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Puget Sound agency created/Climate change expert to speak

Puget Sound agency created

Sen. Phil Rockefeller’s proposal for a new state agency focused on protecting Puget Sound is now on governor’s desk.

Rockefeller’s Senate Bill 5372 would make the Puget Sound Partnership, which was established on a limit-term basis by Gov. Chris Gregoire in 2005, a permanent fixture in the state’s ongoing efforts to clean-up the sound.

The partnership was composed of business, tribal, environmental and government leaders. Rep. Sherry Appleton, a Poulsbo Democrat, was also a member of the partnership.

Rockefeller, a Bainbridge Democrat, was a member of the partnership as it crafted a report last year to restore the sound within the next 13 years.

“Our (Puget) Sound is one of our most precious resources,” said Rockefeller. “This bill allows our state to coordinate and scale up our efforts to achieve a healthy sound by 2020.”

The partnership’s goals include cleaning up toxic sites, preventing future contamination, improving water quality, repairing damaged habitat and recovering depleted fisheries.

As the partnership’s founder, Gregoire’s approval is all but guaranteed.

– Tristan Baurick

Climate change expert to speak

Nationally recognized climate scientist Gary Lagerloef will discuss the implications of global warming Tuesday evening at Grace Episcopal Church.

Lagerloef, an island resident, co-founded Earth & Space Research, a Seattle-based science research institute.

In 2004, he was appointed by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) to lead the Aquarius satellite mission, which will study the interactions between oceans and global climate change. As the principal investigator, Lagerloef has overall responsibility for the NASA mission, and interacts with researchers around the world.

Lagerloef’s talk will focus on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s recent report. The report states that evidence of global warming is “unequivocal,” based on increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice and rising sea levels.

The discussion, part of week long Earth Day events, will lead-in to Grace church’s celebration of a “Car-less Sunday” on April 29.

Lagerloef’s two-hour talk begins at 7 p.m. at Grace Church, 8595 Day Road East. Call 842-6390 for more information.

– Tristan Baurick

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