President Trump’s EPA budget for 2019 would eliminate federal role and investments in Puget Sound recovery
Washington D.C. – Today, U.S. Representatives Derek Kilmer (WA-06) and Denny Heck (WA-10), cofounders of the Puget Sound Recovery Caucus, reacted to the proposed budget from the Trump Administration to cut the entire federal investment in Puget Sound cleanup within the Environmental Protection Agency’s budget.
“President Trump tried to drastically cut Puget Sound’s funding last year, and it didn’t work,” Rep. Heck said. “We’ve told him and shown him that there is bipartisan support for federal investments in Puget Sound recovery, and his budgets should reflect that. Americans want clean waterways and the EPA’s Geographic Programs are an important part of that commitment.”
“Jobs in our region’s fishing and tourism economy depend on a healthy Puget Sound,” Rep. Kilmer said. “Unfortunately, the President’s budget does not invest in those jobs. We’ve successfully fought in the past to protect this funding because the folks in our region depend on it to promote a healthy Sound. We’ll continue to fight for a budget that invests in clean and healthy water and economic opportunity for Washington.”
Funding bills passed by both the House of Representatives and Senate for 2018 included $28 million for Puget Sound recovery, the same amount as in 2016 and 2017.
On April 4, 2017, the Puget Sound Recovery Caucus sent a bipartisan letter to President Donald Trump affirming the need to fund the EPA’s Geographic Programs. Every EPA dollar spent on Puget Sound recovery efforts has leveraged more than $24 in matching funds from other federal agencies and local partners, including the state, tribes, and non-profits.
Clean water in Puget Sound is essential to support 3,200 shellfish jobs that generate $184 million in revenue each year. Eighty percent of statewide tourism and recreational dollars are tied to Puget Sound. The state’s marine industry – which includes fishing fleets, ports, and seafood processors – generates $30 billion annually.
The Puget Sound Geographic program provides grants to state, local, and tribal governments to implement projects to improve water quality, enhance fish passage, increase salmon habitat, and protect shorelines. Every EPA dollar spent on Puget Sound recovery efforts has leveraged more than $24 in matching funds from other federal agencies and local partners, including the state, tribes, and non-profits.
Kilmer and Heck co-founded the Puget Sound Recovery Caucus in 2013 as part of their ongoing commitment to preserving Puget Sound. The three priorities of the Puget Sound Recovery Caucus are: preventing pollution from urban stormwater runoff, protecting and restoring habitat, and restoring and re-opening shellfish beds.