Introduction | How we're still failing our Sound
I f you want to see where Puget Sound's fate is being decided, turn your back to the water. Look instead at the once-forested hillsides...
If you want to see where Puget Sound's fate is being decided, turn your back to the water.
Look instead at the once-forested hillsides cleared for homes. Look at the wetlands filled and never replaced. Look at the beaches walled off from the sea and the streams polluted with runoff.
Despite all we've learned about Puget Sound over the years, and all the promises we keep making to do better, we haven't met the challenge.
The Sound is by no means dead. By some measures it's cleaner and healthier than it was 30 years ago. Yet that progress is at risk because we're still betraying Puget Sound with the choices we make about developing the land.
It's not because people are breaking the rules. The rules are simply inadequate for the monumental task at hand.
Now, politicians are launching an ambitious effort to protect and restore Puget Sound by 2020, costing as much as $18 billion. By then, another 800,000 people are expected to call this place home. By the end of the century, it could be another 4 million.
As a new state agency, the Puget Sound Partnership, tries to rally the public around the Sound, we all confront a basic challenge:
If we want to succeed, we have to change how we grow.
So today and for the next three days, The Seattle Times is looking inland at some of the ways our growth is undermining the health of Puget Sound.
Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company
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