Do you care about orcas, salmon, and clean water for the communities of Puget Sound? We envision a Puget Sound region that prevents pollution and manages stormwater in ways that protect Washington’s waterways, salmon and communities. Join us: take action to help turn the tide on toxic stormwater pollution.

In the last 2 years, with your help, we’ve seen big improvements in the way cities and counties manage polluted stormwater runoff: now, over 72% of Puget Sound municipalities have earned at least 4 of 5 checkmarks on Nature’s Scorecard. This is a great start, and we couldn’t have done it without you. But we know we can – and must – do more. We need the remaining cities and counties to complete this required task, and for all cities and counties to start taking the next steps necessary to protect Washington’s waters by retrofitting developed areas.

 

FIXING MISTAKES OF THE PAST

Cities and counties have had several years to update their development codes to make LID the new norm in our region. The 2019 Scorecard demonstrates their improvements over time. But in 2019, the Department of Ecology will update the permits that regulate how Puget Sound municipalities handle stormwater pollution, as required by the Clean Water Act.

In 2019, for the first time, the Department of Ecology is proposing requirements for larger cities and counties to install stormwater management techniques such as LID and green infrastructure in areas where none yet exist (often in places that were built before these techniques were perfected) – a strategy called retrofitting. Addressing already-developed areas ensures that we are treating as much stormwater as possible. Stormwater retrofits are critical to protecting our waters, as some municipalities in Puget Sound are already over 99% developed!

Currently, the 2019 stormwater permits propose that smaller municipalities will have another five years to plan before implementing stormwater retrofits themselves. We can do better. Puget Sound can’t wait another 5 years while we plan – the time to act is now. To ensure our waterways are safe for swimming and fishing and healthy enough to support salmon and wildlife, we need to address the impacts of pre-existing development now. Now is the time to ask our cities and counties to go farther to protect our precious resources.

 

TAKE ACTION ON RETROFITS

You have a role to play in shaping the future of your community – take action today! Retrofit projects are planned and executed by local government staff, and must go to city and county councils for approval. These council members are elected to represent you and your neighbors. Let your council members know what kind of future you want to see.

 

HOW TO GET INVOLVED

  1. Review the Scorecard to see how your local community is performing.
  2. Decide whether you want to contact your elected officials with a call, email, or by testifying in person. Your elected officials need to hear from you so that they know their constituents care.
  3. Craft and send your message expressing interest in more retrofits for your community to benefit from cleaner water!

 

CONTACTING YOUR ELECTED OFFICIALS

Your city and county councils make important decisions, and they welcome comments from residents like you. Find out who represents you and let them know how they scored!

Find the email, phone, or meeting times of your city and county council here.

 

CRAFTING YOUR MESSAGE

We’ve put together a few tips about how to craft your message – be sure to check out the live video workshop above for more pointers!

  1. Talk about the future you want for your community and describe how these changes will impact you directly. Personal narrative is critical.
  2. Ask how council members plan to help achieve these goals.
  3. Clearly indicate your support for low-impact development.
  4. Build off our sample scripts:

 

Sample script: for a phone call

Sample script: for an email

Sample script: for testifying in person

 

WANT TO DO MORE?

Talk to your neighbors about LID in your area. Together we can build healthy communities that will sustain and nourish our region, and future generations, while helping us solve the problems of the present.

Become a member of Washington Environmental Council and Puget Soundkeeper Alliance. We’ll help keep you informed and active on the environmental issues impacting your community.

Check out our live workshop from 2018!

 

Still have questions?

Shoot us a note: alyssa@pugetsoundkeeper.org or mindy@wecprotects.org