News from the Puget Sound Partnership
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Join thousands across the nation on Sept. 28 to "Toast the Coast"
TACOMA—The Puget Sound Partnership is asking residents of the Puget Sound region to join in a nationwide “Toast the Coast” on Sept. 28 in celebration of the 25th annual National Estuaries Day. The Partnership is part of a network of 28 National Estuary Programs working to improve and restore the nation’s most important estuaries – the vibrant coastal areas where rivers meet the sea.
“Let’s take a moment to appreciate our rivers, streams, waterways, and Puget Sound,” said Marc Daily, interim executive director of the Puget Sound Partnership. “Whether it’s a glass of tap water, a triple espresso or some other beverage, if it’s made in our 12-county region it depends on clean water from our rivers, streams and the Puget Sound.”
Puget Sound is the nation’s second-largest estuary and is home to about 67 percent of the state’s entire population. Tourism, boating, fishing, shellfish harvesting, and recreational activities contribute significantly to the region’s economy, and are impacted heavily by the health of Puget Sound and the waterways that feed it.
Across the nation
Nationwide, approximately 110 million people, or more than half of all Americans, live near an estuary and enjoy the many benefits estuaries provide. These benefits include jobs in industries like agriculture, commercial fishing, power generation, tourism, shipping, and even brewing and winemaking. According to the nonprofit Restore America’s Estuaries, coastal counties provide more than half the nation’s gross domestic product and support more than 69 million jobs, or about 40 percent of U.S. employment.
But estuaries also provide much more than jobs and wages. They provide habitat for fish, shellfish, shorebirds, waterfowl, and other wildlife. Hundreds of species use the protection of estuaries to breed, hunt, and raise their young. This, in turn, attracts tourists; as many as 180 million a year, according to a 1993 study. The salt marshes and wetlands used by these species also provide coastal residents with protection from storms.
The purpose of National Estuaries Day, first observed in 1988, is to promote the importance of coastal environments where rivers meet the sea. National Estuaries Day is supported by the Association of National Estuary Programs, Restore America’s Estuaries, the National Estuarine Research Reserve Association, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency, and countless other organizations, associations, and agencies. The Association of National Estuary Programs (ANEP) is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting responsible stewardship and a common vision for the preservation and restoration of our nation's bays and estuaries. ANEP works with the 28 National Estuary Programs established by Congress to protect and restore tidal waterways of national significance.
For information about the 28 individual programs in the National Estuary Program, visit the Association of National Estuaries website at http://nationalestuaries.org/.
About the Puget Sound Partnership
The Puget Sound Partnership is the organization leading the recovery of Puget Sound, the nation’s second-largest estuary. The Partnership coordinates the efforts of citizens, governments, tribes, scientists, businesses and nonprofits to set priorities, implement a regional recovery plan and ensure accountability for results. For more information, go to www.psp.wa.gov.
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