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The U.S. Capitol Building. Photo by Martin Falbisoner. CC BY-SA 3.0
The U.S. Capitol Building. Photo by Martin Falbisoner. CC BY-SA 3.0

Puget Sound groups prepare for ‘Day on the Hill’

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Watch for reports from our senior writer Christopher Dunagan at this year’s Puget Sound Day on the Hill in Washington, D.C.. The May 14-16 event, originally organized by Rep.’s Derek Kilmer and Denny Heck of the Puget Sound Recovery Caucus is a chance for local groups to meet with federal decision-makers to raise awareness of the Puget Sound ecosystem.

According to the Puget Sound Partnership, there will be more than 70 participants this year representing groups ranging from tribes and non-profits to state agencies, making it the largest ‘Day on the Hill’ since the event began in 2015. The gathering will coincide with D.C.’s annual Salmon Days, which brings together groups in a similar cause focusing on salmon recovery.

At the forefront of the agenda, according to participants, is the fragile health of Puget Sound and the need for more federal dollars to support recovery efforts.

“This year, the Washington State Legislature reaffirmed its commitment to Puget Sound and salmon recovery,” the Puget Sound Partnership’s new executive director Laura Blackmore said in a press release. “We need the federal government to continue to fully fund the National Estuary Program and the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund to match our state’s investment, so we can continue to make progress locally for Puget Sound and salmon recovery.”

PSI’s Dunagan will offer a first-hand account of the events as well as other stories about how local efforts connect with national funding and politics. Puget Sound Day on the Hill kicks off with a late-night tour of the Capitol Building hosted by Rep. Kilmer, followed over the next two days by intensive meetings and visits with lawmakers.