Puget Sound restoration efforts got a big boost yesterday. The Nature Conservancy, The Trust for Public Lands, and People for Puget Sound formed a new alliance with funding from the Russell Family Foundation. Here’s how the Seattle P-Idescribes the coalition:

Their goal is to raise $80 million in public and private funds in the first three years of the project, during which time their focus will be on shoreline restoration work and establishing 10 new parks and protected natural areas around the Sound. They also will develop a decadelong plan expected to cost billions aimed at a recovery of the Sound on the magnitude of projects to save Chesapeake Bay and Florida’s Everglades.

The ecological problems facing Puget Sound are troublesome and complex—see, for example, this, this, this, and this–but we’re now seeing precisely the kind of serious-minded efforts that can turn things around. And in addition to this new coalition, Washington residents are already fortunate to have the state’s Puget Sound Action Team and Shared Strategy for Puget Sound. It’s encouraging to see conservation and restoration work that’s broadly appealing and well-organized. With this kind of intelligent and careful stewardship, Puget Sound can be restored to a flourishing marine ecosystem—a reminder that the region’s natural heritage can thrive alongside many more generations of northwesterners.

Check out more coverage in the Seattle Times and the Tacoma News-Tribune.