City of Everett—Let it Rain—Green Stormwater Infrastructure Program

The Let it Rain Program utilizes green infrastructure techniques to assist homeowners with managing rainwater on their property. This is particularly important because North Everett is a combined sewer system that during heavy rainfall events can exceed capacity at the wastewater treatment facility. The Let it Rain Program includes several activities to reduce stormwater flows. One aspect of the program is offering homeowners a rebate for installing approved rain gardens on their property. Other elements of the program include the use of rain barrels and, when viable, disconnecting downspouts and redirecting rainwater to a rain barrel or pervious surface.

Working with partners such as the Snohomish Conservation District, and the Washington Conservation Corps, the City disconnected 184 downspouts at 90 homes, representing nearly 2.5 million gallons of water redirected from the combined sewer system to infiltration. The City and Conservation District also provided design support for 15 rain gardens, and reimbursed homeowners $2,500 each as a rebate toward installation of their rain gardens. Rain barrels were provided to City residents both in Make It and Take it Workshops, or Drive Thru and Buy events with 214 barrels distributed. The City also sponsored an artist’s competition to decorate 12 rain barrels, and these were displayed at highly visible locations throughout the City to raise awareness before being auctioned on the Internet.

The City of Everett will continue these basic programs through 2015 and periodically provides tours of residential rain gardens as shown in the photo below. In addition, the City has added an element of public-private partnership in helping pay for disconnection of stormwater from the combined sewer system. This project, in Jackson Park, is currently underway.

King County--Upper Carlson Floodplain Restoration Project

During 2014, King County removed a 1600-foot long levee and revetment and constructed a new 1,200-foot long revetment that is now adjacent to Neal Road. These actions have begun to restore natural river processes along this reach of the Snoqualmie River that will form habitat features like gravel bars and logjams to provide spawning and rearing habitat for salmon. The project also reconnected the river with 50 acres of forested floodplain. In addition, 16 acres of knotweed were treated and replanted with about 11,000 native trees and shrubs. The project addresses high-priority salmon habitat restoration needs for the threatened Snoqualmie Chinook populations, steelhead, other salmon species and wildlife.

Sound Salmon Solutions—Watershed Education for Decision Makers

Sound Salmon Solutions’ project team interviewed 17 stakeholders, including seven elected officials and decision makers, to gather diverse community input on the program framework and goals. Research into adult learning was incorporated into the program design. A compendious, customizable curriculum document to support a field-based education program was then developed. The document was reviewed and evaluated by 17 individuals with specific expertise, including four who were interviewed initially, to ensure accuracy and completeness of the material. To complete the project, funding for piloting and revisions to the program is needed.