Northwest leaders travel to Washington, D.C. for ‘Puget Sound Day on The Hill’

More than 60 people concerned about the fate of Puget Sound will convene in Washington, D.C., next week to meet with federal decision makers. The goal is to educate and update these leaders about Puget Sound successes and ongoing needs and to ensure that the critical role played by this ecosystem in regional and national culture, health, and economy, are well understood.

The Puget Sound Day on the Hill event, organized annually since 2015 by the Puget Sound Partnership, takes place this year May 22 to May 24.

“We have an effective Congressional delegation who wholeheartedly and relentlessly support necessary federal investment in Puget Sound recovery,” said Sheida Sahandy, executive director of the Puget Sound Partnership. “This D.C. gathering supports their efforts by bringing greater visibility to the successes, challenges and remarkable commitment of very diverse people who are working hard locally to protect this national treasure.”

The deteriorating health of Puget Sound poses a threat to the health and safety of humans and to the ecosystem as a whole. Beginning in 2017, White House budgets have proposed eliminating key funding for Puget Sound recovery, including for the National Estuary Program (NEP), which serves as the foundation for recovery efforts. Federal dollars represent a small but very significant piece of the system of investments that leverage federal funding. In the NEP Program, every federal dollar spent generates $24 of support in local, state or tribal investments.

“We need the federal government to continue doing their part in funding Puget Sound recovery,” said Ms. Sahandy. The funds are used to prevent stormwater pollution, reduce flooding, protect and restore habitat, replace aging infrastructure, coordinate ecosystem restoration and reopen shellfish beds.

Puget Sound Day on the Hill kicks off with the convening of participants on the evening of Tuesday, May 22, followed by small and large group meetings on Wednesday and Thursday, May 23 and 24. In addition, the Partnership is organizing a panel presentation focused on sharing Puget Sound innovations, ideas that can be used as solutions for other regions and large waterbodies.

Event participants represent a broad range of interests: state and local governments, non-profit organizations, Puget Sound treaty tribes, and agriculture as well as small- and industrial-scale businesses. Now in its fourth year, this event has seen ever-growing participation. To learn more about Puget Sound Day on the Hill and to sign up for event updates, visit In addition, a website hosting recovery project summaries offers a sampling of locally driven Puget Sound recovery success stories.

Those who want to show their support but are not able to go to Washington, D.C., may electronically sign a letter of support. The letter and instructions for signing it are available on the Partnership’s website:

– Puget Sound Partnership