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!



Apply by June 2 for Lower Duwamish Green Grants

Funding supports community-based projects to restore air and water quality, reduce runoff, address climate change, and recover habitat

[Repost of April 21 King County News Release ]

 King County is again offering grants to fund small-scale environmental projects that support the cleanup and protection of the Lower Duwamish Waterway and nearby neighborhoods.  Non-profit community groups, tribes, and schools are encouraged to submit applications, which are due by 5 p.m. on Monday, June 2.

King County established the Lower Duwamish Green Grants program in 2010 to support projects in the Duwamish watershed that will improve air and water quality. Past projects have included roadside rain gardens, outreach to businesses on how to implement best management practices to stop stormwater pollution, an art installation that measures air quality, and wetland restoration.

A total of $102,825 in grant funding is available in 2014, with a maximum award of $50,000 per applicant.

Examples of projects that can be funded by Green Grants include:

  • Implementation of stormwater management practices such as rain gardens, permeable pavement, tree plantings or other green infrastructure to prevent polluted runoff from going into the river.
  • Forest, wetland, or shoreline habitat enhancement projects that replace invasive weeds with plantings of native vegetation.
  • Education and outreach efforts to local businesses and neighborhood groups to promote air and water quality improvements.
  • Efforts that help reduce air pollution and greenhouse gases.
  • Research to assess and identify impacts to the Lower Duwamish of climate change.

The Lower Duwamish Waterway Green Grants Program is administered by King County’s Wastewater Treatment Division and the Green/Duwamish Watershed Ecosystem Forum, which oversees salmon recovery in the watershed.

For more information about WTD’s Green Grants, visit  http://www.kingcounty.gov/environment/wtd/Programs/GreenGrants.aspx or email GreenGrants@kingcounty.gov.

This release is also posted on the Department of Natural Resources and Parks website: http://www.kingcounty.gov/environment/dnrp.aspx