People for Puget Sound shutting down this fall

Sep 12, 2012

A major environmental group, People for Puget Sound, has been shut down by its board because of finances. The organization is being absorbed by two other environmental groups.

People for Puget Sound was founded in 1991 by a charismatic woman named Kathy Fletcher.

She built a social movement, getting all kinds of folks to pitch in and volunteer to help clean up the water,  and to recognize the power of awareness about things like runoff from greasy roads and roofs when it rains.

Fletcher retired about a year ago. Now her successor, Tom Bancroft, has a hoarse voice, from all the explaining he’s had to do.

“and we decided what was most important is Puget Sound and the mission," Bancroft said. "We needed to make sure that mission kept going: to protect Puget Sound.”  

He says the group, which relies on charitable donations, is really a victim of the harsh financial times. They just didn’t have enough reserves to make it through the economic crisis of 2008.

Some of People for Puget Sound’s work will now be done by two other groups: Washington Environmental Council and EarthCorps.

When Bancroft started the job 15 months ago, People for Puget Sound had 25 employees. Since then, Bancroft has led two rounds of layoffs. The organization is to cease operations this fall.

More details on the reorg can be found here.