Mar 18, 2021
Nathalie Hamel and Melissa Malott
Clean What: What Does It Mean for Puget Sound

Clean water is vital to healthy ecosystems and our health, communities, and economy. During this presentation, I will take you on a short journey through Puget Sound using the lens of indicators for Puget Sound recovery to better understand what is happening to our waterways. Thanks to our collaborative reporting with many state and federal agencies, counties and non-governmental organizations, we have results that inform our understanding of key indicators such as for freshwater quality, shellfish, orcas and human wellbeing. From watersheds to the marine waters of Puget Sound, everything is connected. What we do to our environment even seemingly far away from Puget Sound ultimately has an impact on this amazing estuary and the people that live around it.

Nathalie works at the Puget Sound Partnership where she manages the environmental indicators program called the Puget Sound Vital Signs. With the goal of working at the nexus of science and policy, she obtained a PhD in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences at the University of Washington where she studied seabird ecology and fisheries management. She was Washington Sea Grant Hershman Fellow with the Washington Department of Ecology where she analyzed state policies in support of the Coastal Management program. She was born and raised in Québec, Canada but has been in the Pacific Northwest for over 20 years. She lives in Tacoma with her “almost 10” year-old daughter, husband, and a menagerie of chickens, guinea pigs and a cat. 

A lawyer by training, Melissa is passionate about bringing people together to identify solutions to achieve clean water, a key component to healthy and thriving communities. Prior to joining Citizens for a Healthy Bay, she served as the appointed assistant on clean water and sustainability for Dane County, WI, and directed the water program for Clean Wisconsin, the state’s largest environmental nonprofit. Melissa successfully advanced clean water policy throughout Wisconsin and was instrumental in crafting the state’s new phosphorus rule and securing the signing of the Great Lakes Compact. After receiving her law degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, she co-founded a nonprofit law firm, Community Justice Inc., which offers legal services to low income people. Melissa’s work is devoted to securing environmental protections for vulnerable communities.