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City of Seattle
Ed Murray, Mayor
NEWS ADVISORY
SUBJECT: Mayor Nickels Announces 2006-2007 Environmental Agenda
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
7/27/2006  11:00:00 AM
FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:
Steve Nicholas (206) 615-0829


Mayor Nickels Announces 2006-2007 Environmental Agenda
Builds on climate change leadership; announces first-ever forest management plan

SEATTLE -- Mayor Greg Nickels has released the city’s 2006-2007 Environmental Action Agenda, which builds on Seattle’s leadership in the fight against climate change and outlines how the city will restore its urban forest, protect water quality and build healthy communities.

The four pillars of the Action Agenda - the Climate Change Initiative, the Restore Our Waters program, the Green Seattle Initiative and Healthy People & Communities - link the health of the urban ecosystems to the prosperity, health and social equity of the city as a whole.

“A healthy urban environment isn’t just a nice thing to have,” Nickels said. “It’s vital to the health of our residents and our economy. That’s why this Environmental Action Agenda is such an important part of my administration.”

This fall the city will release for comment the Urban Forest Management Plan -- the first-ever comprehensive plan for restoring and managing Seattle’s urban forest. Because of construction, invasive plants and old-age, the city’s tree cover has shrunk from 40 percent of the city in 1972 to just 18 percent today.

The plan will guide the city as it strives to meet aggressive tree planting goals on public and private land, and will detail tree maintenance and restoration plans that will preserve the forest’s beauty and ability to help clean the air and water.

Also this fall, the mayor will unveil the Seattle Climate Action Plan, which will guide the city in specific measures to further reduce its greenhouse gas emissions as well as detail ways the city can lead residents and businesses in the fight against climate disruption.

The city is succeeding in protecting aquatic habitat and water quality and will continue to do so under the 2006-2007 Agenda. It has completed shoreline restoration of Green Lake and Lake Washington, built 42 blocks of natural drainage systems, and enacted progressive development protections for ecologically sensitive areas. The agenda calls for new incentives for property owners to manage storm water on their own land and new capital improvement projects aimed at improving water quality.

The Healthy People & Communities program will continue to strengthen the city’s Green Building Program; push for improvement of transit, bicycle and pedestrian facilities; and work to increase housing choices in neighborhoods across the city.

To see the recent accomplishments and key next steps in each of the four Agenda areas, go to www.seattle.gov/environment.

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