In Washington state, sixty-nine environmental projects that restore and protect water quality, reduce pollution and help revitalize communities will receive funding through King County’s WaterWorks Grant Program.
On December 16, 2019, the King County Council recently passed an ordinance to approve the funding, moving work forward on projects around the region that will include restoring damaged habitat, building green infrastructure and providing youth education and internship opportunities.
Funded projects that use a variety of approaches to restoring water quality in the region include:
- Interim CDA was awarded $70,000 for the Danny Woo Rainwater Harvesting Project, to install cisterns and raingardens in a community garden in Seattle’s International District, and educate diverse community members;
- The City of Issaquah was awarded $170,000 for the Lower Issaquah Creek Stream and Riparian Habitat Restoration Project, to restore habitat in an important salmon-bearing stream;
- The Environmental Coalition of South Seattle was awarded $85,000 for the Spill Kit Incentive Program for Small and Multicultural Businesses, to provide spill response training to small businesses throughout King County, with a focus on those businesses owned or managed by immigrants, refugees, and people of color;
- The Pacific Science Center was awarded $97,000 for the Lake Washington Watershed Internship Program at Mercer Slough Environmental Education Center, to work with high school students to become informed stewards, mentor elementary students, and conduct stream monitoring and restoration projects; and,
- Homestead Community Land Trust was awarded $180,000 for Addition of Stormwater Management and Rainwater Re-Use to Willowcrest Townhomes, to install green stormwater in new affordable homes being developed for low income families in Renton, through a community land trust.
King County’s WaterWorks Grant Program provides funding to organizations for water quality projects that benefit the ratepayers and also protect and improve water quality within its 420-square-mile service area. Cities, nonprofit organizations, schools, tribal governments are eligible to apply.
Partnerships are encouraged, and key criteria include community involvement and support.
Program funding represents up 1.5% of the King County Wastewater Treatment Division’s annual operating budget. The grant funds are designated for the purpose of water quality improvement activities, programs and projects. With these latest projects, a total of 175 projects have received over $12 million in WaterWorks funding since 2015.