Action is Needed Now

written by David Burger

“Right here, right now!”

Teen environmental hero Greta Thunberg is using the power of words like these to inspire millions of others young and old to step up efforts to rein in our carbon emissions and protect life as we know it on the planet. Thunberg, a 16-year-old activist from Sweden who recently traveled from home to New York via train and boat (given the climate impacts of flying) to address the United Nations on the responsibility of our current leaders to force positive action on cleaning up our act, the frontrunner for the Noble Peace Prize. She has been able to create a movement of younger people standing up for their future and demanding change to regulate the global climate. 

The science is clear yet unfortunately, our air isn’t. It’s hard to watch the images of the Amazon forest burning at such an alarming rate or accept that record-high temperatures are occurring all over Alaska. 

One impact of this warming is further trouble for our already endangered salmon runs. The water is simply too hot for salmon to survive let alone spawn and reproduce. We are faced with the reality that we have one chance to act now and be a part of the solution. 

I’m reminded by my children that it’s normal to feel hopeless about our future but we shouldn’t give up. Younger generations are taking action and sparking change in their communities. Let’s embrace their leadership by supporting them and not just sit back and wait.

In addition to supporting Stewardship Partners, here are some simple actions we can all do:  Plant Trees — Vote! —- Talk about it!  — Climate-Friendly Plant Based Diet! — Buy less stuff!

Celebrating Orca Recovery with a Splash

2019 has been a big year already for salmon and orcas, with all four orca recovery bills passing the state house and senate! These bills, focused on habitat protection, vessel and noise disturbance, toxic pollution, and oil spill prevention, are a huge step forward to address the threats faced by our Southern Resident Orca population.

To celebrate these wins, Stewardship Partners participated in the Salish Splash!, a Puget Sound wide event on June 13th encouraging everyone to challenge their friends and family to take a plunge, raising awareness about these successes but also the work still needed to be done.

Sal the Salmon, who was challenged by Executive Director David Burger, was so happy to be a part of the day at Golden Gardens surrounded by so many great partners and community members doing their part for salmon and orca recovery!

Learn about the many different ways you can take action and support the recovery of salmon and orca populations!

I’m a Stewardship Partner Campaign

You may have recently seen the faces of some of our supporters artfully displayed on bus sides and web banners around town. These are part of our new “I’m a Stewardship Partner” public awareness campaign, thanks to the pro-bono hard-work of Jill Marshall and Janice Merlino of Merlino Media Group and Cal McAllister, formerly of Wexley School for Girls.

The campaign features photographs, treated by local artist and musician, Brandon Milner.  These feature a few of our community of supporters expressing how Stewardship Partners helps them become caretakers of our land and water.

In the coming months, this campaign will continue to be featured throughout the Puget Sound region. Look for “I’m a Stewardship Partner,” on billboards, bus sides, on the radio and in digital, print, social media and more.

Read about our partners at: https://www.stewardshippartners.org/im-a-stewardship-partner-campaign/

Green Solutions to Stormwater Runoff

By now, you have probably heard that stormwater runoff is a looming threat to our Puget Sound. But the good news is that there are ways we can slow down and filter stormwater runoff, preventing pollutants from making it into our precious bodies of water. This video created by Sightline Institute features our very own Aaron Clark speaking about green infrastructure solutions to polluted stormwater runoff.

Come Hang with Sal at the Bellevue Duke’s April 10th!

Come say hi to Sal the Salmon, take a “salfie” and have a delicious, sustainable dinner at Duke’s Seafood and Chowder! Sal will be hanging out at the Bellevue Duke’s April 10th from 5-7 pm!

Sal the Salmon

Sal will be letting everyone know that throughout the month of April, a portion of special menu items at all seven Duke’s locations will be donated to Stewardship Partners! Nothing better than a delicious meal that helps support  our programs that engage Puget Sound communities as caretakers of the land and water that sustain us.

Welcome Grant to the Stewardship Partners Team!

Grant P.H. Barber joined the Stewardship Partners team this month as the new Development Manager. Moving from Denver to Seattle in 2013 to pursue a Masters in Museology at the University of Washington, Grant instantly fell in love with the natural splendor of the Pacific Northwest. Joining Stewardship Partners in 2018, he brings several years of fundraising experience at museums and cultural centers. As the Development Manager, Grant aims to create a culture of philanthropy where donors understand how their generosity has positive, direct benefits on our shared environment. Grant enjoys exploring the Northwest through hiking, camping, running, and biking. When he’s not out in nature, he enjoys cooking, brewing beer, and baking bread.

Saving Salmon at the Center of the Universe

The long wait has ended and the new Data 1 Building is open for business and already actively saving salmon! Our Salmon-Safe Puget Sound team is delighted to be working with COU LLC, Owners JoAnna Callahan, Mark Grey and Mark Hess at this beautiful new building located at the corner of 34th Ave North and Troll Avenue in the heart of Fremont, also known as the Center of the Universe. In this case, we might think of the building at the center of salmon migration.

Cascading bioswales at the Data 1 site serve as an inviting green landscape amenity & are mitigating toxic runoff from the Aurora Bridge.

A new home to Tableau, designed by Weber Thompson and engineered by KPFF, this Salmon-Safe certified project has garnered lots of attention for its work and data outside the building. Inspired by a story about polluted runoff from the 520 Bridge, the owners set about to create a project that provides public benefit in the right-of-way with cascading bioswales and rains gardens treating polluted runoff from the Aurora Bridge. Stormwater not retained by these features will be captured in an underground vault prior to being discharged via a dedicated storm sewer to Lake Union.

During design phases of the project, the owners discovered that polluted runoff from the Aurora Bridge flowed directly into Lake Union and the ship canal which is an important migration route for salmon. The outfall of polluted water directly impacts the Chinook, Sockeye, Coho and Steelhead that pass through this narrow corridor on their way to the North Lake Washington and Sammamish watersheds.

The project has received Salmon-Safe certification because its overall practices are beneficial to salmon, including reaching beyond its own site boundaries to mitigate a major neighborhood water pollution source. Additional green stromwater infrastructure facilities are being planned on other properties in the vicinity to treat more of the bridge surface runoff. To form a baseline of the highway runoff water quality prior to the installation of treatment, samples of the flow from the bridge were collected on five occasions during February-April 2017. The intention is to monitor discharges from the eventual treatment facilities for comparison with this baseline. It serves as an excellent model project for private landowners to go beyond what’s required and standard operating practices to ensure untreated stormwater mitigation on private lands. Look for this beautiful building and Salmon-Safe interpretive signage celebrating their water story on your next trip to Fremont.

Stay tuned also for more good news for Fremont coming from Salmon-Safe, Stewardship Partners, the COU LLC team and other community partners. This project is a perfect example of the collaborative partnership model that is the hallmark of Stewardship Partners’ programs and projects. By working together, we can create structures and systems that are so much more than a traditional office building.

Stewarding the Land, Honoring Our Veterans

Growing Veterans is an organization that works to empower military veterans to grow food and better their communities. Through a holistic approach, they tackle the many issues veterans face during reintegration by utilizing sustainable agriculture; ultimately creating a solution to end the isolation that can lead to suicide and depression, while making environmentally conscious agriculture the norm. By committing to Salmon‐Safe certification this past June, Growing Veterans has agreed to meet rigorous and site-specific criteria regarding water use, erosion control, chemical practices and animal management.

Salmon-Safe certification is awarded through an independent third‐party assessment. Additional assessments will occur every three years to ensure practices maintain and promote a healthy ecosystem.

“Our team prides itself on our commitment to organic and sustainable practices. This certification really makes a statement about that commitment and the additional work it takes to ensure that we do not hurt the environment but protect it,” said Scotty Irwin, Market Manager, Growing Veterans.

Stewardship Partners is excited to start and promote this new partnership that supports stewarding our land and water while giving back to those who have served our country.

The produce grown at Growing Veterans can be found at the Wednesday Mount Vernon Farmers Market, the Saturday Marysville Farmer’s Market and The Puget Sound Food Hub.

Growing Veterans is one of over 100 farms already certified under the Salmon-Safe eco‐label, with additional farms being added regularly. To see the full list of Northwest farms, wineries, breweries and cideries go to www.stewardshippartners.org/salmon-safe-puget-sound.

To learn more about Growing Veterans visit their website at www.growingveterans.org.

Leading the Stormwater Village at StormCon

StormCon, the nation’s largest stormwater conference, was recently held in Bellevue marking the first time this gathering of national leaders on stormwater has come to the Pacific Northwest. But there is little doubt that this region is a veritable Silicon Valley of green infrastructure solutions to stormwater runoff.

Polluted runoff spilling into a storm drain.

Why does our community invest so much in solving stormwater? Perhaps, it is because our region is famous for rain and we have over 100 years of leadership, pioneering innovation from airplanes to coffee to software. We think it is because stormwater exemplifies the kind of local, global and complex problem that requires creativity and dedication. The simple individual solutions that Stewardship Partners promotes will cascade down into systems that can heal humanity’s broken relationship with nature.

In this spirit, a group of non-profit leaders have recently developed a Puget Sound-wide campaign called City Habitats. Started by Stewardship Partners, The Nature Conservancy of Washington, Washington Environmental Council and the City of Seattle, City Habitats has now engaged over 100 partners from across the region and across all sectors. With significant investments and support from The Boeing Company, this network is accelerating and amplifying the region’s cutting-edge leadership in stormwater and green infrastructure through collaborative partnership and coordination of efforts. We are “connecting the dots” by bringing .com’s, .org’s, .gov’s and .edu’s together to share ideas, identify emerging issues and opportunities and avoid reinventing the wheel.

City Habitats was represented at StormCon 2017 with 10 full exhibition booths, loosely organized as a “Village”. We presented solutions, ideas, projects and programs with 12 of our partners. StormCon had never had non-profits, universities or government-led programs participate in the exhibition hall before and the response was resounding: we need to do this every year!

Stewardship Partners’ leadership of this effort exemplifies our passion for collaboration and innovation, and showed the world a real hope of truly solving the stormwater problem.

 

StormCon Village Participants:
Washington Storwater Center (UW & WSU) | UW Green Futures Lab | RainWise
Evergreen College’s Center of Sustainable Infrastructure | TNC | ILFI | Stewardship Partners
WEC  |  Puget Sound Caucus of Conservation Districts | Salmon-Safe | ECOSS
Friends of the Seattle Waterfront | City Habitats | Earth Corps