Dear Friends & Supporters,
If we are going to restore Puget Sound by 2020, we all know it is going to take making some tough choices.
But that is not all – it will also take a lot of people, doing a lot of hard work. Which is why, this legislative session, I’ll be requesting legislation to Put People to Work, Cleaning up Puget Sound.
I’ve proposed the establishment of a Puget “SoundCorps,” a program that would hire young people and returning veterans to put them to work doing Puget Sound restoration projects.
You may not know that over 40% of the land in the Puget Sound basin is managed, owned or regulated by the Department of Natural Resources. That is a lot of responsibility – a responsibility I take very seriously. I believe that with this bill, we can harness federal grant funding that would provide more hands to do tough jobs like removing bulkheads, restoring habitat at toxic-sediment clean-up sites, assisting with the removal of forest roads that pollute streams, and more.
As a scientist, I am also excited to announce that we would be able to recruit young people and veterans with training in fields like biology, hydrology, and geology, using some SoundCorps teams as a training ground for the next generation of northwest natural resource scientists.
Unemployment in Washington is at a nearly unprecedented high, and young people and returning veterans are bearing more than their fair share of the burden. This is why, in the coming year, I look forward to working with you to put more boots on the ground, and more waders in the water to clean-up Puget Sound.
Peter J Goldmark
Commissioner of Public Lands