June is Orca Awareness Month

Governor Inslee signed a proclamation declaring June 2014 the 8th annual “Orca Awareness Month” to focus attention on orca and their habitat in our state. Orca Awareness Month encourages residents to “recommit our time, talents and treasure to work that ensures protection and growth of our orca population.” 

Here are some ways you can help:

  • Get involved – the Orca Awareness Month site has a list of organizations and events doing great work to learn more about orca and how to celebrate and protect them
  • Use natural lawn and yard care practices to reduce pesticide use and use smart watering techniques
  • Reduce pollution that enter drains leading to Puget Sound and other local waterways

And, in case you missed it, check out the “orca parade” caught on video in the San Juan islands on Wednesday. Amazing!



Watch Your Watering – Peak Water Rates in Effect Now

Peak residential water rates are in effect from May 16 through September 15 each year. Peak rates incorporate a three-tiered rate structure with progressively higher rates as water consumption increases. During warmer months, we depend on water stored in our mountain reservoirs to meet customer demand while leaving enough water in the rivers for fish. Peak water rates encourage customers to use water wisely.

2014 Residential Water Rates

Water Usage Inside Seattle Outside Seattle Shoreline and Lake Forest Park
Off-Peak Usage (Sept. 16 – May 15)




Peak Usage (May 16 – Sept. 15)
First-Tier: Up to 10 CCF in 60 days




Second-Tier: Next 26 CCF in 60 days




Third-Tier: Over 36 CCF in 60 days




Note: One ccf equals 100 cubic feet or 748 gallons of water.


City of Seattle releases progress report of key environmental goals

Seattle Mayor Ed Murray today released Moving the Needle, an environmental progress report that pulls together Seattle’s key environmental goals and reports on their progress and achievements.

“Seattle has been an environmental leader for years, with many laudable environmental goals throughout the city’s offices and departments. Until now, these have all been tracked separately,” said Murray. “Moving the Needle presents the key goals and metrics and paints a single picture of how we are doing on the environmental commitments we’ve made over the years.”

Moving the Needle reports on 35 goals across seven areas: buildings and energy; transportation and land use; food; waste; water; trees and green space; and climate change. This report provides a comprehensive look across environmental sectors, and demonstrates how the goals work together to create a bold environmental vision for the Emerald City.

View the report here.

“Informed by Moving the Needle, I look forward to working with the community to identify where we are strong, where we can do better, and where there are real opportunities for innovation,” said Murray. “In the coming months I will convene environmental leaders and community partners to ensure the city’s environmental priorities reflect a strong commitment to equity, race, and social justice and I plan to put forward an environmental action agenda by Earth Day 2015.”

Moving the Needle will be updated biennially to track progress over time. The report was developed by the City’s Office of Sustainability and Environment, which works with City departments, community organizations, nonprofits, residents, and businesses to help Seattle achieve its environmental goals.

– See more at: http://murray.seattle.gov/city-of-seattle-releases-progress-report-of-key-environmental-goals/#sthash.Ch67Rjov.PurSA5fi.dpuf

Be Part of The Big Picture for Puget Sound!

For Earth Day this year, the City of Seattle and our partners invite you to participate in The Big Thing, an easy and fun way to show your commitment to our planet and our region’s health on Earth Day.

Each of us has our own love and connection to Puget Sound – whether it be the creeks, lakes, rivers or forests. Our water is the lifeblood of the beautiful Puget Sound region, from the snowy peaks to the briny deep, and everything in between.

We know that our small and simple daily actions matter in the overall health of the Puget Sound region. From picking up dog poop to building rain gardens we show our commitment to our water.

By participating in The Big Thing on Earth Day (April 22) you can demonstrate how we are all connected to water in the Puget Sound. We can show how small and simple actions done by millions of people can save Puget Sound.

What is The Big Thing?

We’re building The Big Thing!

Take a photo of something you love about the Puget Sound region:

  • (a beautiful sunset, your favorite creek or trail, your dog playing outside), an activity you are doing, or selfie of yourself with a thumbs ups or a heart (your hands making a heart).
  • You can take this photo and send it any day from now through the end of the day on Earth Day (April 22).
  • Use Instagram* to send your photo via hashtag:  #mypuget

On Earth Day your image will be part of The Big Thing!

  • We will combine all the contributed photos and mosaic them into a huge animal. What kind of an animal? It’s a secret and you will have to check online on Earth Day to see which iconic animal is being created!
  • This huge animal will be shared at “The Big Thing for Puget Sound” Digital Puget Sound and will be projected on walls in the lobbies of buildings in different locations around King County.

Not on Instragram? Here’s a guide to getting started.