Why 700 Million Gallons?
As we replace forests and natural areas with buildings, streets, and yards, we still need to manage the runoff from rain, storms, and snowmelt. We can accomplish this by taking cues from nature itself, using green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) to clean runoff before it arrives in our wastewater system and waterways. Our goal is to use GSI to manage 700 million gallons of polluted water each year by 2025.
Keep reading to find out how you can partner with us towards this goal! Together, we can improve the health of our communities.
Widespread use of GSI helps keep our lakes, rivers, and oceans clean. It improves water quality in Puget Sound and can help the ecosystem and conditions for wildlife like salmon and orcas.
The natural beauty of green stormwater infrastructure provides psychological benefits for humans and important habitat for wildlife in our increasingly paved-over and built-up cities.
The leaves and needles of trees slow the rain and allow some water to evaporate back into the atmosphere. Tree roots loosen the soil and help rain soak into the ground, and increased tree and vegetative cover reduce urban heat islands.
Rain gardens are a smart and proven way of using beautiful landscaping to protect local waterways, safeguard unique natural habitats, and improve homes and neighborhoods. They also serve to limit flooding and save millions of dollars in avoided stormwater management costs.
Job training in the design, construction, and maintenance of green infrastructure provides access and opportunities for living-wage employment.
How are we doing?
Seattle is making great strides toward our goal to naturally manage 700 million gallons of stormwater annually by 2025. We are currently managing 410 million gallons annually!
Green stormwater infrastructure helps make our roads, rooftops and other hard surfaces work more like the forests and natural areas we have lost over time.
2021 will bring planning and design for several new GSI projects and launch new programs with lots of potential. Read about recent accomplishments and anticipated new work in the 2020-2021 GSI Progress Report.
Progress through 2020
KEY PLAYERS & PARTNERS
Partnerships for Greater Impact
A cross-sector group that delivers green solutions to stormwater pollution with education, technical assistance, and incentive programs.
Over 100 partners collaborate on policy and funding opportunities to build a movement around nature-based solutions, implement on-the-ground projects to address stormwater pollution, and much more.
A high-performance building district in downtown Seattle that aims to reduce environmental impacts of building construction and operations.
Promotes green infrastructure solutions and resources that communities can adopt to actively help environmental problems stemming from polluted stormwater runoff.
A national practitioner network that supports communities that want to implement stormwater infrastructure programs with peer learning, innovation and implementation.
King County, Just Health Action, and Duwamish River Clean Up Coalition community volunteers helped build the largest freestanding “green wall” in the Seattle area— a 136-foot-long and 12-foot-high vegetated trellis at CDL Recycle in Georgetown.
In partnership with Seattle Housing Authority, RainWise installed 10 cisterns at Willis House that manage 27,000 gallons of rainwater from over 7,600 square feet of roof area.
At Hillside Church in Kent, World Relief Seattle and several other organizations partnered to empower immigrants, refugees and the local community to create the Paradise Parking Plots Community Garden.
Innovative public-private collaboration between Vulcan Inc. and SPU to reduce the amount of pollution flowing into Lake Union.
GSI Around You
Hundreds of GSI projects have been built in Seattle over the past two decades. Click on this map to see each project organized by type, goal, and who built it.