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Posted on December 12, 2018 at 9:58 AM by Allan Warren
After two years of work, the Puyallup River Watershed Council has successfully elevated the Puyallup – White River Watershed as a vital area of focus for ecosystem recovery, both for the region, and nationally. On Wednesday, December 5, 2018 the Puget Sound Partnership’s Leadership Council unanimously voted to make the Puyallup River Watershed Council a new Local Integrating Organization (LIO), ensuring that recovery of the local ecosystem is community based and supported by local, state, and federal agencies.
“The Leadership Council’s approval of the new Puyallup-White River LIO signifies an advancement in the collective effort to recover Puget Sound, by strengthening local watershed engagement in the recovery effort. We are so excited to have the Puyallup Watershed Council recognize the value for their community to participate in the Puget Sound recovery system as a new LIO,” said Sheida Sahandy, executive director of the Puget Sound Partnership.
Local Integrating Organizations work with the local community to develop and implement an ecosystem recovery plan that addresses everything from salmon and Orca recovery, to stormwater runoff, to farmland and forest conservation. A holistic, watershed based approach is key to ensuring the health and sustainability of the Puyallup Watershed. The Puyallup – White River LIO, is now the 10th LIO in the region, helping coordinate broader recovery efforts and revitalizing the region.
“The Puyallup River Watershed Council is appreciative of the support from the Puget Sound Partnership and their Leadership Council,” said Carrie Hernandez, Board President of the Council. “The Puyallup River Watershed Council is excited and ready to help lead local efforts in the recovery of Puget Sound. Thanks is due to our partners who helped guide and support us and without whom we couldn’t have reached this point. We look forward to continuing these partnerships and building many more as we focus on the local ecosystem recovery of the Puyallup-White River Watershed. Our new acronym is the PWR-LIO, or as we like to say, the “Power-LIO.” Our foundation is strong!”
The 10 Puget Sound Local Integrating Organizations are part of the Puget Sound Partnership’s framework for coordinating the region wide efforts to recover Puget Sound. Establishing a Puyallup Watershed-based LIO allows local environmental restoration efforts to participate in the Puget Sound Partnership’s regional recovery efforts and compete for federal National Estuary Program funding, which recently has totaled approximately $15 million annually.
The Puyallup River Watershed Council brought together numerous partners in the effort to become the newest LIO in the region, including: Pierce County, the Puyallup Tribe of Indians, City of Tacoma, Pierce Conservation District and many others. As the process of operating as an LIO gets underway in 2019, the Council will be conducting an outreach campaign to bring together many more local partners to help inform the Ecosystem Recovery Plan for the watershed and accelerate the work to recover one of Washington’s most important watershed.
If you’re interested in learning more or getting involved in this effort, please email Krystal Kyer, the new LIO Coordinator at email@example.com
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