Progress on plastic, climate action, and saving salmon: a review of 2022

As we shut the door on 2022 and prepare for the Washington State Legislature’s 2023 session, we wanted to take a moment to highlight some of our organizing highlights from the year.

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Tackling Plastic: We’re building support for state level policies that will tackle wasteful plastic packaging and help improve our recycling systems in the state.  This year Environment  Washington and our partners in the Plastic Free Washington coalition organized educational events, trainings, and community action workshops to get the word out about how we can prevent plastic pollution in the first place. 

At our October community clean up day, our partners organized events in 7 locations, with over 120 volunteers participating, 1000 lbs of trash picked up. Read more about it here.

Sara Holzknect, Oceana | Used by permission
Environment Washington Advocate Pam Clough (front, first on right) joined 40 Seattle residents to pick up trash and talk with Washingtonians about how we can prevent plastic pollution in the first place.

Salmon & Orca recovery: For the first time, Governor Inslee, Senator Murray committed to making dam breaching viable to save salmon, orcas. This announcement came after years of organizing and building public support, and a particularly busy summer of rallies and high visibility organizing. 

Advocates and Activists raise a banner calling to stop salmon extinction and save orca in Tacoma, WA.

Photo by Emily Dinatale | Used by permission

Tribal activists raise a banner on the Willamette River in support of breaching the four Lower Snake River Dams to save salmon and orca.

Photo by Pam Clough | Used by permission

On the water banner raise by Kayakivists at the Rally for Salmon. Free the Snake River, June 25, 2022, photo credit Alex Milan Tracy

Photo by Alex Milan Tracy | TPIN

Photo by Owen Begley-Collier | Used by permission

Environment America staff and other environmental advocates attend a tribal-led Salmon Orca Project rally in support of breaching the four Lower Snake River Dams.

Photo by DOW | Used by permission

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Clean car commitment: Earlier this week, the Washington Department of Ecology passed a rule which will require all new cars sold in Washington be zero-emission vehicles by 2035. This ambitious target of having all new car sales be zero-emission vehicles by 2035 will get more clean vehicles on the road, help us hit our climate pollution reduction goals, clean up our air and take advantage of the fact that Washington’s electric grid is getting cleaner every year.

Healthy homes: The Washington State Building Code Council adopted new building codes for both commercial and residential construction that will make new buildings healthier for Washingtonians and more climate friendly. These codes will require energy efficient heat pumps for space and water heating/cooling, and will also improve ventilation requirements for any new homes built with gas ranges for cooking.

Joelle Robinson | Used by permission

America invested big in action against climate change. In 2022, our nation moved to address climate change, giving people and local and state governments crucial support for a transition to a climate-friendly future. Environment America focused on tax credits for clean energy, building support in key congressional districts. We delivered a letter to Congress signed by 250 government officials, health professionals, small business owners and more. By the end of August, Congress passed and President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law, our country’s largest-ever investment in clean energy and climate solutions.

Thanks for standing with us in this work to create a cleaner, greener future. Onwards into 2023!

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Pam Clough

Advocate, Environment Washington

As an advocate with Environment Washington, Pam develops and runs campaigns to protect Washington's air, water, and special places. She has worked on issues ranging from clean energy climate solutions, preventing plastic pollution, defending clean water, and protecting our special natural spaces. Pam lives in Steilacoom, Washington, where she enjoys kayaking on the Puget Sound, gardening and hiking in the surrounding mountains.

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