At a special action Port of Tacoma Commission, eight non-profit environmental groups received funding, and the Commission passed a resolution in support of the Shared Strategy for Puget Sound.
The Port of Tacoma, Pierce County and the City of Tacoma jointly announced a total of $41,888 to environmental groups that are working to improve the environment of Commencement Bay and the lower Puyallup River watershed.
Ranging from $3,000 to $7,000 per group, the source of the one-time awards are excess dollars funded but not spent on earlier, successfully completed Port, County and City environmental projects.
According to R. Ted Bottiger, Port of Tacoma Commission President, award selection was based on each group's ability to apply a relatively small amount of funding to an actual project of benefit to the Commencement Bay or Lower Puyallup Watershed environments – or to programs that provide a direct contribution to educating school students about the area’s marine and habitat environmental issues.
"Pierce County is very pleased to join with the Port of Tacoma and the City of Tacoma to make these awards," said Pierce County Executive John Ladenberg. "It represents how our local governments can work together to support groups whose work directly improves the environment and will lead to salmon recovery."
"The City of Tacoma has long been a champion of environmental protection and restoration," said Tacoma Mayor Bill Baarsma. "Its leadership of the cleanup of the Thea Foss Waterway is well known. Today, we are pleased to make these awards to our community partners whose work protects and restores our environment."
Groups receiving environmental funding awards, their projects and awards include:
* Friends of Swan Creek Watershed will replace a frequently damaged and vandalized bridge across the creek with a new, concrete span, donated by Concrete Technology. - $7,000
* Cascade Land Conservancy will use its award to pay for mapping related to the purchase of a 17-acre shoreline property adjacent to Marine View Drive. - $3,000
* Pierce Conservation District will restore at least a quarter acre of eelgrass in Commencement Bay. - $5,000
* Friends of the Hylebos Wetlands will conduct invasive species control and re-vegetation of the Spring Valley Ranch, a 20-acre stream and wetland habitat restoration project. - $7,000
* Citizens for a Healthy Bay will use its award to support its on-the-water inspections of Commencement Bay shorelines and waterways. - $5,000
* Puget Creek Restoration Society will receive funds to correct a fish passage ladder on Puget Creek and to support macroinvertebrate sampling at Puget Creek. - $4,888
* The Zoo Society will provide education opportunities for Communities in Schools students participating in a Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium learning experience. - $3,000
* Brown's Point Charters will team with Community in Schools to provide opportunities for students in the third to sixth grade about marine science, geology, and environmental issues in Commencement Bay and surrounding waterways aboard the organization’s 69-ft. vessel, My Girl.- $7,000