Our December Student Charity of the Month is Puget Soundkeeper, as voted by Sam, a Nathan Hale Senior: “Our oceans and waterways are full of garbage, so can we spotlight any of the charities who help keep them clean?”
Puget Soundkeeper’s mission is to protect and enhance the waters of Puget Sound for the health and restoration of our aquatic ecosystems and the communities that depend on them. We monitor Puget Sound water quality, help set strong policies and regulations that protect our waterways and our health, enforce environmental regulations, engage citizens and businesses in waterway cleanups and recovery projects, educate and involve the public in local water pollution issues, and partner with local and regional groups to advance solutions that protect Puget Sound.
The Clean Water Act of 1972 grants individuals and communities the power to sue under provisions of the Act to bring egregious polluters into compliance with the law. Soundkeeper has a nearly 100% success record in Clean Water Act cases and has filed over 170 cases. A 1993 settlement with the City of Bremerton is directly attributable to the Dyes Inlet shellfish beds reopening for the first time in 40 years. On average, Soundkeeper’s settlements control over 120 million gallons of stormwater annually.
To date, Soundkeeper’s enforcement team has awarded over $7.4 million to third party restoration, education and water quality mitigation projects to heal the damage in the affected watershed and provide an incentive for future compliance. Soundkeeper does not receive any settlement money from Clean Water Act cases.
Founded in 1984 as the Puget Sound Alliance (PSA), Puget Soundkeeper was the first grassroots organization to focus exclusively on protecting the marine environment of Puget Sound. The organization was a founding member of the international Waterkeeper Alliance. Today, Waterkeeper Alliance and its member organizations are the fastest growing environmental movement in the world with over 300 licensed Waterkeepers and affiliates on six continents.
Since 1984, Puget Soundkeeper has…
- Completed over 1600 patrols of Puget Sound waterways
- Facilitated development of more than a dozen new or improved water treatment facilities in the Puget Sound region
- Taken legal action against more than 170 Clean Water Act violators, never losing a case
- Certified 71 Clean Marinas through the Clean Marina Washington program
- Created the Puget Sound Stewardship and Mitigation Fund and awarded over $7.4 million in settlement funds to Puget Sound restoration projects
- Engaged over 18,000 volunteers in cleanups, outreach events and advocacy
- Removed more than 145,000 pounds of marine debris from Puget Sound waterways
- Set national precedent for industrial stormwater treatment, green infrastructure and low-impact development regulations
Wanna get involved or learn more? Here are some helpful links: