FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Puget Sound Partnership honors six West Sound Champions
Local government, home builders, golf course and reporter among honorees
BREMERTON – Today the Puget Sound Partnership honored six “Puget Sound Champions” from the North Central/West Sound Action Area during a ceremony in Bremerton. These individuals and organizations were recognized for their exceptional work protecting and restoring habitat, cleaning up polluted water, and engaging the community in implementing the Action Agenda – the Partnership’s regional plan to clean up Puget Sound.
“Your work is significant locally; be assured that it also makes a regional difference,” said Ron Sims, former King County executive and current member of the Partnership’s Leadership Council. “Without your efforts, the regional Puget Sound recovery effort would exist only as a vision – not a reality.”
The honorees are partners with the West-Central Local Integrating Organization Network, one of 10 local watershed-based groups the Partnership works with to help set priorities for local programs and projects. Awards were presented by Sims and Puget Sound Partnership Executive Director Anthony Wright.
“These efforts show how local efforts can make a positive impact on the future of Puget Sound’s health,” said Wright. “The success of the regional recovery effort relies on the hard work of talented and dedicated people making tangible improvements in their counties, their cities and their own backyards.”
The honorees are:
City of Bremerton Public Works & Utilities/Wastewater Treatment Plant
The City of Bremerton has worked diligently, creatively and effectively to prevent pollution as it implemented its Combined Sewer Overflow Reduction Plan. In 2009, the City was constructing the final project in its CSO Reduction Plan, ahead of schedule, making it the first complex CSO community in Washington to meet state requirements. By 2009, the City had reduced its combined sewer overflows by 99 percent from its baseline of more than 600 overflows per year in the early 1990s. Bremerton’s Eastside Treatment Plant is also the first in the state to use advanced primary treatment and disinfection, serving as a model for the effective and efficient treatment of combined wastewater.
Board, Member and Greens Crew of the Kitsap Golf & Country Club
The Kitsap Golf & Country Club proved their commitment to habitat restoration by restoring nearly a quarter-mile of Chico Creek with a more natural meander, new side channels and additional large woody debris. Chico Creek is the most productive salmon stream in the West Sound watersheds, with an average annual run of 20,000 wild chum salmon. Throughout the multi-year duration of the project, the Board, membership and greens crew at the Kitsap Golf & Country Club provided unwavering support to construction work, tolerating closures of the golf course, providing and storing large woody debris for ultimate placement in the creek, and are now helping to maintain the completed restoration project. They are finally able to reap the rewards of their restoration work: a natural stream filled with salmon, meandering through the golf course on its way to Dyes Inlet.
City of Poulsbo Engineering Department
Poulsbo is taking pollution prevention seriously by working to incorporate low-impact development, also known as green infrastructure, wherever feasible in order to soak in dirty stormwater that would otherwise run untreated into Liberty Bay. Since 2007, the City of Poulsbo Engineering Department and City Engineer have been the driving force behind the design and installation of nearly 7,000 linear feet of pervious sidewalks in addition to pervious bike lanes, parking lots and a linear rain garden. Poulsbo is also scheduled to break ground this winter on the largest low-impact development project in its history: the installation of bioretention cells and tree box filters on Anderson Parkway, the largest single impervious surface in the downtown core that discharges untreated stormwater to Liberty Bay. Beneficial water quality impacts are expected to be immediate and substantial.
Kitsap Home Builders Association
The Kitsap Home Builders Association is preventing stormwater pollution by removing barriers to low-impact development, also known as green infrastructure. In addition, the organization’s charitable organization, the Kitsap Home Builders Foundation, provides annual support to a number of local environmental initiatives, including a program to reduce waste and employ sustainable construction techniques. The Foundation also retrofitted the Home Builders Association office site with low-impact development elements. In recent years, the Foundation has began working with cities, the County, and other partners to create a low-impact development guidance manual to assist real estate developers, and community, landscape and road designers in implementing green infrastructure in their work.
Kitsap Conservation District
The Kitsap Conservation District, with ongoing financial support form Kitsap County Surface & Stormwater Management and in partnership with WSU Cooperative Extension, has been a leader in advancing a thriving rain garden program in Kitsap County. Following the successful placement of three demonstration rain gardens in 2010 – one each in the north, central, and south districts of Kitsap County – the rain garden program installed a full 34 rain gardens in 2011. This included the first “green street” in Kitsap County, with 10 landowners in one neighborhood participating. The activity isn’t slowing down; the District has already met with 27 landowners in 2012.
Chris Dunagan with the Kitsap Sun
Chris Dunagan’s commitment to being a watchdog and advocate for Puget Sound environmental issues stretches back nearly three decades when Chris became the first environmental reporter at the Kitsap Sun. Today, he remains the only environmental reporter the Sun has ever had and one of few such specialized beat reporters remaining in the region. Chris has both a biochemistry and journalism degree from Washington State University and puts both to good use to inform his readers about some rather complex topics, including low-oxygen issues in the Hood Canal and the matrilines, dialects and social structures of local orca populations. In 2010, Chris put pressure on the Navy to acknowledge the USS Port Royal’s maneuvering practices caused the death of thousands of oysters and got the Navy to promise to take steps to prevent a recurrence. Chris also keeps a close eye on the Partnership and other efforts to restore Puget Sound, always advocating for responsibility, action and science-based solutions.
About the Champion awards
Puget Sound Champion awards are presented by the Leadership Council to honor partner contributions to the Puget Sound ecosystem recovery effort. To learn about other Puget Sound Champions, go to www.psp.wa.gov/champions.php.
About the Partnership
The Puget Sound Partnership is the organization leading the recovery of Puget Sound. The Partnership is a state agency that coordinates the efforts of citizens, governments, tribes, scientists and businesses to set priorities, implement a regional recovery plan and ensure accountability for results. For more information, go to www.psp.wa.gov.
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