The time to take real action to combat climate change is long past due. Here in Tacoma, we’re already feeling the effects. From hotter summers to longer droughts, declining salmon populations and increasing ocean acidity, the threat of climate change is serious and urgent. We believe there is a moral obligation to ourselves and the environment to drastically reduce the greenhouse gases we spew into our air.
Tacoma’s Tideflats – the historic estuary and mudflats of the Puyallup River – are also home to one of the largest and most productive industrial ports in the United States. In recent years, the Tacoma Tideflats have been targeted for a methanol refinery, a liquefied natural gas refinery, more oil trains, and more oil barges and vessels. In fact, Tacoma has been cited as one of the most at-risk Northwest cities for fossil fuel development, and we have every reason to believe that dirty energy projects will continue to target our community.
Two land use policies aim to protect Tacoma’s Tideflats from heavy industrial expansion; the Tideflats Non-Interim Regulations, a halt on the development of fossil fuel terminals, refineries, and expansions of existing fossil fuel facilities; as well as the Tideflats Subarea Plan, which will define the long-term vision for the Tideflats, protect natural areas, clean up contaminated sites, and allocate funding to infrastructure.