“All of us share the amenities of Puget Sound. They will not be sustained unless all of us pull together in their preservation. People and organizations must be involved in designing the solutions so they have ownership and the commitment to move forward.”
—Bill Ruckelshaus, Chair Partnership for Puget Sound 12/05
San Juan County, a collection of almost two hundred islands, is the crowning jewel of the Puget Sound inland sea. It is renowned for its beauty and recreational opportunities, and is also one of the best-functioning ecosystems on the nation’s west coast.
The story of the San Juan Initiative is one of a community looking for a new way to ensure that the natural abundance around them remains. At the same time, it is one of a region of communities – all facing an uncertain future.
Why -- in a community dedicated to its natural gifts, and a wealth of efforts aimed at protection -- is the web of life still continuing to fray?
The answer is deceptively simple: there is no single group responsible for ensuring the success of all current programs. No one has evaluated the combined effectiveness of the many efforts. There are gaps in the mosaic of protection efforts, but no one has identified where they are or how to address them.
Through this unique initiative, local, state, federal, and tribal representatives are working together. They’re building a new model to protect natural areas while respecting property rights, growth, affordability and other community concerns.
Summary of May 2009 Community Workshop