News


Get Ready for the River Festival!

Work has begun on preparations for the 11th annual River Festival in August! Our event coordinator Rosario is pulling together the event committee and they are making plans for activity booths, entertainment, education, food, and of course the return of Lucha Libre! Stay tuned for ways to get involved in this celebration of Seattle’s only river, and save the date--August 26, 2017!

For information or to learn how to volunteer, contact Rosario Medina at rosario@duwamishcleanup.org.


LongfellowCreekCelebrate Earth Day This and Every Month:

Earth Day, Saturday, April 22: Edible City Science Fair at Seattle's MOHAI

April 22: Restore habitat with KCD at West Seattle's Longfellow Creek

Saturday, May 6: Take the kids to the Wildlife in the City Festival at the Pacific Science Center, part of a week of activities sponsored by the National Wildlife Federation.

For more ways to get involved, see King County's 1 Million Trees site and Mountains to Sound Greenway opportunities.


Restoring West Point Treatment Plant Operations after February's Accident

On February 9, King County's West Point Treatment Plant, running near peak capacity due to heavy rain, experienced a catastrophic equipment failure and subsequent flood that crippled the plant's ability to fully treat wastewater. The event resulted in a release into Puget Sound of 235 million gallons of untreated effluent (85-90% of which is stormwater). No emergency bypasses have occurred since February 16, and beaches temporarily closed reopened February 21.

Wastewater Treatment Division (WTD) staff have been working around the clock to fully restore plant function, determine what happened and review emergency policies and procedures to bolster the plant's resilience to future events. Staff expect the plant to be back at full treatment capability by April 30 with the restoration of secondary treatment, which requires healthy microorganisms in the digesters to consume organic solids. The King County Council is launching its own independent review of the event.

In response to the accident, King County increased its marine water quality monitoring in Puget Sound. To date, water quality testing results for bacteria, solids, nutrients, biochemical oxygen demand and trace metals remain within normal range. Data will be posted to the web bi-monthly online.

Learn more on WTD's blog, their plant restoration page, or by calling 206 477 5371. Meanwhile, help protect the Sound and its inhabitants by keeping trash out of our sewer system, using natural yard care, cleaning up after pets, and generally keeping pollutants out of our waterways.


Western Governors Urge Congress to Support Salmon Recovery Funding

In response to threatened cuts to salmon recovery programs, governors of five Western states sent a joint letter to the relevant Congressional subcommittees on April 13 urging them to support full funding (at $65M) for the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund (PCSRF) in fiscal year (FY) 2018 and for the remainder of FY 2017. The signers are Alaska Governor Bill Walker, California Governor Jerry Brown, Idaho Governor C.L. "Butch" Otter, Oregon Governor Kate Brown, and Washington Governor Jay Inslee. Read the full letter.


Thanks to our Rainy Winter, Water Supplies Look Good

As anyone knows who has endured this cool and rainy winter, there was (and still is) a lot of snow in the mountains, thrilling Northwest skiers and fish advocates. Meteorologist Cliff Mass noted in mid-March that many spots in the region had received their precipitation for a typical water year (which begins October 1) in the first five and a half months.

Per Seattle Public Utilities, reservoir storage and snowpack are above average. And NOAA's Climate Prediction Center indicates that the Northwest will be wetter than usual in the short term but likely see normal seasonal precipitation and temperature over the longer term.

As the weather warms, check the above sites for updates, as well as USGS streamflow data and Washington's water supply information. No matter the season or the year, using water wisely is a good way to help fish!


Learn More about Green Shorelines

Sign up for a two day workshop on the Green Shores for Homes program May 31- June 1 at the University of Washington's Center for Urban Horticulture. The training is intended for planners, contractors, landscape architects and others interested in learning more about this voluntary program that awards homeowners credits for creating "softer" shorelines.

And speaking of salmon-friendly shorelines, read and share this excellent new stewardship guide for property owners living on Puget Sound, published by the Friends of the San Juans.


Salmon in the News:

Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife and treaty tribal co-managers have set the Washington salmon fisheries for 2017; they are calling it a "mixed bag" for Puget Sound anglers. Salmon recovery managers are looking to new strategies as threatened Chinook populations struggle.

Salmon Recovery Funding Board members note the effect of the President's proposed budget on salmon recovery.

And from Crosscut:
The state is part of the problem in funding Puget Sound programs and What Trump doesn't get about salmon recovery.


Educational resources:

Watch and share this charming six minute video about stormwater and the power of dirt to filter it! The Washington Environmental Council premiered "Polluted Puddles" at the Green Infrastructure Summit in February.

Telling another story is this short animated video that illustrates the hyporheic zone that underlies a stream or riverbed and the role it plays in a healthy ecosystem. It was produced with a grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and additional funding from NOAA's Northwest Fisheries Science Center (NWFSC) and Seattle Public Utilities.

Here's a cool comic-type graphic that tells the story of "how salmon feed the forest." While the last panel is about the Klamath, the information is appropriate to any West Coast watershed.

Spring planting season is the perfect time to visit two great websites for information on salmon-friendly gardening practices. Grow Smart Grow Safe gives tips on managing pests and weeds without poisons. Learn about chemical-free yard care (and find workshops).


GreenRiverGorgeGreen River Gorge Greenway, A Visual Journey

The Green River Gorge is located between the communities of Black Diamond and Enumclaw, connecting the foothills of the Cascade mountains to the Puget Sound lowlands of the Green River Valley. It's rugged remoteness creates a unique opportunity to preserve this wilderness landscape next to a growing urban area of over two million residents...if we act now. In 2016 Lisa Parsons hiked the entire 12-mile long Gorge and created an exhibition of photography, video, written word, and social medial outreach of the Gorge and her journey. Learn more at http://www.greenrivergorgegreenway.org/. Lisa is looking for a variety of locations in the watershed to exhibit the work and give presentions on the documentary and her hike down the Gorge. Contact her at http://www.greenrivergorge.org/rsvp/ if you know of available venues.


See it? Report it! Help stop the spread of invasives - with your phone!

An updated app from the Washington Invasive Species Council lets you report - via your phone: unusual sightings of potential invasive species, whether it’s a new plant taking over your local park or a strange fish you reel in. Once experts verify your report, it becomes part of a nation-wide system tracking invasives. Learn more at http://www.invasivespecies.wa.gov/.


Funding available!

WaterWorks Grant Program
The WaterWorks 2017 competitive grant cycle is now open. $1,860,000 is available in funding; there will not be a grant cycle in 2018. Non-profits, schools, educational institutions, cities, counties, special pirpose districts, and tribes are eligible to apply for the grants, which support local efforts to protect water quality, control pollution, and build healthy community. Letters of intent are due June 7, 2017 at 5 p.m. Get details at King County's WaterWorks Grant Program website.