I’m leaving for DC tomorrow, joining on on the Hill Days next week in support of H.R. 3630, the PUGET SOS Bill. I won’t go into all of the nuts and bolts of the deal here, but the bill is online and there are plenty of other informational pages if more info is what you’re looking for. The quick synopsis is that Puget Sound is a waterway of national importance and as such, needs active cooperation from the Federal government in order to best preserve and restore the marine environment. This bill would bring Federal recognition, assistance and money to the Sound, and would help ensure that different levels of government work together with the other organizations and individuals in the area more efficiently.
I don’t know exactly how many members of Congress we’ll be meeting with over the course of the two days we’ll be shuffling through the halls and the subterranean passageways of the Capitol. I do know that when we leave each office, we’ll be leaving behind information about the bill and the important points to consider as the bill moves through committee. One of the things I’ll be adding to my information packets is a page of quotes from the kids in Ms. Castro’s 3rd and 4th grade class, things they would like me to pass on to the Representatives and their staffs about why Puget Sound is important to them. Some samples include:
“We should not pollute Puget Sounds because people fish and swim there. If we don’t take care of it, it won’t have the same smell, feel, or look.”
“My parents got married on Puget Sound and it would be a shame if I couldn’t have memories there with my children.”
“I like Puget Sound because it is a good place to play, hike, and swim. It would be sad to see it go.”
That’s Claire, Delaney and Jack with their views on the issue, and there are plenty of others. It is incredibly valuable to hear the next generation’s thoughts on the issue. I was struck by the number of kids who had the word “shame,” somewhere in their comments. That real sense that something is being damaged and destroyed and cannot be replaced, the kids seem to get that and to see the shame that it brings. All I am hoping for on this Washington adventure is that the adults can see it too.