FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Four San Juan Island "Puget Sound Champions" honored for protecting and restoring Puget Sound
FRIDAY HARBOR – Today the Puget Sound Partnership honored four “Puget Sound Champions” from the San Juan Islands for exceptional work protecting and restoring habitat, cleaning up polluted waters, and other priorities implementing the Action Agenda—the regional plan for restoring the health of Puget Sound. The ceremony occurred at the Mullis Center located in Friday Harbor.
The Puget Sound Partnership is the state agency leading the regional recovery of Puget Sound.
“Collaboration is the key to making Puget Sound healthy again,” said Anthony Wright, Executive Director of the Partnership. “We’re making progress because of the many talented and dedicated people committed to this regional effort.”
Wright and Diana Gale, a member of the Partnership’s Leadership Council, presented the awards. Honorees are part of one of nine local watershed-based groups the Partnership coordinates to help set priorities for local programs and projects.
“Protecting the San Juan Islands and the Puget Sound waters that surround them is vital to our region’s economy and quality of life,” said state Rep. Kristine Lytton (D-40th district). “The Legislature passes laws and offers guidelines on how we can do this, but laws and guidelines by themselves can’t do the job. That takes passionate, motivated individuals and groups like the ones being recognized today as Puget Sound Champions. I applaud them all, and I thank the Puget Sound Partnership for shining a well-deserved light on them.”
Award recipients include:
Brian Rader, Pollution Prevention Specialist, San Juan County
Honored for creating an effective, locally tailored public awareness effort to promote the proper disposal of waste materials from septic systems, pharmaceuticals, soaps, and detergents. Rader’s program provides public education and technical assistance to local businesses and residents throughout San Juan County.
‘Pulling it all Together’ project team
Honored for coordinating scientific expertise and resources to monitor and adaptively manage the recovery of endangered salmon. Data provided by the ‘Pulling it all Together’ project team is instrumental for determining the highest priority salmon habitats to protect, as well as the prey species and ecosystem processes salmon rely upon: forage fish, kelp, eelgrass, shoreline modifications, shoreline permit activities, and shore types. Stephanie Buffum, Executive Director of Friends of the San Juans, accepted the award on behalf of the PIAT project team.
San Juan Technical Advisory Group
Honored for providing leadership, funding and technical expertise for developing and implementing the Salmon Recovery Plan in the San Juan ecosystem. Volunteers on the San Juan Technical Advisory Group bring decades of expertise to help ensure the highest return on investment for salmon recovery funding in the San Juan watershed. TAG volunteers contributed more than 1,000 hours since 2008, the equivalent of a $33,000 in-kind donation. Barbara Rosenkotter, San Juan County Lead Entity Coordinator for Salmon Recovery, accepted the award on behalf of the group.
Shann Weston, Coordinator, San Juan County Beach Watchers Program
Honored for her passion, insight and inspiration as the Washington State University Beach Watcher coordinator in San Juan County. Shann successfully established a dedicated, highly skilledteam of 80 volunteers to serve every island in San Juan County.
“These awards recognize some of the many excellent examples of businesses, scientists, residents and governments working together to effectively cleanup Puget Sound and keep it healthy for future generations," said Sen. Ranker, Chair of the Senate Energy, Natural Resources and Marine Waters Committee (D-40th District).
The Puget Sound Partnership is the backbone organization that coordinates the efforts of citizens, governments, tribes, scientists and businesses to set priorities, implement a regional recovery plan, and ensure accountability for results. By combining efforts and clearly defining priorities, more than 2,440 acres of habitat have been protected, 70 miles of streams and rivers have been restored, and game-changing restoration projects have been advanced since the Partnership was established through bipartisan leadership in 2007.
Learn more about other Puget Sound Champions: http://www.psp.wa.gov/champions.php
Puget Sound Partnership website: http://www.psp.wa.gov
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