On the water every week,
stopping pollution every day.
Founded in 1984 as the Puget Sound Alliance (PSA), PSA was the first grassroots citizens’ organization to focus exclusively on protecting the marine environment of Puget Sound. Initially, PSA fought successfully for secondary wastewater treatment at West Point in Seattle and a Puget Sound Management Plan. In 1990, following the successful model of the Hudson Riverkeeper in New York, PSA launched the 6th licensed Waterkeeper program in the nation when it hired its first Puget Soundkeeper and began patrolling the waters of the Sound by boat.
Renamed Puget Soundkeeper Alliance (Soundkeeper) in 1992, the organization was a founding member of the international Waterkeeper Alliance, a national movement founded by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Today, Waterkeeper Alliance and its member organizations are the fastest growing environmental movement in the world with over 200 licensed Waterkeepers on six continents.
Soundkeeper’s mission is to protect and preserve the waters of Puget Sound by monitoring, cleaning up and preventing pollutants from entering its waters.
To accomplish its mission, Soundkeeper actively monitors Puget Sound through kayak patrols and uses the Soundkeeper patrol boat on a weekly basis enlisting a network of trained volunteers to detect and report pollution. As a major environmental stakeholder, Soundkeeper actively engages government agencies and businesses working to regulate pollution discharges from sewage treatment plants, industrial facilities, construction sites, municipalities and others. Soundkeeper actively enforces the Clean Water Act of 1972, using the power granted to citizens to sue under provisions of the Act, to stop polluters in their tracks and bring egregious polluters into compliance with the law. As one of the nation’s leading citizen advocates, Soundkeeper has a 100% success record and has filed over 150 cases. Soundkeeper’s settlements typically result in accelerated compliance measures including new implementation of, or upgrades to, stormwater and wastewater treatment systems. A 1993 settlement with the City of Bremerton is directly attributable to the Dyes Inlet shellfish beds reopening for the first time in 40 years. To date, Soundkeeper’s enforcement team has awarded over $3.6 million to third party restoration, education and water quality mitigation projects to heal the damage in the affected watershed and provide an incentive for future compliance. Soundkeeper does not receive any settlement money from Clean Water Act cases. Although we achieve our mission by stopping pollution, we know that much of Puget Sound’s problems can be stopped at the source by engaging the people and businesses in our community – after all, Puget Sound is where we all work, live and play.
We’re working to protect the waters of Puget Sound now and for future generations.
Why? Because Puget Sound is in trouble.
• Declining fish populations and die-offs in Hood Canal
• PCB’s in marine mammals
• health warnings about Puget Sound salmon and shellfish
• beaches closed to shellfish harvest
• Superfund cleanups
…and the list goes on.
Here’s what we’re doing about it
- Legal Action: We enforce the Clean Water Act through legal action.
- Patrolling and Monitoring: Puget Soundkeeper Alliance actively patrols and monitors the waters of Puget Sound.
- Active Engagement: We pursue the Clean Water Act’s goals through active engagement with business, government agencies and citizens.
- Governmental Involvement and Business Partnerships: We get involved at many levels of government and legislation to toughen pollution standards. We create partnerships with business to help reduce pollution.
Here’s what you can do
- Do your part to stop pollution: drive less (bike, walk, bus, carpool), fix vehicle oil leaks, rely on natural yard care rather than chemicals, report pollution when you see it happen, wash your car on your lawn or at a commercial car wash, and the list goes on…
- Become informed about pollution.
- Discover the beauty and richness of Puget Sound.
- Join our team as a volunteer.
- Give what you can to help protect Puget Sound now and for the future.