About us


Leadership Council 

Martha Kongsgaard was born and raised in Napa, Calif., to a family of jurists, grape growers and cattle ranchers. Kongsgaard married Peter Goldman in 1988 and collaborated with him to found the Kongsgaard-Goldman Foundation. The foundation gives grants to a variety of nonprofit environmental, social justice and arts organizations in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska, many of which affect Puget Sound. Her community activities include participation on the national board and the executive committees of Earthjustice, Islandwood, the Future of the Law Institute and Friends of the Methow. She chairs several major capital campaigns, including the Cascade Agenda, the expansion of Islandwood and the building of the LEED-certified Community Center at the New High Point. Kongsgaard has served as the president of Philanthropy Northwest and has spoken broadly about philanthropy and the environmental movement to wide and diverse audiences for the past 20 years.

The Puget Sound Partnership is a community effort of citizens, governments, tribes, scientists and businesses working together to restore and protect Puget Sound.

Despite its size, Puget Sound is ecologically delicate; and while its symptoms of trouble are not easily visible, they are undeniable and getting worse.

The charge given to the Puget Sound Partnership by Governor Gregoire and the
Legislature is to create a real Action Agenda that turns things around and leads to a healthy Puget Sound.

Our Action Agenda will prioritize cleanup and improvement projects, coordinate federal, state, local, tribal and private resources, and make sure that we are all working cooperatively. We will base decisions on science, focus on actions that have the biggest impact, and hold people and organizations accountable for results.

Our goal is to make Puget Sound healthy again, and create a roadmap for how to get it done. If we work together, we can have both a thriving Puget Sound economy and a clean and healthy Puget Sound ecosystem

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Puget Sound Partnership Leadership Council

The Leadership Council is the governing body of the Puget Sound Partnership. Its seven members are leading citizens chosen from around the Sound and appointed by the governor. Gov. Chris Gregoire named Bill Ruckelshaus the first chair. Founding members will serve terms of different lengths. Successors to the original council will each serve four-year terms

The seven action areas

The Puget Sound Partnership’s Leadership Council set initial boundaries for the following seven action areas:

  • Hood Canal
  • North Central Puget Sound
  • San Juan/Whatcom
  • South Central Puget Sound
  • South Puget Sound
  • Strait of Juan de Fuca
  • Whidbey

What are action areas?

An important part of the Puget Sound Partnership’s work is connecting with the public, watershed groups and local governments. The legislation that created the Partnershipestablished seven geographic action areas around the Sound to address and tackle problems specific to those areas.

The Partnership’s Leadership Council will build the Action Agenda in part on the foundation of the existing programs that address or contribute to the health of Puget Sound. To develop the Action Agenda, the Partnership will work with local watershed groups, tribes, cities, counties, special purpose districts and the private sector in each of the action areas. These areas collectively encompass the entire Puget Sound basin and include the uplands that drain to the marine waters.

What is the role of action areas?

Developing the Action Agenda – Local plans, programs and actions that address the health of Puget Sound will make up a large part of the Action Agenda.

Collaboration – Representatives of tribes, watershed groups, local governments and private sector institutions will work together in each action area to:

  • Consider scientific information on the ecosystem risks in their area
  • Identify key actions to address these risks
  • Evaluate existing programs and plans
  • Recommend area-specific actions, programs and strategies for adoption in the Action Agenda

In addition, the Council also adopted the following policies guiding how action areas should play a role in restoring Puget Sound:

  1. The Council encourages connections and communication across and between the action areas. The Puget Sound Partnership’s Executive Director should help make these connections.
  2. Maintain view of Sound-wide goals and objectives.
  3. The Partnership should aim to provide support and capacity for work on the Action Agenda.
  4. When carrying out the work of the action areas, rely on effective, established structures and institutions.