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Celebrate National Estuaries Week with a 'Toast to the Coast' Sept. 20-27
Celebrate Puget Sound’s many bounties by taking part in a “Toast to the Coast” Sept. 20-27 in honor of National Estuaries Week.
People can show their love of Puget Sound by sharing a photo of their “toast” – preferably with a background symbolic of a favorite place in the Puget Sound estuary – on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with the hashtags #EstuariesWeek and #PugetSound.
Championing a healthy Puget Sound is about honoring our home. It’s about our health, it’s about our jobs, and it’s about the resources our estuary provides. It’s about being able to go fishing and swimming with our kids. It’s about having shorelines and forests that provide healthy habitat for our wildlife, and peaceful places for our enjoyment,” said Sheida Sahandy, executive director of the Puget Sound Partnership. “It’s about our way of life.”
Puget Sound is the second-largest estuary in the nation and is part of a network of 28 National Estuary Programs working to improve, protect and restore the nation’s most important estuaries – the vibrant coastal areas where rivers meet the sea.
“We live someplace special,” said Sahandy. “As we enjoy this place we are lucky to call home, we must remember the urgency of addressing the problems beneath the pretty picture and be bold in how we protect these bounties we’ve inherited.”
As a state agency, the Puget Sound Partnership is tasked with leading and coordinating the efforts of governments, tribes, scientists, businesses, and nonprofit organizations to set priorities, implement a Puget Sound recovery plan, and ensure accountability for results.
Approximately 110 million people, or more than half of all Americans, live near an estuary and enjoy the many benefits estuaries provide. The resources supported by estuaries generate 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.
Estuaries also 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. The salt marshes and wetlands used by these species also provide coastal residents with protection from storms.
For more information about the 28 individual programs in the National Estuary Program, visit the Association of National Estuaries website at http://nationalestuaries.org.
For more information about estuaries, visit Restore America’s Estuaries’ website at www.estuaries.org.
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