2023: $7.8m secured for Wash. community forests

During the 2023 session, the legislature approved $7.8 million for the Recreation and Conservation Office Community Forest program. This funding will support three community forests at Montesano, Nisqually, and Stewart Mountain. WCA played a major role in the establishment of the RCO grant program, which was funded for the first time in 2021.

2023: $83m for carbon sequestration, storage in older forests on state lands

The legislature appropriated $83 million dollars from the Climate Commitment Act’s Natural Climate Solutions to protect older forests on state trust lands over the next biennium. The funds will allow DNR to identify 2,000 acres of older structurally complex, carbon dense forests to remove from planned harvest, ensuring continued habitat, carbon storage, and ecosystem services…

2023: Require Boaters Stay 1,000 Yards From Orcas

Updates a policy to reflect the latest science on providing the space orcas need to navigate, communicate, and hunt. Establishes a 1000 yard buffer around orcas on the water. “Our goal is that every boater in Puget Sound, and through the Southern Resident orcas’ range, will take this pledge, and do their part to give…

2023: GMA Update with Climate

Passed in the early 90s, the GMA is a landmark environmental law. However it did not include the realities of climate change until we passed significant legislation in 2023. The law now includes a climate goal to reduce pollution that causes climate change through reducing vehicle miles traveled and provisions to consider climate resilience and…

2023: Investing in Climate Action with Climate Commitment Act dollars

Through the Environmental Priorities Coalition’s advocacy in 2022, we worked hard to to galvanize everyday Washingtonians to push legislators to pass the most progressive transportation package in Washington’s history.

2022: Conservation Northwest et al. V. Commissioner of Public Lands

In 2020, Washington Conservation Action and our partners, Conservation Northwest and Olympic Forest Coalition, filed a legal challenge regarding the constitutional mandate of the Department of Natural Resource (DNR) to manage state trust lands for all the people of Washington. In July of 2021, the State Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision, recognizing that DNR…

2022: Closing the GMA Sprawl Loophole

For more than a decade, developers had taken advantage of a loophole in land use planning that fostered sprawl. Over time, local governments were on the hook to pay for services to support these developments such as water, sewer, garbage, emergency services. Other costs from the loophole include permanent loss of habitat, traffic congestion, and…

2022: Legislature approves historic $17 billion, 16-year transportation package

Through the Environmental Priorities Coalition’s advocacy in 2022, we worked hard to to galvanize everyday Washingtonians to push legislators to pass the most progressive transportation package in Washington’s history.

2021: Protected critical investments for people & the environment

Through the Environmental Priorities Coalition’s advocacy this year, we worked hard to protect these critical investments in our state’s operating and capital budgets.

2021: Wildfire response and forest health is funded!

The legislature established a Wildfire Response, Forest Restoration, and Community Resilience Account to fund wildfire preparedness, prevention, and protection.

2021: We now have the strongest carbon pricing policy in the nation

The Climate Commitment Act establishes an economy wide cap & invest program, covering approximately 75% of the state’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

2021: Washington State achieves a Clean Fuel Standard

After three years, the Washington State legislature finally adopted a clean fuel standard!

2021: Healthy Environment For All (HEAL) Act passed!

The HEAL Act was designed to meet the needs and priorities of communities overburdened by pollution and grappling with stark health disparities.

2019: Washington passes 100% Clean Electricity Legislation

Washington passed 100% Clean Electricity, the strongest clean electricity bill in the nation!

2019: Legislature passes overhaul of toxic clean-up program

This legislative session, state leaders secured a landmark law to ensure that Big Oil pays their fair share for toxic cleanups.

2019: Orca recovery bills passed

The Legislature passed a package bills to address Southern Resident orca recovery and survival.

2018: Puget Sound designated as a No Discharge Zone

The Puget Sound No Discharge Zone was established by the Department of Ecology, prohibiting ships and boats from discharging sewage.

2018: Largest Oil Terminal in the Nation Defeated

WEC and WCV helped Vancouver, WA resist and defeat Tesoro Savage’s proposal to build the largest oil terminal in the nation in our state.

2017: First Annual Carbon Friendly Forestry Conference

On September 12, 2017, we brought together some of the smartest policy makers, business leaders, and carbon forestry experts to discuss opportunities and to answer questions about the state of our forests.

2017: WEC hosts the first Carbon Friendly Forestry Conference

WEC hosted the first annual Carbon Friendly Forestry Conference to discuss the future of Washington forests.

2017: Legislature Ends Decades-Old Big Oil Tax Loophole

Washington lawmakers close tax loophole for big oil companies and ensure they pay their fair share.

2017: First of Its Kind Scorecard Shines Light on Pollution Prevention

Our first of its kind scorecard ranks cities and counties on combating Puget Sound’s largest source of water pollution: toxic stormwater runoff.

2016: Intern Program Serving 20 Young Environmental Leaders Each Year

With over 20 interns each year, WEC is committed to building the next generation of environmental leaders.

2016: Passing Regional Mass Transit Initiative

We helped pass a Sound Transit ballot initiative to expand public transportation around the region and take cars off the road.

2016: Coal Terminal Denied at Cherry Point

After years of hard work, the proposal at Xwe’chi’eXen, also known as Cherry Point, was defeated to protect land of the Lummi Nation.

2015: Washington’s First California-Certified Project

WEC, in partnership with the Nisqually Land Trust, established the first forest carbon project in Washington that met California’s rigorous standards.

2015: Standing Up To Oil

In the face of massive expansion of crude oil transport by rail, WEC helped bring together people across the state to form the Stand Up To Oil campaign.

2013: Record Opposition to Coal Export

Over 120,000 comments were submitted in opposition to coal export in Whatcom County with the help of our Voter Education Program tools that enabled us to reach thousands of concerned citizens near the railroads.

2012: Protecting Maury Island

WEC worked for years to help protect Maury Island and its precious nearshore habitat from a proposed gravel mine.

2011: Transitioning off Coal to Clean Energy

With the strength of the Environmental Priorities Coalition, WEC helped pass legislation to phase out Washington’s only coal-fired power plant and provide funds for a just transition and clean energy economic development.

2011: Ban on Toxic Coal Tar Sealants

WEC worked to pass a first-in-the-nation ban on toxic coal tar sealants, responsible for water pollution and contamination.

2010: Latino GOTV

We collaborated with El Centro de la Raza to reach thousands of voters and persuade them to vote.

2008: Climate Action & Green Jobs

This first in the nation law reduces pollution and invests in green job training.

2008: Local Farms – Healthy Kids

WEC joined with diverse partners to develop the Local Farms – Healthy Kids program that protects farmland, improves kids’ health, and reduces energy and waste, all by promoting local foods.

2007: Restoring Manastash Creek

WEC helped establish an agreement to revitalize Manastash Creek, while preserving important water resources for people.

2007: Save Our Sound

WEC and our partners helped establish and secure funding for the Puget Sound Partnership.

2006: Electronic Waste Recycling

WEC worked with Zero Waste Washington to create a recycling program for electronic waste that resulted in the prevention of toxic substances, such as lead, and mercury, from polluting the environment and endangering our health.

2006: Protecting the Spotted Owl

WEC led a legal challenge to protect key forest habitat from increased logging on 1.4 million acres of Washington land.

2006: Defeating Irresponsible Development Plans

WEC and our partners fought to defeat Initiative 993, which would have allowed irresponsible development statewide.

2006: Passing Clean Energy Initiative

WEC worked with partners to garner public support to pass the Citizens’ Clean Energy Initiative, I-937.

2005: Green Buildings

WEC helped pass legislation that requires state buildings and schools to be built with high performance that saves energy and minimizes waste.

2005: Clean Cars

We fought for cleaner air by advocating legislation that would require lower vehicle emissions.

2003: Preventing Budget Rollbacks

With many efforts to weaken existing environmental protections, WEC launched a successful campaign to defeat a host of anti-environment bills.

2003: Reducing Mercury

WEC led a successful legislative campaign that reduced the mercury in products used in schools, hospitals, and homes.

1991: We pass Oil Spill Pollution Act

The much-needed Oil Spill Pollution Act becomes law to better prepare for and prevent oils spills on Puget Sound.

1988: Pass Model Toxics Control Act initiative

WCA (formerly Washington Environmental Council) leads and passes the initiative campaign to pass the Model Toxics Control Act to clean up contaminated sites across Washington.

1980: We Win “Don’t Waste Washington” Ballot Initiative

WEC is successful in its efforts on the “Don’t Waste Washington” ballot initiative, which banned storing radioactive waste at Hanford from other sites. You can read the 1980 ballot initiative language at the Wa Secretary of State archives here

1976: WEC passes a new Forest Practices Act

Forest Practices Act becomes law, laying the groundwork for protecting water, fish, and wildlife while maintaining our timber industry. On January 1, 1946, the Forest Practice Act requires Washington loggers to plant trees to replace the logs that they have harvested. The State Division of Forestry is empowered to enforce the provisions and a nine-member…

1972: WEC succeeds at passing Shoreline Management Act

1970: Washington Conservation Action (formerly Washington Environmental Council) collects enough signatures to send Initiative 43 to the Legislature. 1971: Legislature adopts an alternative shoreline management law that is based on the initiative. Through an emergency clause, the law took effect on June 1, 1971; as directed in that law, Ecology began developing regulatory guidelines to…

1971: WEC passed State Environmental Policy Act

Bedrock environmental laws pass thanks to smart lobbying and powerful grassroots organizing from Washington Conservation Action (formerly Washington Environmental Council), including the State Environmental Policy Act. Citation: HistoryLink

1970: Department of Ecology created by WEC and Gov. Dan Evans

[Dept of Ecology Blog] February 23, Governor Dan Evans signed a bill into law to create the Department of Ecology. We opened for business on July 1, 1970, several months before the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency did likewise on December 2. The Department of Ecology bill was part of a package of environmental legislation and…

Your donation ensures a sustainable future.