Tuesday, April 30, 2019

Recognize your #OrcaHero during Puget Sound Starts Here Month!

Do you know a person or group who deserves recognition for helping prevent stormwater pollution?Give them their time to shine as an #OrcaHero by posting their story on Facebook, with a tag to the@PugetSoundStartsHere Facebook page through May.

Puget Sound Starts Here Month is a great way for you to connect, educate and empower yourself, your friends and your community to use simple actions and volunteer locally to help Puget Sound and the orcas that swim there. This year’s theme is Orca Health Starts Here! This highlights the fact that orca recovery starts with clean water and good habitat.

 Who can be an #OrcaHero?

An #OrcaHero can be an individual or any number of people who consistently take even simple actions to prevent stormwater pollution. For example, people who pick up after their dogs or build and keep rain gardens show commitment to clean water. Other simple orca heroics could include:

·         Natural yard care.
·         Volunteering on restoration efforts.
·         Using green stormwater infrastructure.
·         Proper disposal of toxic wastes and pharmaceuticals.
·         Reducing plastic waste.
·         Any of the many other recommendations from the Orca Task Force report and Puget Sound Starts Here’s “Take Action” tab.

How to recognize your #OrcaHero

When you post your #OrcaHero’s story on Facebook, please tag it with @PugetSoundStartsHere, and include:

·         Nominee’s name (person or organization).
·         City where the nominee works or lives. And, tag that city!
·         Name and tag of the person or organization nominating the hero.
·         Reason for recognizing: Tell us what your hero does to help orcas by preventing stormwater pollution.
·         With your hero’s permission, include a photo of them doing their orca heroics.
Some of the #OrcaHeroes will be featured on Puget Sound Starts Here’s Facebook page all month and on thier website’s new #OrcaHero page.

Why we all need to help

Millions of pounds of toxic pollution enter Puget Sound every year. Much of it washes to the Sound in rainwater, when it flows over hard surfaces like houses, parking lots, driveways and streets. The rainwater picks up pollution along the way. Most of this polluted runoff is not treated. It flows through ditches or storm drains and into local waterways and on to the sound.
 The over 80 local governments, state agencies and non-profit groups of Puget Sound Starts Here are working together and with you to keep pollutants out of this stormwater. This work must undo more than 100 years of pollution and environmental degradation, all while balancing the needs of people and the environment.
Clean water and healthy shorelines support a vibrant food web. Everything that helps salmon and the smaller fish they eat – and the even smaller critters the small fish eat! – helps orcas, which eat the salmon!


About Puget Sound Starts Here
Puget Sound Starts Here is an education campaign promoted by more than 750 organizations in the 12 counties that touch the sound. Members include state agencies, local governments, tribes, and non-profit organizations. All do work to clean up and protect Puget Sound and the waterways that flow into it.
 Puget Sound Starts Here Month raises awareness that Puget Sound is in trouble from a variety of pollution sources, and that simple actions and local volunteer opportunities truly make a difference. Learn more about the bounty of Puget Sound and how you can help protect it at www.PugetSoundStartsHere.org.
 With the Orca Health Starts Here theme, Puget Sound Starts Here Month joins with other orca recovery campaigns and efforts throughout Washington. These include Orca Action Month in June and Orca Recovery Day in the fall.
By Justine Asohmbom, Shorelines and Stormwater Education Manager


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