People for Puget Sound
6:55 am
Wed September 12, 2012

People For Puget Sound Is Shutting Its Doors

One of Washington's largest environmental groups is shutting down. People for Puget Sound announced it will close its doors at the end of the month.

Executive director Tom Bancroft says he’d been trying to shore up the nonprofit group’s finances since he took the helm a year ago.

People for Puget Sound has laid off nearly half of its 25 employees over the past year. But Bancroft says the recession took too much of a toll for the group to survive.

Bancroft: “We just did not have as good fundraising this spring as summer as what we’d hoped to and became evident this summer that we might have a really hard time making it through the fall.”

People for Puget Sound started in 1991. The group’s helped pass several state laws on oil spills and regulations that protect shoreline habitats critical to the survival of salmon and orcas.

The Seattle-based nonprofit also did hands-on restoration projects and worked to reduce pollution entering the sound from streets, sewers and industry.

Bancroft hopes enough funding will come together to let most of his staffers continue their work as employees of two other environmental groups. Bancroft himself is going down with his ship.

The former chief scientist for the National Audubon Society says he hopes to stay in Seattle and find a new job that will let him keep working for Puget Sound.

Copyright 2012 Northwest Public Radio