Healthy forests, rivers, and fish and wildlife on our Washington Pacific Coast are essential to our communities, ecosystems, and economies. Efforts to protect and restore them are severely underfunded. Coastal communities have worked tirelessly for decades with limited funding to improve the health of our lands and waters. Yet we’ve lacked consistent funding to address our diverse, ongoing restoration needs.
Download the Initiative Specifics HERE.
There is an equally urgent need to improve the economic health of our region. The Coast continues to experience the highest unemployment in the state. Given the urgency of both of these needs, we need a proactive approach to restoration that:
- Addresses the region’s highest priority restoration needs;
- Leverages existing funding; and
- Puts people to work on the coast, restoring our lands and waters.
A PROACTIVE APPROACH
The goal of the Washington Coast Restoration Initiative is to restore forests, water quality and fish and wildlife habitat through the highest priority projects in the region. These projects will both provide restoration jobs to local people now and will ensure sustainable natural resource jobs in the future. A coalition of partners from across the Coast has developed a comprehensive database of restoration and sustainable job needs and seeks funding for prioritized projects that will conduct critical restoration work and provide good-paying restoration and sustainable natural resource jobs, as the work will help ensure the resources remain healthy and abundant.
The Capital Budget request for the Washington Coast Restoration Initiative would provide more than $15 million to leverage more than $6 million in existing federal, state and private resources and will significantly scale up restoration across a suite of diverse restoration projects. These projects enjoy support from local governments, the conservation community, the fishing industry, tribes, watershed groups and state and federal agencies.
This is the right time to invest in the restoration of the lands and waters of the Coast and the people who depend on these natural resources for their livelihood. Investing now ensures the commercial, recreational, and ecological value of the lands and waters and protects both our best salmon runs and one of the most diverse economies of the state. It’s clear that restoration is one of the best ways to invest in our local economies. Ninety cents of every dollar spent on restoration stays inside the state, and 80 cents of every dollar stays within the county where a project is located. Dollar for dollar, restoration projects create more jobs than other types of construction projects.
This budget request will help improve the economy of the Washington Coast while maintaining its diverse and healthy lands and waters. The Washington Coast Restoration Initiative will build a lasting foundation for healthy Coastal habitats and economies that benefits us all.