News from the Puget Sound Partnership

Alicia Lawver
(360) 464-2011


May is Puget Sound Starts Here Month: How are you going to protect Puget Sound?

Gov. Jay Inslee has issued a proclamation announcing May as Puget Sound Starts Here Month and encourages all citizens to take action to improve the health of Puget Sound.

A healthy Puget Sound is also an integral part of growing our economy and creating jobs. Billions of dollars in economic activity are created in the Puget Sound region through tourism, working waterfronts, fishing and shellfish industries, and world-class businesses that choose to locate here because of the Puget Sound and the quality of life it provides.

“I want my grandchildren and their grandchildren to be able to swim in Puget Sound, catch a salmon to roast over the campfire, and enjoy shellfish grown right here in Washington. I want them to inherit an economy that is thriving. When it comes to a sustainable environment or a sustainable economy, it’s not one or the other,” said Gov. Jay Inslee. “Join me in creating a Puget Sound legacy we can be proud of.”

Every year, millions of pounds of toxic pollutants enter Puget Sound. Much of that pollution comes from runoff. When it rains, the water flows over hard surfaces like houses, parking lots, driveways and streets, picking up pollution along the way. This polluted runoff flows through ditches or storm drains and into local waterways. Most runoff is not treated.

“Things are different now than in the 1970s when the biggest pollution sources were factory pipes dumping sludge into rivers. Today, one of our biggest water pollution problems—rainwater runoff—is something most people don’t even think of as being contaminated,” said Sheida Sahandy, executive director of Puget Sound Partnership.  “We can’t point to someone else; the pollution source is us. Our individual and collective actions all add up, for better or for worse. The choice is ours.”

Simple actions you can take:  
•    Volunteer to help with local habitat restoration projects.
•    Take your car to a commercial car wash instead of washing it in your driveway.
•    Fix auto leaks right away and take any used fluids to a recycling center.
•    Pick up pet waste and place it in the trash.
•    Maintain your septic system or side sewer.
•    Never dump anything – liquid or solid – into a storm drain or drainage ditch.
•    Use natural yard products like compost and mulch. If you use chemical pesticides and fertilizers, follow the directions and use them sparingly.
•    Store and dispose of household chemicals according to the instructions on the label.
•    Landscape your yard with native plants and trees that soak up rain and slow the flow of runoff.
•    Boaters can protect valuable habitat by using pump-out stations for their sewage, using caution in eelgrass areas, and being cautious when fueling and cleaning their vessel.  
About Puget Sound Starts Here
Puget Sound Starts Here is a campaign supported by a consortium of more than 750 organizations across Puget Sound’s 12 counties, including state agencies, local governments, tribes, and non-governmental organizations working to clean up and protect Puget Sound and our region’s local waterways. The goal of Puget Sound Starts Here Month is to raise awareness that Puget Sound is in trouble due to a variety of pollution sources, and empower residents to make a difference through simple actions and local volunteer opportunities.

To learn more about the bounty of Puget Sound and how you can help protect it at

About the Puget Sound Partnership
The Puget Sound Partnership is the state agency coordinating the Puget Sound recovery effort. 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.

To learn more about the regional effort to restore and protect Puget Sound, visit the Puget Sound Partnership’s website at

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Puget Sound Partnership
1111 Washington Street SE, Olympia, WA 98504-7000

326 East D Street, Tacoma, WA 98421
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