From Representative Kilmer’s office. You might ask, “What is the Puget Sound Caucus?” that information is here:
Puget Sound Caucus Hearing
Many of us care about maintaining a healthy Puget Sound. The Sound is an icon of our region that has weaved itself into the DNA of those of us who live here. But not only is protecting the Sound consistent with our environmental values, it’s part of our state’s economic imperative. Puget Sound is a cornerstone that supports tourism, fishing, shellfish harvesting, and other important industries.
In our ongoing effort to protect the Sound, this week, Representative Denny Heck and I hosted our first Puget Sound Recovery Caucus roundtable discussion in Washington, D.C. We had an extraordinary turnout that included representatives of the Puget Sound Partnership, along with folks from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, Department of Interior, NOAA, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and EPA Region 10 Administrator Dennis McLerran. The meeting was a good follow-up on the successful briefing we held this past August in Tacoma.
The meeting was timely, following on the release of the Puget Sound Partnership’s 2013 State of the Sound Report. That report detailed the initiatives on which our state has made progress and identified the areas in which we are coming up short.
While I was encouraged to hear we’ve made strides in restoring shellfish beds, beaches, and estuaries, there have been mixed results in the progress of on-site sewage, shoreline armoring, sand development and cover, freshwater, marine sediment, toxins in fish, and worsening circumstances for the health of our marine waters and the orca and herring populations.
We’ve got work to do. Our work on Puget Sound recovery efforts is only just beginning and with another budget cycle fast approaching, we have to highlight the importance of the Puget Sound to our economy in Washington State. Both Representative Heck and I as well as the other members of the Puget Sound Recovery Caucus are committed to working in a coordinated effort with Washington State and our federal partners to make meaningful strides in improving the health of the Puget Sound.
For me, making progress on this is not just about the impact to our economy. As the dad of two little girls, I want to make sure Puget Sound remains one of our state’s crown jewels for generations to come.