King County’s WaterWorks Program Welcomes New Water Quality Champions

The King County WaterWorks Grant Program is delivering on its mission to provide sound investments in clean water and the community.

On Feb. 27, 2017, The King County Executive and Council approved grant funding for 12 recipients in the second round of applications for the WaterWorks Grant Program. By early 2017, a total of 23 projects received grants to benefit water quality throughout the region.

This funding will be used by non-profits, local governments, and schools for 23 projects to benefit water quality throughout the region.  The first round of WaterWorks funding helped clean up arsenic-contaminated soils at the Leber Homestead restoration site on Mill Creek in Kent. The site is the first completed grant project, and was ready to contain floodwaters and provide healthy off-channel refuge for young salmon during the 2016-17 winter season.

SalmonCookies

What better way to celebrate a new refuge for salmon than salmon-themed cookies?

At West Woodland Elementary, funding helped restore a rain garden that was loved a little too much- and worn out- by energetic students. The rain garden has resumed its job controlling stormwater this rainy winter while work continues on educational signage.

 

Round 2 grant recipients will move forward on a wide range of efforts aimed at improving water quality:

  • The City of Bellevue will strive to reduce contaminants from stormwater runoff into Kelsey Creek with a project to retrofit a portion of the existing stormwater system.
  • The City of Redmond will evaluate the effectiveness of street sweeping to improve creek health.
  • Seattle Public Utilities will monitor water quality of discharge from two bioretention systems, like roadside raingardens, that capture and treat roadway runoff.
  • Environmental Coalition of South Seattle (ECOSS) will organize and facilitate workshops for multilingual community members about combined sewer overflows and things they can do at home to prevent pollution.
  • IslandWood will work in collaboration with Seattle Public Schools and other partners to integrate Puget Sound water quality education into a district-wide 4th grade science curriculum.
  • Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust plans to provide hands-on science education to nearly 4,000 students through classroom sessions, field investigations, and service-learning stewardship events.
  • Salmon-Safe will promote a certification program that accelerates private sector conservation actions.
  • Seattle Tilth Association will create a Sustainable Stewards program to provide extensive training in watershed stewardship and outreach. The program is targeted to volunteers east and south of Lake Washington.
  • Sustainability Ambassadors (Sustainable Seattle) will engage middle and high school teachers in four Green/Duwamish area school districts to design and test water quality curriculum in the classroom.
  • University of Washington Bothell is looking at an innovative approach to reduce bacterial contamination from a crow colony in wetlands near North Creek. They will carry out field and laboratory experiments to evaluate effectiveness of mushroom mycelia in reducing fecal coliform bacteria from crow droppings.
  • YMCA of Greater Seattle-Earth Service Corps will educate diverse youth in after-school programs on watersheds and water quality issues, empowering them to address issues in their communities through environmental service projects.
  • Environmental Science Center will use the Salmon Heroes program to provide watershed education and water quality training for underserved students.

Follow King County Wastewater Treatment Division on social media to find announcements from our grant recipients, updates on progress, and stories about their successes.

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About WaterWorks

The WaterWorks Grant Program provides funding to organizations for projects that protect and improve water quality within King County Wastewater Treatment Division’s service area, and that benefit its ratepayers. Non-profits, schools and educational institutions, cities, counties, tribes, and special purpose districts are eligible to apply. Partnerships are encouraged, and key criteria include community involvement and support.

Program funding represents up to one and a half percent of WTD’s annual operating budget. The grant funds are designated for the purpose of water quality improvement activities, programs and projects. In each of the first two grant cycles, $850,000 of funding is available for projects.