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Clean Water & Green Infrastructure Agenda

Photo by LJ McAllister

Washington state is home to some of the most beautiful bodies of water in the world. From Puget Sound to the Skykomish River to Lake Chelan, our waterways have helped shape our regional identity. 

But they – and we – face an emerging threat: polluted runoff. Toxic runoff is carried from our streets, through our storm systems, and right into our waterways.

In order to solve the problem of polluted runoff, we need to fix the mistakes of the past and ensure we are building, moving around, and growing in ways that absorb water near the source.  By advancing these solutions, we can create strong and healthy communities for families to live and work.

Clean Water & Green Infrastructure Goals: 

  • A course for clean water: Our communities will grow in a way that incorporates the latest green infrastructure techniques and allows for future improvements that will not contribute to polluted runoff.
  • A reset on transportation: Our state will focus on fixing the roads we have, rather than building more, and increase alternative transportation options. 
  • A new way of thinking: The public and decisionmakers will be keenly aware of the connection between how we build and grow, and the health of Puget Sound and waterways across the state.

Solutions Exist

How do we fix decades of building in ways that have made toxic runoff worse? Solutions are available – from using permeable concrete, to installing green roofs, and planting rain gardens. Communities can be built and retrofitted to reduce toxic runoff and provide transportation alternatives. That way, we can ensure our cities grow in a sustainable way. 

Why does this matter?

Our waterways are an essential part of the Northwest way of life – from our economy to our recreation; water is part of our daily lives.  We need to protect Puget Sound and rivers and lakes across Washington from polluted runoff and we need to start now.  

What role will WEC play?

WEC has a track record of getting things done for Washington’s environment.  We advance solutions in the state legislature, collaborate with state agencies, and help lead the Environmental Priorities Coalition. Over the past three years, we have helped educate lawmakers and the public about the problem of polluted runoff – now we need to focus on advancing solutions together.

Current Projects

More details here. 

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