Gov. Gregoire earns Puget Sound environmental award

The Puget Sound Partnership honored Gov. Christine Gregoire on Tuesday as a “Puget Sound Champion” for what the organization called “her ongoing vision, focus and guidance in protecting and restoring habitat, cleaning up polluted water and engaging the community to restore Puget Sound.”

“In the rearview mirror of history we will look back and see that so much of what is environmentally on track in this basin has depended upon the vision, the 50,000-watt energy, optimism and grit of this newly minted grandmother from Auburn, Gov. Chris Gregoire,” said Martha Kongsgaard, chair of the Partnership’s Leadership Council, who presented the award to Gov. Gregoire during a visit with Partnership staff in Tacoma.

Puget Sound Champion awards are presented by the Leadership Council to honor partner contributions to the Puget Sound ecosystem recovery effort.

When Gov. Gregoire created the Partnership in 2007, she called for a “swimmable, fishable, diggable” Puget Sound by 2020. On Tuesday Gov. Gregoire re-emphasized the need for continued action to restore and protect Puget Sound.

“It is not easy. It’s going to take some time,” said Gov. Gregoire. “We all need to change the way we go about our business; we need to break some china.”

The Puget Sound Partnership is a state agency that coordinates the efforts of citizens, governments, tribes, scientists and businesses to set priorities, implement a regional recovery plan and ensure accountability for results.

“We will continue to work with our hundreds of partners on science-based, prioritized restoration designed to have maximum impact,” said Anthony Wright, executive director of the Partnership. “Thanks to Gov. Gregoire’s vision and perseverance, we have a mission, we have a road map, and Puget Sound has a promising future. We honor her as a champion of champions for Puget Sound.”

Gov. Chris Gregoire (left) was in Tacoma Tuesday to receive a "Puget Sound Champion" award from the organization's leadership council chair, Martha Kongsgaard (right), for her work to protect Puget Sound. (PHOTO COURTESY PUGET SOUND PARTNERSHIP)