SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash., October 28, 2021 –Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers announced today that he has taken the Salmon Safe Puget Sound Pledge for Snohomish County. Salmon populations and the orcas that depend on them are facing continued decline in Puget Sound. The Salmon Safe organization is currently working with municipalities and property owners around Puget Sound to protect water quality, maintain watershed health and restore habitat. Taking this pledge is an important step in Executive Somers vision for a sustainable Snohomish County where our quality of life and economy will both thrive.
“From the time I worked as a fisheries biologist until today, I have been focused on bringing common-sense solutions to our environmental challenges, including our efforts to protect salmon habitat and the natural ecosystems that depend on them,” said Executive Somers. “By taking the Salmon Safe Puget Sound Pledge, Snohomish County recommits to continue improving the water quality of the Salish Sea and protecting the economic and natural resources on which our quality of life depends.”
The pledge seeks commitments from municipalities to protect water quality and wildlife habitat in tributaries across Puget Sound.
“As Snohomish County continues to grow, we must take action to protect our natural resources,” said Snohomish County Council Chair Stephanie Wright. “I support the Salmon Safe Puget Sound Pledge and believe it will help rally support across the region for a cleaner Puget Sound and healthier salmon.”
“In conjunction with other local efforts to reduce pollution and restore habitat, the Salmon Safe Puget Sound Pledge will help protect Puget Sound, and the salmon and orca that depend on it,” said Snohomish County Council Vice Chair Megan Dunn. “Since climate change is the biggest long-term threat to our environment, quality of life, and community health, we must all take the crucial steps now to address it.”
With many Snohomish County departments already addressing climate change, sustainability, clean waters, and safe salmon, Snohomish County is committing to focusing on all 10 actions of the Safe Salmon Pledge:
Executive Somers has also recently announced future spending to support this work. Executive Somers will be providing an additional $5 million to the Surface Water Management Division to address failing culverts that block salmon returning to their historical spawning grounds and to kick start an estuary restoration project in the Snohomish Estuary. “Snohomish County’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources is excited for the opportunity to continue salmon recovery efforts with this pledge,” said Director of Snohomish County’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Tom Teigen. “Salmon recovery is a key component of our mission as we work together to address climate change, enhance agriculture, support healthy salmon populations, outdoor recreation and our valued public spaces.”
“The Salmon Safe Puget Sound Pledge will bring greater attention to the need to keep our air, water, and land as clean as possible,” said Snohomish County Councilmember Nate Nehring. “Our entire region’s economy depends on us being good stewards of our natural resources, including Puget Sound.”
“Across the Puget Sound region, small businesses depend on our natural resources to keep people employed and families fed,” said Snohomish County Councilmember Sam Low. “By taking the Salmon Safe Puget Sound Pledge, Snohomish County can lead by example and help our region sustain its leading role in environmental conservation.”
“Snohomish County must continue to focus on our environmental sustainability goals, and the Salmon Safe Puget Sound Pledge will help us do just that,” said Snohomish County Councilmember Jared Mead. “We know that Puget Sound is the linchpin for our environmental efforts to save salmon, orca and other key species. If we can significantly improve the water quality of Puget Sound, we will have taken a significant step towards meeting our environmental responsibilities.”
Snohomish County has committed to working with all of the watershed groups, salmon recovery partners, including federal, state, local and Tribal governments, the Sustainable Lands Strategy, the Marine Resources Committee, Snohomish and Stillaguamish Local Integrating Organization, Snohomish County Climate Action Committee, and many more stakeholders as we work to implement this pledge and further the collective action of our extended community. Snohomish County will be joining a variety of local municipalities, including King County and the City of Shoreline, that are committed to reviewing their current practices to better protect salmon, orcas and the other creatures who live in, on, or around Puget Sound.