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Green Stormwater Infrastructure – A Key Tool to Cleaning Our Waterways

SEA Street SwaleGreen Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI) is a term being used more frequently in Seattle and the Greater Puget Sound area—and that’s a good thing. GSI is the use of natural drainage systems like rain gardens and cisterns to slow, capture, and clean polluted runoff before it harms our lakes, rivers, and streams. By mimicking the way forests manage rainwater, GSI also brings natural beauty and a host of other benefits to our neighborhoods and homes.

The science is clear:  polluted stormwater runoff from our roads and roofs is the greatest threat to water quality in Puget Sound and directly endangers our salmon populations. But by using green infrastructure, together with other smart urban strategies like street sweeping and forest protection, we can prevent this pollution and provide broader community value.  It’s a true win win.

That’s why Seattle has deepened its commitment as a national leader in this area by setting a goal to manage 700 million gallons of polluted runoff  with GSI annually by 2025. We’re committed to using natural approaches to manage stormwater wherever we can, because we know these approaches protect our waters and make our neighborhoods healthier and more attractive.

In order to help catalzye innovative partnerships and accelerate GSI implementation across Puget Sound, the City of Seattle is pleased to join with Stewardship Partners, The Nature Conservancy, Washington Environmental Council, Washington State University, MIG-SvR Design, Boeing, Vulcan, and many other collaborators and sponsors  to co-host the first Puget Sound Green Infrastructure Summit.

The Summit will take place Feb. 24th from 9 am to 4:30 pm at the Mountaineers Club, and will bring together diverse leaders from government, academia, business, and non-profit organizations from across Puget Sound.  Participants will  map the strategic role of green infrastructure in our cities, towns and communities and in Puget Sound’s clean water future.

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