From Issaquah Creek to Puget Sound

June 28, 2012

A Puget Sound Starts Here badge on a storm drain in downtown Issaquah. By Greg Farrar

Puget Sound starts in Issaquah — among other places — and problems in local streams can impact the sound’s overall health.

Glance at any storm drain in downtown Issaquah, and the connection between runoff from city streets and Puget Sound comes into focus.

“Puget Sound Starts Here” read placards about the same size as a deck of cards.

The shortest distance between Issaquah and Puget Sound is about 15 miles, separated by open spaces set aside for conservation and acres sealed beneath concrete. The actual division between suburb and sound is shorter.

Curbside storm drains throughout Issaquah drain to Issaquah and Tibbetts creeks, and then into Lake Sammamish. The lake is connected through a broad, interconnected watershed to Puget Sound.

“It’s all of us that live in the watershed,” said Michael Grayum, director of public affairs for the Puget Sound Partnership, a state agency formed to spearhead cleanup. “The work of the Puget Sound Partnership goes from the snowcaps to the whitecaps, and everything is connected to Puget Sound in between.”

Many sources of pollutants in Puget Sound exist far from the shoreline.

The most common way toxic chemicals reach Puget Sound is through polluted surface runoff from residential, commercial and industrial lands. Untreated runoff sluices into freshwater lakes, streams and then drains into Puget Sound.

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Issaquah, Tibbetts water quality is good, but concerns remain

August 23, 2011

Michael Friel, 10, brushes dirt off a curb, as his dad Mike (left), Molly Caskey and her son Ian, 10, glue the back of a Puget Sound Starts Here tile to glue next to a storm drain in the Issaquah Highlands. By Greg Farrar

The creeks crisscrossing Issaquah remain in good condition, despite increased construction nearby, a population boom in the surrounding watershed and, alongside both developments, more potential for pollution.

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Washington Conservation Corps seeks members

August 15, 2011

NEW — 6 a.m. Aug. 15, 2011

The state Department of Ecology needs 245 people between 18 and 25 to plant native shrubs and trees, restore salmon-bearing streams, respond to emergencies and more.

The agency is seeking applicants to the Washington Conservation Corps, a program to put young adults, including military veterans, on the job at projects in 16 counties statewide.

For the 2011-12 service year, the Department of Ecology intends to hire 150 Washington Conservation Corps AmeriCorps members using a $2 million AmeriCorps grant from the state Commission for National and Community Service.

AmeriCorps Education Awards received through the Corps Network, a national service partner, support the remaining positions.

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Help mark Issaquah Highlands storm drains

July 26, 2011

Fact: More than 8,000 storm drains flow into area creeks and Lake Sammamish. Then, local waterways drain into Puget Sound.

Join volunteers to install the “Puget Sound Starts Here” markers at Issaquah Highlands storm drains from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 30. Meet at Blakely Hall, 2550 N.E. Park Drive, for a brief introduction about the watershed.

Contact Laura Matter at 206-633-0451, ext 110, or lauramatter@seattletilth.org to sign up or learn more.

Officials estimate about 75 percent of pollution in Puget Sound comes from storm water runoff. The runoff comes from water passing over roads, sidewalks, driveways and yards — picking up oil, grease, metals, soaps and yard chemicals along the way.

Mark Issaquah drains Saturday — and help Puget Sound

May 12, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. May 12, 2011

Help improve Puget Sound — in Issaquah.

More than 8,000 storm drains flow directly into area creeks and Lake Sammamish. Then, local waterways drain into Puget Sound.

Help install the “Puget Sound Starts Here” markers Saturday. Volunteers meet at the Pickering Barn Learning Garden, 1730 10th Ave. N.W., at 10 a.m. Email Laura Matter at Seattle Tilth to learn more.

The event includes a discussion about how to protect the watershed. Then, participants head out to mark drains at 11 a.m. and return to the garden at 2 p.m.

The city Resource Conservation Office has received grant funding to purchase markers for every storm drain in Issaquah.

Officials estimate about 75 percent of all pollution in Puget Sound comes from storm water runoff.

The runoff comes from the water passing over roads, sidewalks, driveways and yards — picking up oil, grease, metals, soaps and yard chemicals along the way.

People in the Puget Sound watershed can change a few things around their homes to help prevent pollution from reaching Puget Sound. Puget Sound Start Here offers some simple tips for residents.

Volunteers needed to mark city storm drains

March 15, 2011

More than 8,000 storm drains flow directly into area creeks and Lake Sammamish. Then, local waterways drain into Puget Sound.

The city Resource Conservation Office has received grant funding to purchase markers for every storm drain in Issaquah.

Volunteers are needed to install the “Puget Sound Starts Here” markers April 16 and May 14. E-mail Laura Matter lauramatter@seattletilth.org to learn more.

Officials estimate about 75 percent of all pollution in Puget Sound comes from storm water runoff. The runoff comes from the water passing over roads, sidewalks, driveways and yards — picking up oil, grease, metals, soaps and yard chemicals along the way. Residents can change a few things around their homes to help prevent pollution from reaching Puget Sound. Learn more at www.pugetsoundstartshere.org.

Gold Star

March 1, 2011

Eagle Scout helps the Puget Sound

Jake Pankanin and Josh Pankanin

For his Eagle Scout project, Jake Pankanin led Boy Scout Troop 709 through Issaquah’s South Cove neighborhood, gluing environmental awareness markers to sewers. Each button read, “Dump No Waste, Drains to Stream. Puget Sound Starts Here.”

The troop glued more than 380 buttons Dec. 5. Pankanin chose the project after calling the city, which provided the Scouts with reflective vests, glue, buttons, maps, traffic cones and steel brushes for scrubbing the cement before gluing the buttons.

“I chose to do this project because Lake Sammamish is clearly a part of our watershed and local environment that we need to take care of,” Pankanin said. “We can’t have people dumping pollutants down the drains.”

Pankanin (left) and his twin brother, Josh Pankanin, apply glue to a button.

Issaquah Salmon Hatchery hosts traveling youth art show

September 21, 2010

The Issaquah Salmon Hatchery’s theater room is a little more colorful these days, thanks to a variety of youth artworks on display for the month of September.

The traveling art show is part of Puget Sound Starts Here art and video contest, administered by Nature Vision. Artists from kindergarten through 12th grade created art based on the theme “Why Should We Care About Puget Sound?”

Campaign urges residents to protect Puget Sound

February 9, 2010

Issaquah is one of more than 50 Washington cities and counties involved in a coalition to educate people about how storm water runoff can harm Puget Sound. Read more

Campaign urges residents to protect Puget Sound

January 11, 2010

NEW — 6 a.m. Jan. 11, 2010

Issaquah is part of a coalition of more than 50 Washington cities and counties involved in a coalition to educate people about how storm water runoff can harm Puget Sound.

The coalition — known as STORM for Stormwater Outreach for Regional Municipalities — teamed up with the Puget Sound Partnership and more than 200 environmental organizations in a campaign called Puget Sound Starts Here to restore the waterway.

The program encourages Puget Sound-area residents to adopt certain behaviors to curb storm water pollution.

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