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Urban Waters Partnership

Accomplishments: Green-Duwamish Urban Waters Location


Urban Waters Expert Award

Paulina Lopez, wins 2019 Urban Waters Expert Award in Water Quality & Monitoring.Exit Paulina has served in community organizations which endeavor to foster civic engagement among recent immigrants and has labored extensively to promote local social and environmental justice issues uniquely affecting recent immigrant communities. 

River Network River Hero Award

James Rasmussen, wins 2019 River Network River Hero Award.Exit James played a fundamental role in EPA’s formation of the Duwamish Superfund Roundtable, which will inform the next phase of the Cleanup Plan.

Green Duwamish Revegetation Communications Strategy

In 2019 the Green the Green network completed a Communications Strategy funded by the Green Duwamish Urban Waters Federal Partnership. This strategy will help coordinate revegetation efforts and communications amongst dozens of organizations and agencies throughout the watershed. The contractor completed a communications strategy for the Network that the UWFP-GD is now working with partners to implement. This includes audience targeted strategy and messages, as well as Network-wide branding and communication tools and approaches.

The Green Duwamish Learning Landscape (GDLL) 

The GDLL is a Forest Service- led partnership focused on cross sector collaboration for projects in the watershed.  2019 saw the implementation of multiple projects using this collaborative structure, demonstrating the value of such a collective approach. The UWFP-GD continues to be a convening partner and organizing agent for this partnership.

Riparian Restoration ROI Study with American Rivers 

UWFP-GD is partnering on a study that will analyze the impact that floodplain restoration projects have on property values to determine the effect on communities’ tax base and revenue. Results will be filtered by land use in order to better understand the impacts based on level of development. Information developed during this study may also shed light on the impact that restoration plays in gentrification, displacement, and access to open space. Results will inform decision makers on the full cost calculation when making land use decisions for sustained community benefit.

Using Trees and Moss as Air Quality Indicators - Community Study 

With UWFP-GD as the lead and providing funding for participation members of the Duwamish Valley Youth Corps among other partners learned about the relationship between trees, moss, and air quality, and were trained in the moss sampling process and protocols. They then collected more than 60 moss sample from street trees and prepped them for laboratory analysis. The samples are being analyzed for 29 different heavy metals potentially impacting the community. These results will indicate where there may be different concentrations of atmospheric pollution that could impact the health of residents in the Lower Duwamish Watershed communities. The process is a learning tool for local schools, youth groups, and community, and an action-oriented tool for local air pollution management.

Desimone Oxbow Study 

At 45.4 acres, the largest potential site to restore shallow-water estuarine habitat on the Duwamish is the Desimone Oxbow. Its space is currently used as a parking lot and storage yard, however its location in the transition zone make it uniquely suited for restoration. The Forest Service PNW Research Station, a constituent of the UWFP-GD, engaged an engineering student team at Seattle University to evaluate how green infrastructure can support salmon population recovery in the Duwamish River. The team developed three conceptual design alternatives for redevelopment, each addressing the need for shallow-water tidally inundated habitat, with two of the three designs incorporating commercial development. They also produced a summary of estuarine habitat restoration on the Duwamish, an analysis of opportunities and constraints, including relevant regulations, preliminary plans for each design alternative, and recommendations for next steps in the planning and design process.


Green-Duwamish Watershed Symposium

The 2018 Green-Duwamish Watershed Symposium EXIT will give exposure and promote connections amongst the broad and diverse work being done within the watershed and the opportunity to network with individuals across fields, locations, cultures, organizations, and settings. The Workshop will be held on February 26, 2018 at Green River College, Auburn, WA.


Building Green Infrastructure Careers

The Duwamish Infrastructure Restoration Training (DIRT) Corps focuses on building stronger communities by growing green infrastructure careers through on-the-job training for Duwamish Valley young adults. 

Follow the Duwamish Infrastructure Restoration Training (DIRT) Corps. EXITfor more information about watershed restoration events and activities.

Green Wall Cleans Air in Lower Duwamish Valley

The South Park neighborhood of Seattle is celebrating the completion of a green wall designed to address air quality in the highly-industrialized area of the lower Duwamish Waterway.

A blog post on the project can be found at the Just Health Action website. EXIT

Watershed Restoration Events

On April 22, 2017, the Duwamish Alive Coalition hosted its spring watershed restoration event, including opening remarks from local and regional environmental groups and congressional representatives. The program included volunteers working at 15 habitat restoration and river cleanup sites across the watershed, a leadership group flying over the whole watershed, and a closing ceremony featuring the Mayor of Seattle.

Visit the Duwamish Alive Coalition website for more information. EXIT

Lower Duwamish Fishers Study

The final report for the Lower Duwamish Waterway (LDW) Fishers Study EXIThas been completed. As part of the Lower Duwamish Waterway (LDW) Superfund Cleanup, private and municipal entities collaborated to perform the Fishers Study. 

Watershed Ecosystem Forum

Stakeholders gathered on February 9, 2017 for the quarterly Water Resource Inventory Area (WRIA) 9 Watershed Ecosystem Forum meeting. Key agenda items included:

Learning Network Blog on Community Engagement

Read Hannah Kett's blog on effective community engagement efforts to clean up the Duwamish River, titled: A Community-Driven Cleanup: Restoring the Duwamish RiverEXIT 


A Measurable Difference

In the lower Duwamish Waterway, inclusive community engagement has made a measurable difference for the river and the nearby communities. It has inspired many to see what is possible for rivers that pass through industial and low income areas in Seattle. River Network authored additional information on this accomplishment.

View the report here. EXIT

November 10th

The Water Resource Inventory Area 9 Ecosystem Forum met to discuss the proposed Duwamish River Shallow Water Habitat Creation project, a preview of the WRIA 9 2017-2018 State Legislative and Congressional Priorities, and proposed updates to the Habitat Plan including the Re-Green the Green Riparian Revegetation Strategy. This Strategy includes a list and map of priority areas for riparia tree planting, cost estimates, and an interactive map for tracking progress. 

Re-Green the Green Riparian Revegetation Strategy. EXIT

November 9th

Stakeholders met to discuss the Lower Duwamish Waterway Superfund Cleanup. The meeting's agenda included updates on the cleanup from the Washington State Department of Ecology, the US Environmental Protection Agency, the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition/Technical Advisory Group, and others.

Fact sheet on the final cleanup plan. EXIT


On October 20th, officials from the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) joined state and local officials to announce new federal actions to help protect and recover the health of Puget SoundEXITone of the nation's largest estuaries. The action signals a firm commitment by the federal government to help restore the iconic estuary. 


The location continues to work as a member of the Green-Duwamish Revegetation Working Group to develop a comprehensive revegetation strategy. The goals of revegetation are to reduce water temperatures to improve salmonid health and survival and to restore healthy native riparian vegetation to mitigate the effects of land use changes, invasive species, and climate warming on the Green River. The group meets monthly and the next meeting is scheduled for March 25th, 2016. A draft strategy is expected by May, 2016.  

February 29

The Green-Duwamish Urban Waters Partnership program co-sponsored the first Green-Duwamish Watershed Symposium EXITwhich attracted an overflow crowd of 250. The day-long event featured fast-pitch style presentations focused on sharing knowledge, building partnerships, and fostering collaboration across the whole watershed.

February 13

Members of the Green-Duwamish Urban Waters team presented at the New Partners for Smart Growth Conference in Portland, OR, which attracted over 2500 participants. Their panel focused on achieving multiple benefits from green stormwater infrastructure and was moderated by the location Ambassador. Presentations featured the power of collective impact in incorporating green infrastructure in urban communities, how green infrastructure is being used to address social and environmental justice issues, and understanding the inextricable link between nature and human health.


Green-Duwamish Watershed Tour

On July 14, the annual Green-Duwamish Watershed Tour showcased the year in restoration with a particular focus on strategic partnerships and projects that yield multiple benefits, such as habitat restoration, social equity, and human health and well-being. The event was hosted by King County’s Salmon Habitat Restoration program and the USFS Urban Waters program.

Quality Water for Spawning Salmon

Across the Green-Duwamish River Watershed in Washington State, maintaining water quality for spawning salmon has long been a focus of federal natural resource agencies. Recently, through a series of meetings with tribal leaders and environmental justice stakeholders, the agencies have expanded their focus, exploring how public health and economic development concerns overlap with natural resource management.

Research Activities in Progress

Project and Collaboration Activities in Progress 


Duwamish Blueprint facilitation Exitfunded by the Green-Duwamish Urban Waters Federal Partnership. This Duwamish Blueprint (Blueprint) is a working draft that intends to provide guidance to governments, businesses, and citizen groups as they improve the aquatic ecosystem of the Duwamish estuary.

Healthy Waters/Healthy Communities Page ExitThe Duwamish Valley Healthy Communities Project aims to identify, prioritize and take action to address a variety of threats to the health of local residents, workers and visitors. 

2014 Research Accomplishments Report from the Green Cities Research Alliance (20 pp, 1.5 MB, About PDFExit