Tacoma shipper earns Puget Sound environmental award

Totem Ocean Trailer Express (TOTE) in Tacoma was named one of five “Puget Sound Champions” this week by the Puget Sound Partnership, the state agency responsible for coordinating Puget Sound cleanup and restoration.

TOTE received the award for installing an industrial rain garden to treat runoff from a maintenance building roof and parking lot. The rain garden removes 80 per cent of the heavy metals in an estimated quarter-million gallons of rainwater per year, and provides a cost-effective solution to meeting industrial stormwater requirements. “TOTE is proud to be a leader representing the innovation and outcomes that are critical to helping save Puget Sound,” said Phil Morrell, Vice President of Marine and Terminal Operations. “With $20 billion in annual economic activity coming from the Puget Sound region, cleaning up Puget Sound isn’t just a nice idea, it’s an economic necessity.”

The other award recipients include King County, the South Sound Salmon Enhancement Group, the Green Shorelines Steering Committee, and Feet First.

The award recipients were recognized for their exceptional work to protect and restore habitat, clean up polluted waters, and engage the community in Puget Sound recovery. Seattle Public Utilities, in collaboration with the Environmental Coalition of South Seattle, received an honorary mention.

“The critical work of ecosystem recovery happens at the local level and the larger goal of regional Puget Sound recovery can only be achieved through the coordinated actions like those of today’s honorees,” said Martha Kongsgaard, Chair of the Puget Sound Partnership’s Leadership Council.

“Puget Sound cleanup and recovery is both urgently needed a long-term challenge,” added Gerry O’Keefe, executive director of the Puget Sound Partnership. “That’s why it’s so important to honor and celebrate the hard work and dedication of those who rise to this challenge. It takes all of us, working together as partners, to save Puget Sound.”