County shows off its low-impact development parking lot – Skagit Valley Herald

If we are ever going to recover our Sound and it’s creatures, such as endangered fish, we need to significantly slow or stop storm water runoff. We have used our rivers and the Salish Sea as a sewer for far too long. A first step can be permeable concrete to keep water where it falls, which is exactly what the forests did before we cut  and paved over them. Think it’s too expensive? Try building storm water systems. The costs will have to be borne by all taxpayers. It’s impossible for poor counties like here on the Olympic Peninsula to be expected to shoulder the costs on their own. Here’s one small step on the road to recovery.

When Skagit County Public Works employee Randy Nelson released 2,200 gallons of water from the holding tank of a water truck Thursday, some onlookers had the urge to flee to keep from getting their feet wet. But they didn’t have to. The water disappeared in seconds into the surface of a parking lot outside the Skagit County government offices, leaving only a ring of alder seeds as proof it was spilled. Kimberly Cauvel reports. (Skagit Valley Herald)

Death by dirty water: Storm runoff a risk for fish  – Bellingham Herald

As if you needed to better understand the importance of rain gardens, stormwater runoff and salmon, after my last post, here’s the next thing in my inbox. Another recent experiment that shows the affects that stormwater has on aquatic species.

Just hours into the experiment, the prognosis was grim for salmon that had been submerged in rain runoff collected from one of Seattle’s busiest highways. One by one, the fish were removed from a tank filled with coffee-colored water and inspected: They were rigid. Their typically red gills were gray….. This was the fate of coho salmon exposed to the everyday toxic brew of dirt, metals, oil and other gunk that washes off highway pavement after rains and directly into Puget Sound. Phuong Le reports. (Associated Press)

Upcoming event in Port Angeles – Controlling Stormwater

Water is a Resource:
Keeping It Clean And Reusable

Dr. Christopher W. May
Senior Program Director, Kitsap County Public Works, Surface and Stormwater Management Program

Thursday January 5 6:30 – 8:30 PM
Port Angeles Library – Carver Meeting Room
2210 S.Peabody St. Port Angeles WA

Can a community of 254,000 control stormwater naturally and economically without combining sewer and stormwater systems that create overflows?


Learn how we can….
* Reduce Stormwater Runoff
* Conserve and Recharge Groundwater Resources
* Reduce Surface and Groundwater Pollutant
* Encourage Sustainable Land-Use Practices
* Ensures Public Resources are utilized Effectively and Efficiently

to protect, improve & support its ecological integrity & aquatic-life, shellfish harvest & recreation.

Dr. Christopher W. May is a freshwater ecologist and environmental engineer with expertise in urban watershed assessment and management. He is Senior Program Director, Kitsap County Public Works SSWM Program, and adjunct faculty at Western WA University Huxley School of Environmental Studies and the University of WA Environmental Science Program.

Dr.May was a Battelle Marine Sciences Laboratory senior research scientist and engineer at, and University of WA Applied Physics Laboratory research engineer researching cumulative impacts of urbanization on native salmonids in Puget Sound lowland eco-region small streams.

His interests include stormwater management, low impact development (LID), watershed analysis using geographic information systems (GIS), salmonid habitat assessment, urban stream rehabilitation, water quality monitoring, stream biological assessment, and watershed restoration.

Sponsors: Olympic Environmental Council, the Sierra Club’s North Olympic Group, Sierra Club Water Sentinels, NW Fund for the Environment, and the University of WA Superfund Research Program.

For more information contact:
Darlene Schanfald
Olympic Environmental Council

Clallam County rolls out draft stormwater plan

4/19 Peninsula Daily News
Clallam County rolls out draft stormwater plan
By Rob Ollikainen

Peninsula Daily News
PORT ANGELES — Clallam County lawmakers received a draft stormwater management plan that aims to help the county and its residents prevent flooding, improve water quality and preserve aquatic habitat.

County planners presented to commissioners the 65-page document — the result of an Environmental Protection Agency grant and a 25- to 30-member work group that held 11 public meetings from April 2010 to March 31.

More at

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