2021 Green Globe Awards!

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.

Be kind,

Todd, Alison, Blair, and Norah

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Watershed Updates

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.

Take care,

Todd

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A New Year and a 5-year plan

Let me introduce our finalized Implementation Plan

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. 

I am so proud of the co-designed work that was done to complete this Implementation Plan. We are making progress. All the time.  

2021 Workshop Schedule (Third Thursday): 

February 18th 

April 15th  

June 17th 

September 16th 

November 18th  

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. 

Be safe, stay healthy. 

Todd 

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Year-end Reflection

Happy December!

As we near the winter solstice I’m feeling energized by the way we are closing out the year. I am also looking forward to reemerging into a brighter 2021 with an exciting Implementation Plan for the next 5 years.

We have collected your feedback on the Implementation Plan and are working to respond to your comments. The complete set of comments and responses will be made available by the end of December. In a manner that mirrors the last 5 years, we appreciate your constructive tone and the collective desire to realize success.

Our timeline has intentionally been slow and deliberate. With an initiative of this magnitude, one that relies on the voluntary commitment of such a broad representation of organizations, we cannot afford to rush at the expense of building a strong foundation for future progress. I am encouraged by the enthusiasm and level of participation we have maintained, particularly during the last 9 months as we were forced into a remote meeting space.

I am encouraged by the enthusiasm and level of participation we have maintained, particularly during the last 9 months as we were forced into a remote meeting space.

Our two OGD subgroups are flourishing, providing additional capacity in a way that had not yet existed prior to OGD. The Coordination subgroup has connected with nine relevant and regional partnerships to communicate OGD goals, promote synergy between work plans, and identify opportunities for collaboration and mutual benefits.

The Mapping subgroup has been busy working with a consultant to build out a mapping tool that will assist Phase II Municipal NPDES Permittees with meeting Stormwater Management Action Plan permit requirements. This mapping tool will free up capacity and funds at all the jurisdictions who choose to use it, allowing them to redirect those resources to other areas where there may be more need.

In 2021 we will be rolling out our next two-year work plan for review, focusing on the thoughtful feedback from OGD partners. In addition to meeting the targets outlined in the Implementation Plan, we will be striving to complete flagship projects that reflect OGD’s vision, develop a subgroup driven to examine alternative funding mechanisms, and find new ways to support the efforts of our partners that bring us closer to our desired future.

Thank you all for your hard work this year. Please continue to be safe.

Happy Holidays!

Todd, Alison, Blair, and Norah

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Status Update and Green Duwamish Journey

Thanks to everyone who was able to attend out September 17th partner meeting. Each time we gather remotely I learn something new about how to engage with everyone. It appeared to be a very successful use of our online platforms, and I’m excited about further exploring the use of breakout rooms at our November 12th meeting.

For those of you who were unable to attend, we used a large portion of the meeting to discuss our goal recommendations. The Goal recommendations are a high-level summary of the efforts we will need to consider implementing in the next couple of years. Combined with our existing actions, the recommendations will help us achieve our desired future state for each goal and get us closer to realizing our vision for stormwater management in the watershed.

We are incorporating feedback on the recommendations and adding it to the Implementation Plan now. A final draft of the plan will be available by the end of October, and we will plan on celebrating our collaborative success in November at our next partner meeting.

We are also looking for photos of the watershed that we can use in the Implementation Plan. This is a great opportunity to showcase some of your work in the watershed. We are looking for pictures of wildlife, recreation, restoration, and construction to name a few. If you have a photo you’d like have included, please email me directly.

There are a lot of exciting things happening in the next couple of months. One that I’d like to highlight is the Duwamish Alive festival and Green-Duwamish Journey:

This year you can participate in a self-guided activity, visiting the natural areas of the watershed to learn about the ecosystem, wildlife, history, and culture.

This is a great activity for kids, and you can win prizes!

Look for more information online at www.duwamishalive.org.

Be safe and be kind.

Todd

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The Slow, Steady March of Progress

Greetings!

The three months between meetings has flown by. The OGD team at King County has been working tirelessly to consolidate all of the amazing contributions to the Implementation Plan we’ve received from our stakeholders.

I want to take a minute to say ‘Thank You’ to all of you who were able to carve out some time for individualized and focused conversations centered on refining content and tying up loose ends. The quality of the Implementation Plan will be better because of your commitment and contributions. We anticipate having a completed draft available for your review at the stakeholder meeting on September 17th.

The quality of the Implementation Plan will be better because of your commitment and contributions.

Progress towards a beta version of the mapping tool continues on track. During this interim period, the mapping subgroup was able to meet and provide valuable feedback to help Christian Nilsen at Geosyntec advance the development of our mapping tool. A link to the base layers we’ve been planning to use can be found here. The technical memo detailing the mapping tool’s features and needs is available for download, and can be found below. Please email Todd Hunsdorfer with any feedback you may have about the direction we’re headed for this mapping tool.

Our agenda for the September 17th stakeholder meeting will be focused on providing brief updates from our subgroups and refining the list of Implementation Plan recommendations provided by our stakeholders – over the last several months. We plan on using some new interactive ways of engaging during this remote workshop, so get excited!

I sincerely hope everyone is staying healthy and safe and having a wonderful summer.

Be well,
Todd

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Recommended Actions

Greetings, 

The Our Green Duwamish Stakeholder Group continues to make progress on articulating the actions that will bring us closer to realizing a future built on clean water. The Implementation Plan describes current conditions in the watershed, and identifies  existing and future actions required to improve them. We are still on track to provide the Stakeholder Group with a draft version of this Implementation Plan in September 2020. Now we need some feedback from you! 

Do you have ideas for action(s) in the watershed that could lead to real improvements? 

Take this survey

This survey is one way we are collecting ideas for future recommended actions that Stakeholders can take in the next 5 years to move closer to achieving our goals and overall watershed vision. The survey will remain open until June 25

Stay safe and be kind.  

Sincerely, 

Todd 

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Remote Action

“Thank you!” to all the stakeholders who were able to attend our workshop on April 9th, and another huge “Thank you!” for your continued dedication to improving the watershed.  

Our conference call was brief but we had a few updates I wanted to share with everyone following this blog.  

1. Subgroup Updates  

  • The Mapping Subgroup now has a contract in place to begin the development of a watershed-wide mapping tool to guide decision making, track progress on reaching our desired future states, and assist with Municipal NPDES permit compliance. We can expect additional updates from this group at our June workshop. 
  • The Coordination subgroup made great progress on identifying regional collaborative groups with goals that help to advance the goals of Our Green/Duwamish. This subgroup compiled a list of overlapping goals and objectives, mapping them to the goals and objectives of Our /Duwamish, and identified ways to collaborate on future actions. These opportunities have been pulled into our draft Implementation Plan, and will be available for comment until October 2020. Stay tuned for more updates from this subgroup as they begin to connect with the other regional groups they’ve identified.  

2. Implementation Plan Updates 

  • We received a number of great comments about the organization of the Implementation Plan from stakeholders in February. We made edits based on those comments and presented them  during the April 9th stakeholder workshop.  

3. Implementation Plan Editing 

  • Finally, we had reserved time at the end of the April 9th  conference call to collectively provide comments on the current draft of our Implementation Plan. At one point there were more than 15 people looking at the document simultaneously. Thank you for all the constructive comments. The link will remain open until April 22nd, so please be sure to review the document if you haven’t had a chance yet. It’s the perfect activity for telecommuting.  

4. Action Tables 

  • We ask that all stakeholders complete action tables for goals 5, 6, and 7 (or all goals not previously completed). To date we have received actions from the cities of Renton, Auburn, Kent, Maple Valley, and Seattle. King County, WSDOT, Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition, Department of Ecology, Puget Sound Regional Council, and Stewardship Partners have also contributed actions. GREAT WORK! 

If your organization is doing work in the watershed to improve water quality please contribute to the Implementation Plan! We want to know what you’re up to! Email me to get a FREE blank copy of the Action Tables – fill it out with actions specific to the strategies and objectives under each goal.  

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The future is bright!

Greetings!

I wanted to use this forum to provide a quick update for those that couldn’t make it to our stakeholder meeting on February 13th.

Together we:

  1. Discussed how our co-designed content is being used in the Implementation Plan
  2. Gathered feedback about the Implementation Plan outline
  3. Built a table describing the strengths of our organizations
  4. Heard an update from the Mapping Tool and Coordination Subgroups
  5. Discussed the 2020 Work plan

We have some heavy lifting to do in the next 3 meetings. We are hoping to build out the content of the Implementation Plan by goal area before the end of June, and have a completed draft by September of 2020. In addition, we are planning to have a ‘proof of concept’ mapping tool to assist our partners with decision making and permit compliance by the end of the year.

2020 is going to be very busy for all of us, and I continue to be optimistic. We are doing more together.

Please email if you have any questions. It was great to see so many familiar faces at the Green Duwamish Symposium yesterday. What a fantastic event!

Cheers,
Todd

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Here’s to 2020!

Happy New Year!

Last year was incredibly productive and critically foundational to the work we have teed up in 2020. I would like to thank everyone who participated and provided feedback on all the products we co-designed.

In 2019 we:

  1. Created a 2-year work plan (and we’re still on target!)
  2. Adopted Co-Design strategy
  3. Compiled and discussed early mapping tool ideas
  4. Initiated Coordination and Mapping subgroups
  5. Designed a Public Input tool for gathering more feedback
  6. Created an Implementation Plan outline
  7. Committed to an adaptive management approach
  8. Reestablished recurring blog posts
  9. Drafted an informational website
  10. Agreed on our Desired Future States for each goal area
  11. Brainstormed metrics to track progress in each goal area

We are also very excited to be recently invited to participate in the Green – Duwamish Watershed 2020 Symposium. I hope you see you at this symposium on February 24th, 2020!

At our next stakeholder meeting (Thursday, February 13) we will continue working on our Implementation Plan for those actions needed to improve the watershed. If you would like to learn more, please email me directly.

If you would like to follow our progress, subscribe to this blog post, and engage as we transform the watershed together.

Cheers to 2020!

Todd

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