Puget Sound’s 2,500 miles of shoreline—bluffs, beaches, tidelands, and estuaries—are vital and vibrant. Ecologically, they’re key to the Sound’s overall health; those many miles provide a range of habitats and dynamic processes that support the Sound’s far-reaching web of life. The shorelines are also important to people, connecting us to an inland sea that is at the heart of the region’s cultural, social, and economic identity.
Because of this vital importance, three leading conservation groups—People For Puget Sound, The Trust for Public Land, and The Nature Conservancy—launched a three-year, $80 million campaign in June, 2006 to protect and restore Puget Sound’s ecologically rich shorelines and ensure they’re available for people to enjoy for generations to come. The three groups, in a groundbreaking new partnership called the Alliance for Puget Sound Shorelines, have pledged to restore and protect hundreds of miles of shoreline and create several new parks. The effort was launched with a $3 million leadership gift from The Russell Family Foundation.
The Alliance is working closely with other civic and political leaders who are also committed to restoring Puget Sound’s health. Several important efforts are underway—most notably, Governor Gregoire’s Puget Sound Initiative and the creation of the Puget Sound Partnership, a new state agency charged with restoring the Sound to health by 2020. By working collaboratively, the Alliance hopes that its three-year campaign and these other efforts can lay the groundwork for what could ultimately be a long-term, multi-billion-dollar campaign, putting the effort to save Puget Sound on par with other large-scale estuarine restoration projects, such as those currently underway in the Chesapeake Bay and the Everglades.
“The tide is finally running in favor of Puget Sound. From the federal government, state and private sector, help is rolling in. The announcement of an $80 million fund-raising campaign to buy and restore shorelines for public use caps a series of steps for cleaning up the Sound. People for Puget Sound, The Trust for Public Land and The Nature Conservancy are working toward an ambitious goal.”