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PR BROWNER AWARDS FUNDS TO PUGET SOUND RESTORATION

Release Date: 09/05/96
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PR BROWNER AWARDS FUNDS TO PUGET SOUND RESTORATION

FOR RELEASE: THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 5, 1996

BROWNER AWARDS FUNDS TO PUGET SOUND RESTORATION

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Carol M. Browner today announced a grant of $460,000 to continue the full protection and restoration of Washington State's Puget Sound under the Agency's major effort to protect the nation's coastal waters. "The people of Puget Sound know that clean, safe water is essential to the health of your community and the health of your economy. Tourism in Puget Sound is a multi-billion-dollar industry. The fisheries of Puget Sound bring in tens of millions of dollars, and tens of thousands of jobs depend on a safe, clean Puget Sound," said Browner. "This grant represents the Clinton Administration's commitment to ensuring that the people of Seattle gain the full environmental and economic benefits that will result from a revitalized Sound."

Estuaries are vital to the U.S. economy. Almost one-third of the Gross National Product is produced in coastal counties through commercial fisheries, national and international ports, recreational opportunities and other coastal-related business and industrial activities.

Building on nearly $11.5 million in previous EPA funding for Puget Sound restoration, the new funds will help support:

    a new environmental monitoring program;
    more environmental information for the public and the scientific community about the Sound;
    development of environmental performance measures and indicators for the Sound; and
    joint technical and research activities with Canada.
The grant will be administered by the Puget Sound Action Team. Browner said, "I want to commend all of the Federal, State, and local officials and citizens who have been working diligently and for so long in partnership to bring the Sound back to its full potential."

Puget Sound was the first in the nation to develop an EPAapproved comprehensive cleanup plan under the National Estuary Program. There are now 28 estuaries in the Program. An estuary is a coastal area, such as a bay or sound, where fresh waters from rivers and streams mix with salt water from the ocean.

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