Images of Kitsap County
Public Communications (MS-11)
614 Division Street, Port Orchard, WA
Phone: 360.337.4598
 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Date: March 15, 2016
Contact: Eric Johnson, Executive Director
Washington State Association of Counties
360.481.2241 or ejohnson@wsac.org
No: 2016-027

County leaders participate in Puget Sound Day on the Hill

(Port Orchard, WA) - Elected and appointed county officials from Puget Sound joined a coalition of over 50 tribal, business, non-profit, academic, and agency officials in Washington, DC, February 29th – March 2nd, to advocate for the restoration and protection of Puget Sound and the Salish Sea. County leaders also spoke of their support for proposed federal legislation, H. R. 3630 Promoting United Government Efforts to Save our Sound (PUGET SOS ACT).

Puget Sound Partnership Leadership Council Chair Martha Kongsgaard led the coalition of diverse participants with our 12 Puget Sound Counties represented by:

  • Island County Commissioner Helen Price Johnson

  • Kitsap County Commissioner Charlotte Garrido

  • Pierce County Councilmember Derek Young

  • San Juan County Councilmember Jamie Stephens (Chair, Coastal Counties Caucus)

  • Skagit County Commissioner Ken Dahlstedt

  • Pierce County Water Quality Manager Dan Wrye

  • Washington State Association of Counties’ Executive Director Eric Johnson

As the nation’s largest estuary, Puget Sound is a complex ecosystem with exceptional biodiversity that brings value to the region as a productive economic engine and an inviting destination for recreation. Counties and local governments play a vital role in making key decisions and taking critical actions needed to restore and protect Puget Sound. Two major messages delivered were by the coalition:

  • Despite our recovery efforts to date yielding very positive results, additional resources and efforts are needed as damage still outpaces recovery.

  • We must have federal partners align their actions in a manner consistent with existing regional recovery efforts.

“Martha Kongsgaard eloquently opened the meetings observing that, ‘This is our sacred obligation,’” observed Commissioner Garrido. “We were pleased to learn that the initiative to increase coordination of federal Puget Sound recovery efforts is supported by the entire Washington State House and Senate delegation. Through the many interesting conversations, we exchanged important facts about Puget Sound. Our messages were well received – and relationships strengthened with our federal legislators, as well as between the delegates who traveled to Washington, D.C.”

During the two days on Capitol Hill, the County officials met with Congressman Derek Kilmer and Congressman Denny Heck, Co-chairs of the Congressional Puget Sound Recovery Caucus, as well as former Congressman Norm Dicks. Other members or our Washington State Delegation included Senator Murray, Senator Cantwell, Congressman Rick Larson, Congressman Newhouse, and Congresswoman Delbene. The Puget Sound Day on the Hill also included presentations and conversations with representatives from other state delegation staff and key congressional committee staff and leaders on Capitol Hill.

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Last Updated:  March 15, 2016