The Environmental Protection Agency’s Northwest office announced on Wednesday that it will be giving over $36 million in grant funds for Puget Sound recovery and conservation efforts to local, state, federal, and tribal partners.
“Federal funding for Puget Sound recovery matters,” said Congressman Derek Kilmer. “It matters to our region’s environmental and economic future. It matters to our efforts to recover salmon populations. It matters if we are going to respect Tribal treaty rights. And it matters to the taxpayers of our region who shouldn’t have to shoulder the responsibility of recovering this iconic body of water on their own. That’s why I’m proud to have helped secure new federal funding that will help make a real difference in the effort to restore and protect Puget Sound.”
Tribal Councilmembers attending the announcement were Vice Chairwoman Sylvia Miller, Councilman James Rideout and Councilwoman Monica Miller.
Vice Chairwoman Miller formally welcomed participants to the homelands of the Puyallup people. She urged them to take their responsibility for the lands and waters seriously and to work together to protect them.
“These are gifts from the Creator, and each and every one of them – not just Puyallup people – has a responsibility to protect and preserve them for our future generations to come,” the vice chairwoman said after the event. “This is a gift that feeds us, nourishes us – takes care of our bodies, minds and souls.”
She said one of the highlights was seeing participants in the Tribe’s Re-Entry Program give the welcoming song to the visitors, who included EPA officials and representatives from other tribes in the region.
“I can’t say enough when people in recovery have the opportunity to do something like this,” Vice Chairwoman Miller said. “The healing of our lands and waters is the best medicine for all of us.”