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Puget Sound is a sound along the northwestern coast of Washington state. This complex estuarine system extends from the Pacific Ocean to Olympia, WA and is extremely deep with an average depth of 450 feet.
This unique system of waterways and basins is a key point for international shipping, as it is home to the Ports of Seattle, Tacoma, and Olympia, as well as the port countless recreational vessels along the Sound's shores.
But Puget Sound is also home to the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whales. These majestic creatures share the waters with countless fish, shellfish, and humans seeking a relaxing swim.
But there's something foul going on in these waters.
Current federal law allows vessels in Puget Sound to discharge partially treated sewage within three miles of shore, and untreated sewage if they are beyond three miles. This unmitigated dumping of human waste into the Sound is decimating orca habitat and poisoning the waters, making beaches unclean and shellfish unsafe for human consumption.
Washington State's Department of Ecology, along with other Washington state agencies, is pushing the EPA to declare the 2,300 square miles of the Puget Sound a "no-discharge zone." This designation would prohibit the discharge of any sewage, treated or untreated, from any vessel in Puget Sound no matter how far from shore.
This federal designation is critical to restore the health of the region and protecting this beautiful region from being poisoned by careless waste disposal. Do your part by signing this petition and letting the EPA know that you support the "No-Discharge Zone" designation for Puget Sound!
To the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency:
I am writing to express my support for the State of Washington's petition to designate the Puget Sound as a "No-Discharge Zone."
Puget Sound is a large, beautiful series of waterways, channels, and basins that supports a diverse array of life within Washington. From people and shellfish to sea lions and Southern Resident orcas, all forms of life in Washington depend on the sound.
But vessels, both commercial and recreational, are poisoning these precious waters by dumping human waste into the Sound's waters, actions which are currently permitted under federal law. Meanwhile, the Sound's diverse ecosystem suffers as this toxic waste poisons the waters and even makes much of the local shellfish unsafe for human consumption.
The federal government's choice to permit the dumping of human waste into the Sound is destroying our precious ecosystem.
Now, you have the opportunity to restore life and health Puget Sound. Please, side with the Washington State Department of Ecology and instate the "No-Discharge Zone" for Puget Sound.