The final panel of the day brings together key information you might incorporate into your future projects, you learned how working together empowers everyone, you learned how enabling others to collaborate creates more diverse working groups and you learned thinking outside the box generates creative solutions. The following presentations connect all of these aspects to create a successful program.
Green Stormwater Infrastructure and Community Co-Benefits Kathleen L. Wolf, U of WA College of the Environment; USDA Forest, Pacific NW Research Station
King County and the City of Seattle have signed consent decrees to prepare and implement Combined Sewer Overflow control plans. In some instances natural drainage strategies, or green stormwater infrastructure (GSI), is proposed to augment traditional gray infrastructure systems. GSI installations are planned at the neighborhood scale using site based water absorption. Several installations are within communities located in the Green-Duwamish watershed. USDA Forest Service scientists (affiliated with the Green-Duwamish Urban Waters Partnership) are planning studies about GSI installation and human health co-benefits. The online resource Green Cities; Good Health outlines the extensive research about health benefits when people experience nearby nature in cities. The science team is collaborating with King County engineers and designers to craft GSI installations that enable health-associated contact with nature. King County and the City of Seattle will monitor stormwater outcomes; the USFS research will focus on public health. This project will help communities to better implement GSI elements to improve biophysical conditions and water quality, and create more healthful neighborhoods having better quality of life.
TMDLs and Water Quality Improvement in the Green River and its Tributaries Joan Nolan, Dept. of Ecology Water Quality Improvement Plans based in the Federal Clean Water Act are also known as Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs). TMDLs are tools for implementing state water quality standards and are defined as the maximum amount of pollution a waterbody can receive and still meet water quality standards. There are six TMDLs (or 5 and one TMDL-like assessment) either completed or currently underway in the Green-Duwamish Watershed. These TMDLs are briefly introduced in the context of how they help restore and protect beneficial uses of the water. How TMDLs help measure cumulative progress toward meeting water quality goals by comparing current conditions with conditions at time of TMDL studies is also described. Funding advantages which are given to projects that help implement TMDLs will be presented. Finally, how TMDLs in the Green-Duwamish Watershed help compile watershed knowledge on what’s been done and what still needs to be done for water quality will be explained.
Green-Duwamish Cooperative Riparian Enhancement—Development of a comprehensive landscape-scale riparian invasive species control and restoration program for WRIA 9 Justin Bush, King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks and Judy Blanco, Forterra
Invasive riparian plants degrade habitat for fish and wildlife, negatively affects water quality, reduces biodiversity, increases bank erosion, and can irrevocably modify ecosystem services both small and large in scale. Within the Green-Duwamish watershed, removal of these damaging species has many benefits but has not been implemented in a comprehensive format. Additionally, riparian habitat quality in the watershed has been reduced by lack of tree and shrub cover that lowers water temperature, increases macroinvertebrate numbers and benefits numerous fish and wildlife species. Together, Forterra and the King County Noxious Weed Control Program are developing a community partnership to remove invasive plants from the watershed and increase healthy, native riparian forest cover that will provide benefits to the environment, animals and humans in the watershed. The presenters will share an overview of work completed on the Green-Duwamish to date, an overview of the proven-successful model on the Cedar River, and the vision of future activities that will realize a healthy and resilient riparian environment for the Green-Duwamish watershed.
Riparian Revegetation Strategy for WRIA 9, the Green/Duwamish and Central Puget Sound Watershed Elissa Ostergaard, Green-Duwamish - Central Puget Sound Watershed Salmon Recovery Team, King County, Water and Land Resources Division
WRIA 9 collaborates with the 17 jurisdictions in the Green/Duwamish and Central Puget Sound Watershed, as well as other stakeholders, to coordinate Chinook salmon recovery efforts according to the WRIA 9 Salmon Habitat Plan (2005). One of the major goals of the group is to increase riparian forests in order to provide shade to reduce water temperatures and for the many habitat benefits they provide. WRIA 9 convened a working group in 2015 to develop a strategy to attract funding to improve the most important riparian areas over the next ten years. We hope that this will be a funding source for the many groups providing planting and stewardship services along the river, and that this effort will help target the skills of each group so that the riparian areas can be improved in the most efficient, effective, and fun way possible.