Puget Soundkeeper Alliance Programs
Soundkeeper Chris Wilke and Puget Soundkeeper Alliance-trained volunteers conduct regular boat and kayak patrols, looking for illegal discharges and other evidence of pollution. Violations are documented and reported to Washington State Department of Ecology and the US Coast Guard. Puget Soundkeeper Alliance is the only organization working actively on the water in the Central Puget Sound area every week throughout the year to document and report pollution.
The Clean Water Act empowers Puget Soundkeeper Alliance to enforce the law and make long-standing polluters comply with their discharge permits. Puget Soundkeeper Alliance has taken legal action on over 140 permit violators, returned them to compliance and raised over $3.9 million in mitigation funds which are given to local conservation groups to repair environmental damage. Puget Soundkeeper Alliance does not receive any money from its enforcement work.
Puget Soundkeeper Alliance works with businesses, government and individuals to create voluntary partnership efforts that protect and preserve Puget Sound from harmful pollution. These partnerships implement innovative on-the-ground pollution prevention efforts that make our waters safer. Examples include: the EnviroStars Cooperative, the Clean Marina Washington program and the Boatyard Stormwater Treatment Technology Project.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Puget Soundkeeper Alliance won the appeals of the Phase I and II Municipal Stormwater Permits and created a national precedent for managing stormwater runoff. Municipalities are now required to implement Low Impact Development (LID) practices to the “maximum extent practicable”. LID techniques increase on-site infiltration and treatment of stormwater, and are cheaper than moving the stormwater downstream through increasingly larger pipes.
Despite these recent successes, there is much work still to do. At stake is the water quality in Puget Sound and its tributaries. Stormwater runoff -which is the largest source of water pollution in the region- is not yet effectively regulated and polluters are still not held accountable by government agencies. Puget Soundkeeper Alliance relies on the generous support of individuals, businesses and foundations who share our vision of a healthy, pollution-free Puget Sound supporting salmon, shellfish, orca whales, rockfish, trade and commerce, and fishing and recreation. Puget Soundkeeper Alliance is making a difference!