Murray, Cantwell Introduce Bill to Provide Millions for Puget Sound Conservation Planning

Sep 07 2007

Legislation will award $5 million each year for the best plans to protect the Puget Sound

(Washington, D.C.) – U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Maria Cantwell (D-WA) today introduced legislation to create a competitive grant program that will fund conservation plans to reduce soil erosion and improve water quality in the Puget Sound area.

“Our farmers and agricultural producers are already engaging in conservation efforts to help recover the health of the Puget Sound,” said Senator Murray.  “This bill will help speed conservation progress by providing federal support for the best conservation plans that protect the Puget Sound.”

“It will take real collaboration of the kind this bill promotes to improve water quality in and around the Puget Sound,” said Senator Cantwell. “Protecting, preserving and maintaining the Sound so future generations can enjoy its many benefits continues to be one of my top priorities and this bill will move us closer to this goal.”

The bill, the Puget Sound Watershed Comprehensive Conservation Project Act of 2007, will establish a competitive grant program to fund the best conservation plans that can be implemented by local agricultural producers.  State and local governments, non-profits, Tribes, and organizations who have worked with agricultural producers would be eligible for the grants.  The legislation authorizes $5 million per year for the program.  Similar grant programs for conservation planning are currently in use across the country.