—and August is our month! By voting for Stand Up To Oil you are helping us raise the funds we need to continue to build grassroots opposition to oil projects that damage the climate, and threaten communities and waterways (including Puget Sound) across the Northwest. The more votes Stand Up To Oil receives, the more money we receive from CREDO. With just a few clicks, you can help us protect the Northwest from the oil industry’s dirty and dangerous plans. Please cast your vote today.
- Action 3: Finally, some good news out of DC! Please thank Senator Murray.
At a time when we are playing so much defense in Washington D.C. on issues that directly impact Washington State and our Puget Sound, we finally have some good news. Thanks to Senator Murray’s leadership, Senate Appropriations Committee passed a bill that invests $65 million in Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund, National Marine Fisheries Service, and the National Sea Grant College Program. All three federal programs are critical to restoring the region’s salmon runs. The bill now moves to the Senator for full vote. Let’s take a moment to thank Senator Murray!
- Action 4: Volunteer at the Duwamish River Festival
Join WEC at the annual Duwamish River Festival on August 26th, a celebration of Seattle’s only river and the communities that live along its shores. WEC is a sponsor of this community festival and we need volunteers during the day for various shifts and tasks like being Bert the Salmon, security, traffic control, children’s activity supervisor, set up and cleanup, and more. To sign up, please email Rein at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Action 5: A call for videos of boaters using pump out stations!
To help make the case to Department of Ecology to establish Puget Sound as a No Discharge Zone, this summer we are looking for help from the boating community to share short videos that show how responsible boaters use pump out stations. Puget Sound is a regional and national crown jewel and deserves to be a No Discharge Zone. Over 90 have been established in 26 states around the country, and now is the time to prohibit discharging raw or partially treated sewage to Puget Sound. Without a No Discharge Zone in place, boats could discharge raw or partially treated sewage, yet we realize and appreciate that fact that many within the boating community already properly store and pumpout sewage so that it is properly treated. Let’s make sure everyone knows that pumpout facilities are available throughout Puget Sound. Boaters, please contact Rein at email@example.com.