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Aug 06

New Grant Program for Homeowners and Community Groups to Reduce Stormwater Pollution to Puget Sound

Posted on August 6, 2021 at 11:14 AM by Allan Warren

Depave

Volunteers of all ages have helped us with our Depave Puget Sound program, as seen here at our McKinley Business District depave event, which removed 7,500SF of pavement and helps reduce almost 200,000 gallons of stormwater each year. With our new grant program, opportunities for homeowners and community groups to implement these programs are multiplying!

The Pierce Conservation District (District) announced today a new grant program for homeowners and community groups in the county’s most urban and polluted watersheds. The Green Stormwater Mini-Grant is available to support projects that reduce polluted stormwater runoff from entering Puget Sound. Grant recipients can receive up to $4,000 to plant rain gardens, remove excessive pavement, create urban habitat, or collect rainwater in large tanks.

“All of these projects can reduce and clean the stormwater runoff flowing over our urban communities and into our local waterbodies,” said Robb Krehbiel, Green Stormwater Program Manager. “Because stormwater runoff comes from each of our homes, neighborhoods, and communities, small-scale projects can add up to make a big difference in improving our water quality.” 

When rainwater falls on impervious surfaces (such as buildings, roads, and turf lawns), the water flows over these surfaces and picks up pollution along the way, creating a toxic soup that flows untreated into local creeks and streams, eventually reaching Puget Sound. Scientists estimate that 75% of pollutants in Puget Sound come from stormwater runoff. Prior to urban development, treesstormwater mini grant graphic and native plant communities soaked up the rainwater and cleaned it in the soil. Green stormwater projects mimic and use nature to improve clean polluted water and reduce the amount of runoff during heavy rain events.

Communities throughout Pierce County have been making progress towards reducing stormwater runoff, but more projects are needed, particularly in the Commencement Bay, Chambers Creek, and Lower Puyallup River Watersheds. Krehbiel hopes to see applications that aim to remove impervious surfaces and replace them with gardens that can better absorb and clean the stormwater runoff.

Residents, homeowners, and community groups living in these watersheds (which include Tacoma, Puyallup, University Place, Lakewood, South Hill, and parts of Parkland) can apply on the District’s website between now and October 29th. All applicants will receive a free, non-regulatory visit from District staff who can provide technical assistance and input on planting and site plans. 

For questions about grant eligibility or how to apply, contact Robb Krehbiel, Green Stormwater Program Manager, Pierce Conservation District, at robbk@piercecd.org, or 253-845-9770 ext. 136.

What:  Residents, homeowners, and community groups in the Chambers Creek, Commencement Bay, or Lower Puyallup watersheds are invited to apply for a Green Stormwater Mini-Grant from the Pierce Conservation District. Up to $4,000 is available for projects that reduce and clean stormwater runoff, the largest source of pollution entering Puget Sound. Eligible projects include: 

  • Rain Garden: bowl shaped gardens that capture, absorb, and clean stormwater runoff.
  • Urban Habitat: replacement of lawns or aggressive landscaping with pollinator-friendly and native habitat.
  • Depave: projects that remove excessive and unwanted pavement to replace it with a green space.
  • Rain Tank: capturing roof runoff in a large cistern to later use it for watering during dry periods. 

When: Applications are due October 29th, 2021

Where: APPLY NOW!

Who: Residents, homeowners, and community groups in the Chambers Creek, Commencement Bay, and Lower Puyallup watersheds may apply. These watersheds include Tacoma, Puyallup, University Place, Lakewood, South Hill, and parts of Parkland.  

Why: Scientists estimate that stormwater runoff is responsible for up to 75% of pollution in Puget Sound. This polluted is created when rainwater flows over impervious surfaces (like buildings, roads,Rain Tank and turf lawns) that cannot absorb the water. Instead, the runoff carries pollution into storm drains and directly into local waterbodies. Residents living in urban communities can all take action to reduce stormwater runoff and keep pollution out of Puget Sound. The new Green Stormwater Mini-Grant is available to support projects that reduce stormwater pollution, remove impervious surfaces, and create new green spaces. 

For More Information: Visit bit.ly to find more information about the Green Stormwater Mini-Grants. For questions about grant eligibility or how to apply, contact Robb Krehbiel, Green Stormwater Program Manager, Pierce Conservation District, at robbk@piercecd.org or 253-845-9770 ext. 136.