Drum roll please…. Congratulations to all the Partners who reported on so many outstanding actions to improve the health of the watershed!
I am so proud to be working alongside such an amazing group of dedicated individuals and organizations. This annual report represents a staggering amount of work accomplished by a coalition of organizations committed to restoring the health of the Green/Duwamish Watershed. Working alone we will not achieve our vision, but if we continue to work together, anything is possible.
The annual report is divided into two parts:
Goal Sheets – The Goals are a foundational part of the Watershed Stormwater Strategy and highlight actions designed to achieve specific outcomes. Actions were self-assigned by Partners for their own work, and each Goal’s section of the report summarizes the Coalition’s success. In total, individual Partners completed a truly amazing amount of work.
Governance Dimensions – The Coalition is committed to embracing self-reflection in the pursuit of continuous improvement. Part of this effort includes a survey designed by Partners – for Partners. The results are divided into five specific categories (called dimensions), each one detailing survey responses on strengths, room for growth, and opportunities for improvement.
This annual reporting process helps focus near-term work on what is realistic, relevant, and effective according to the best available information. It allows the Coalition to capture a snap-shot of how we’re meeting our commitments to each other and the watershed. Please email me with any comments or questions.
Discussions within the Partner group are already underway to re-evaluate how to tell the story of OGD’s success more effectively, so please share what you think of this annual report and connect with us at: www.ourgreenduwamish.com.
It looks like we’re on our way to funding the second phase of the OGD mapping tool! We wrote about the first phase nearly a year ago – you can revisit that here.
The first phase of the tool development created a proof of concept that pulled in existing data layers and allow users an added level of analysis which would inform the development of Stormwater Management Action Plans (SMAPs) – as required by Municipal National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permits.
The second phase will be focused on improving the user experience. For instance, we have heard how important it will be to allow for uploading data layers, saving progress, and comparing priorities across the entire watershed. This tool will be critical to understanding the priority investments in the watershed. We will likely be reigniting the OGD mapping tool subgroup in July to help inform the advancement of the tool. Please reach out if you’re interested in learning more.
Several NPDES Permittees used the mapping tool to inform the development of their SMAPs. For example, the City of Renton is developing a stormwater management action plan that guides stormwater management policies and actions to protect water from pollution and improve water quality in a selected high-priority basin of Renton’s watersheds.
The community is invited to help us select the basin in which to implement the stormwater management action plan. Learn more about Renton’s stormwater management action planning process and share your ideas here.
In previous blog posts we discussed the OGD Implementation Plan. Understanding progress towards achieving the goals in the Implementation Plan is crucial, and one way we are doing that is by evaluating the way we are collaborating to govern the OGD Coalition.
As a collective group we arrived at using 9 specific governance dimensions (see the table below) to assess how well we’re functioning as the OGD Coalition. These governance dimensions come from an existing performance assessment framework* for collaborative work. Last fall we came up with our own definitions to these governance dimensions which more accurately reflect the needs and values of our Coalition.
This table shows all nine dimensions organized in rows and columns. These are independent qualities to determine how well the Coalition is working together. The first row identifies the most immediate and measurable outputs or actions – the things we do. The second row is meant to describe the outcomes – the results of those actions. The third row identifies characteristics about how well we adapt over time. Looking at the columns, the table is organized to represent the level of influence from individual Partner organizations, to the Coalition, and finally the entire Green/Duwamish watershed.
For the purpose of our first annual review, we decided to focus on five of the nine dimensions (highlighted in yellow in the table). We will revisit the rest of the dimensions at our 5-year review.
We surveyed our OGD partners to evaluate how well we were achieving each of these 5 governance dimensions. The final analysis of these results will be included in our 2021 annual report, but here are some highlights to whet your appetite:
Most partners reported positively for all dimensions. This was great to see. We heard a lot of support for continued networking and information sharing, which is the heart of our Coalition and something we will continue to prioritize.
We heard appreciation for the OGD mapping tool and help with streamlining NPDES permit obligations.
We are excited about the recognition that some partners have received for their work as part of OGD.
Half of the survey respondents indicated there have been positive measurable changes within their organizations as a result of participating in the OGD Coalition.
There were a number of neutral and moderate responses to many questions, and great suggestions from Partners about where we can continue to grow and improve.
The full survey results represent a baseline understanding of how well the Coalition is operating to support Partners and influence outcomes at the watershed level. This ties directly into our progress towards Goal 7- build a coalition or collaborative entity to carry out the vision for the Green/Duwamish watershed wide stormwater management strategy, and our ability to work well together is also critical to our success in pursuing all of our goals.
In summary, I’m excited about the data from our first round of annual reporting and look forward to combining it with updates from our Action Tables. The final annual report should be drafted by the end of April and published after review by the Coalition.
Click on the orange “sign up” bubble near the top right of the page to subscribe to this blog and receive updates about our progress.
We hope you can make this exciting summit. Topics were crowdsourced from throughout the western Washington community and are likely to be relevant to all people interested in learning more about green infrastructure.
Can’t make the summit, but still interested in learning more about how rain gardens work?
Maybe you’re wondering if your own rain garden is working properly? Give it a checkup with the *new* assessment protocol co-created by Stewardship Partners and Washington State University. The brilliant team at World Relief Seattle has made the protocol easier to use and understand with this great instructional video. Check it out!
Fall is here – and the OGD coalition is back from a short summer break. During the summer we:
Wrapped up the completion of the OGD mapping tool (beta version), developed a walkthrough document for the tool, and applied for additional grant funding for the second phase
Sadly, we did not get the grant funding – but have no fear – I’m already cooking up something else!
Organized the September meeting agenda, and
Began outlining our annual reporting structure.
The OGD annual report is intended to tell the story of how well the OGD coalition is achieving the goals in the Implementation Plan. This is inclusive of the progress that partners are making on the actions they have committed to, and whether they are feeling supported by the OGD governance structure that we have built together.
For the annual report, we are planning to develop a report sheet for each of the 7 goals in the stormwater strategy. Each report sheet will contain information compiled from three different processes:
First, Partners will be asked to submit an updated action tracking sheet identifying their progress on the actions for which they are responsible for in the Implementation Plan.
Second, the Core Team will be consolidating data from a partner survey intended to capture a snapshot of how well the Coalition is functioning. Collectively we will be working on determining those survey questions at the November partner meeting.
Finally, the last part of each report sheet is information the OGD Core Team has gathered through more personal one-on-one conversations with participating organizations. These conversations are spaces for partners to provide feedback to the OGD Core Team about the Coalition as well as provide more detail about progress on their action items.
We’re anticipating an annual reporting timeline that syncs with State-required National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System permitting to avoid duplicative efforts.
Any way you look at it, we’re in for a busy fall and winter.
We wanted to interrupt your summer with an important service announcement!
The beta version of the OGD mapping tool is now available for use. It can be found here:
We are in the process of creating a simple pdf with images to help guide your use of the tool. That should be completed by the end of the July, and will be added to this blog under the Document Library tab.
Spring is here and I can’t help but feel incredibly optimistic.
Working to advance our vision in the watershed over the last 14 months has been challenging – especially during a year of communicating over the internet. However, countless hours staring at a screen and enduring long virtual meetings have not prevented us from emerging stronger together.
I’m excited about our trajectory and want to recognize a couple folks that have continued their outstanding work to protect and restore the environment. On April 23rd, Executive Constantine announced the winners of the 2021 Green Globe Awards, and two recipients are active partners in Our Green/Duwamish (OGD).
This years’ Leader in Environmental Excellence was awarded to Greg Wingard. Greg has been involved in OGD since the beginning. He consistently provides thoughtful feedback designed to continue our forward momentum, and we’re very grateful for his participation. You can read more about his contributions here.
This years’ Leader in Industrial Strength Stormwater Solution was awarded to ECOSS and Equinox Studios. ECOSS, also an OGD partner, delivers environmental solutions that meet the needs of business, people, and nature across Washington. In partnership with Equinox, ECOSS designed a system to filter an estimated 1.3 million gallons of stormwater annually! Check out more information here.
The dedication described here is representative of the OGD partners. We are thrilled that Greg, and ECOSS are being recognized for their incredible work! Please feel free to share this blog and help us to continue building momentum for the amazing work happening in the Green/Duwamish watershed.
Here we are, roaring into March and looking to build on our existing momentum. There are a number of events to look forward to this spring, and their ‘virtual’ nature may allow for increased participation.
A list of upcoming events includes, but is not limited to:
We are looking to form a new subgroup focused on helping to solve issues associated with funding. If you’re interested in joining this new subgroup, email Todd – the time commitment will likely be scalable and a great fit for all interested folks. The new subgroup’s purpose has yet to be defined but will undoubtedly be targeting ways to support watershed projects by working to acquire funding, reimagining existing funding structures, and lowering costs by leveraging an economy of scale in the watershed.
I hope to see you at one (or all) of the events listed above.
This 5 year plan was prepared by the Coalition of Our Green Duwamish Partners. It represents our best effort to highlight and measure our collective impact towards achieving the mission of improving and accelerating watershed-scale stormwater runoff management actions in the Green/Duwamish watershed, collaboratively, with community, jurisdictions, agencies, nonprofits and businesses.
This blog entry is meant to appreciate all of those who contributed their skills, knowledge, time, and images. Thank you for your continued dedication to improving the health of the Green/Duwamish watershed.
What’s next, you ask? Let’s get to work.
2021 Workshop Schedule (Third Thursday):
Please email me if you have questions or if you’re interested in participating in these workshops. Our doors are always open, and we value and encourage a diversity of opinions.