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News and Notices

The Month of May Declared Puget Sound Starts Here Month in Washington

FOR IMMEDATE RELEASE

Puget Sound Starts Here Month highlights the importance of healthy waterways

AUBURN, Wash. - April 25, 2012 - Communities across Western Washington will celebrate Puget Sound with family-friendly activities and educational programs during Puget Sound Starts Here Month in May.

“Puget Sound is a treasure that belongs to every one of us,” said Puget Sound Partnership Director, Gerry O’Keefe, “This is our home, and it’s up to each of us to take care of our home for our kids, for our grandkids, and for our future. It’s the responsible thing to do.”

Local events

Residents are invited to events around the Puget Sound to learn how they can support the effort the protect Puget Sound.

  • Hit a home run during Puget Sound Starts Here Night with the Seattle Mariners at 6:10 p.m. Saturday, May 5, at Safeco Field. Visit www.mariners.com/pugetsound to purchase discount tickets.
  • For a full list of activities throughout the Puget Sound area, visit www.PugetSoundStartsHere.org.

Puget Sound’s health

The goal of Puget Sound Starts Here Month is to raise awareness that Puget Sound is in trouble due to pollution, and simple actions by all of the residents of the region can make a huge difference.

Puget Sound features 2,500 miles of shoreline. It is home to countless species, including orcas, sea lions, salmon and shellfish, as well as 4.5 million people. Puget Sound creates economic opportunities for the area, including tourism, shipping and seafood, and the region’s exceptional quality of life is a key reason many local companies stay and expand here.

Every year, millions of pounds of toxic pollutants enter Puget Sound. Most of that pollution comes from runoff. When it rains, the water flows over hard surfaces like houses, parking lots, driveways and streets and picks up pollution along the way. This polluted runoff flows through ditches or storm drains and into local waterways. Most runoff is not treated before it reaches streams, rivers, lakes, and Puget Sound.

Simple actions you can take

If each of the 4.5 million people living in the 12 counties that make up the Puget Sound region makes even one small change, the combined efforts will have a tremendous positive impact.

  • Never dump anything - liquid or solid - into a storm drain or drainage ditch.
  • Fix auto leaks right away and take any used fluids to a recycling center.
  • Take your car to a commercial car wash instead of washing it in your driveway.
  • Pick up pet waste regularly - in your yard and on walks - and put it in the trash.
  • Use natural yard products like compost and mulch. If you use chemical pesticides and fertilizers, follow the directions and use them sparingly.
  • Store and dispose of household chemicals according to the instructions on the label.
  • Landscape your yard with native plants and trees that will soak up more rain and slow the flow of runoff.

Learn more about Puget Sound Starts Here and the effort to save Puget Sound at www.PugetSoundStartsHere.org. The website also includes additional information on actions residents can take, and the health of Puget Sound.

Puget Sound Starts Here is supported by a consortium of more than 400 organizations, including state, local governments, tribes, and non-governmental organizations who are dedicated to cleaning up local waterways and Puget Sound.

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