Sound Status Update – January 2020

A mission that started 30 years ago…

2020 marks 30 years of Citizens for a Healthy Bay working to bring people together to achieve a clean and healthy Commencement Bay that benefits both our community and the surrounding ecosystem that calls Puget Sound home. Back in 1990, our mission was to represent and give voice to the community in the Superfund cleanup of Commencement Bay, one of the most polluted bodies of water in the United States at the time.

30 years later, our mission hasn’t changed.

We still strive to equip the community and key decision-makers with the up-to-date facts and research they need to combat pollution and prevent unsafe development. We still seek environmental solutions that work for all of us. And we’re still advocating for the strongest cleanups possible to protect and safeguard Tacoma, Commencement Bay, and Puget Sound.

We’ve accomplished so much these last 30 years thanks to incredible supporters like you. We can’t wait to see what we accomplish in the next 30 years together.

Meet our two new staff members!

Marquis Mason, Climate Justice Community Organizer

Marquis Mason, Climate Justice Community Organizer

Jeremy Taitano, Clean Water Educator

Jeremy Taitano, Clean Water Educator

Marquis King Mason, Climate Justice Community Organizer
Marquis first got involved with activism and outreach during his time at Western Washington University, where he led the WWU chapter of Amnesty International as a Student Officer for nearly 2 years. Marquis credits his time at school, along with the challenging and inspiring environmental coursework, for his love of environmentalism. Most recently, Marquis served as a Community Engagement Organizer with the Oregon League of Conservation Voters, where he witnessed firsthand the immense value of grassroots organizing to pass climate policy. As CHB’s new Climate Justice Community Organizer, he is ready to tackle environmental justice and equity work.

Jeremy Jose King Taitano Bio, Clean Water Educator
Jeremy’s connection to the outdoors began when he was a child, when he would spearfish in the reefs outside of the village where he grew up in Tanapag, Saipan. This powerful experience kindled a passion for the natural world and the strong desire to protect the waters around him. Jeremy has deep experience with environmental conservation programs, from designing environmental education in Philadelphia, to managing conservation corps throughout the state of Washington. At Citizens for a Healthy Bay, Jeremy is excited to continue connecting the community with the environment to ensure that the benefits of the natural world are accessible and affordable to everyone.

Join us for this year’s Cheers to a Healthy Bay Dinner & Auction

Date: Friday, March 27, 2020
Time: 5:30 – 10:30 p.m.
Location: Foss Waterway Seaport Museum
Cost: Single tickets – $150, Table of 8 – $1,200, Table of 10 – $1,500

We’d love to have you join us! Mingle with friends old and new, enjoy delicious food, cocktails, and the best silent and live auction items in the biz!

Citizens for a Healthy Bay’s gala celebrates Commencement Bay and Puget Sound as the center of our community and raises over $100,000 for the protection of our waters each year. Show your love for Puget Sound and join us for an incredible night of friends, food, and fun (as well as INCREDIBLE auction items you won’t want to miss).

Purchase Tickets Today!

Clean Fuel Standard

Did you know that over 40% of the climate pollution in the Puget Sound area comes from transportation? One way to combat this pollution is to make the fuels we use for transportation cleaner. The Puget Sound Clean Air Agency (PSCAA) is proposing to do just that with a Clean Fuel Standard (CFS). The CFS could reduce climate pollution in our area by 25% by the year 2030. We believe the CFS is a step in the right direction, but we want to make sure the proposed rule is as strong as possible by removing incentives for natural gas and including assurances that the rule won’t make transportation more expensive and inaccessible to low-income communities.

A public hearing on the proposed rule will take place on Wednesday, February 5, from 4:00-7:00pm at the Main Branch of the Tacoma Public Library. If you’d like to stay in the loop as we learn more about this proposal or could use some help drafting your written comments (due Monday February 10thplease subscribe to our Arising Issues email list.

Proposed dredging of the Blair Waterway

Poster of the Blair Waterway dredging options

In 2019, the Port of Tacoma proposed to widen and deepen the Blair Waterway to allow the world’s largest ships to access the waterway’s cargo terminals and businesses more easily. Unfortunately, this project comes with some potentially negative environmental and public health impacts. The bottom of the Blair Waterway contains contaminated soil in some areas, and we are concerned that dredging the waterway to enlarge its size may reintroduce harmful toxins like arsenic, lead, and PCBs back into Commencement Bay. This would be extremely harmful to endangered salmon, orcas, and people.

While not specifically stated, we are also concerned that this project might help Par Pacific (formerly US Oil) further their goal of exporting crude oil to their Hawaii refineries. Given the urgency with which we must act on climate change, we don’t believe that the fossil fuel industry should be given more room to grow. Comments on this project are due to the Army Corps of Engineers by Sunday, February 16. If you’d like to stay in the loop as we learn more about this project and submit comments, please subscribe to our Arising Issues email list.

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