Protect Our Waters
Protect Our Waters is the City of Seattle’s commitment to take actions and promote partnerships that protect and improve our creeks, lakes, the Duwamish River and Puget Sound.
Questions? Comments? Contact Susan Harper at

School district conserves water

Dunlap Elementary

A drip line irrigates new plants at the Dunlap Elementary School.

Native plant gardens, rain gardens, and cisterns at schools around the district are among the many ways that Seattle Public Schools conserves water and helps to protect the water supply.

Schools such as Pathfinder K-8 and Orca K-8 feature large rain barrels to reduce the need to use potable water for irrigation. Others, including B.F. Day Elementary and Wedgwood Elementary, offer rain gardens to help absorb runoff to protect water quality.

- This article is a shortened version from Seattle Public Schools; Read the full article

700,000,000 gallons: Seattle and King County launch GSI partnership

Rain garden

A rain garden captures roof runoff in north Ballard. Seattle and King County announce a plan to increase the use of Green Stormwater Infrastructure sevenfold by 2025.

A 5-minute shower uses about 10-25 gallons of water. In early February, about 100,000 gallons flowed over Snoqualmie Falls every second. An Olympic pool contains 660,000 gallons. But 700,000,000 gallons—how do you picture that?

Seattle and King County hope to find out in 2025. Both governments are launching a shared initiative to capture 700,000,000 gallons of storm water annually using green storm water infrastructure (GSI) like rain gardens, green roofs, and cisterns. These projects are going to keep Elliot Bay, the Duwamish River, and our lakes and creeks healthy for future generations by diverting storm water and helping to filter pollutants.

Visit to see an interactive map of GSI in our local area that is already managing 100,000,000 gallons of storm water each year. And remember, you can join in the effort! Programs like RainWise offer up to 100 percent off the cost of installing a rain garden or cistern in your yard.

Ship Canal Water Quality Project aims to make Seattle a better place to live

CIP project map

A map of the proposed location of the Ship Canal Water Quality Project.

Seventy five Olympic-sized swimming pools of sewage will be diverted from the Ship Canal, Lake Union, and Salmon Bay each year. This infrastructure project will create a tunnel 2.7 miles long, 14 feet in diameter, and 150 feet deep from Ballard to Wallingford.

Seattle and King County are teaming up. They will build infrastructure that prevents nearly all of the 163 annual overflows that occur in Ballard, Fremont, and Wallingford. This plan will prevent combined sewer overflows from entering some of Seattle’s most used waterways.

Learn more about the project. You can email or join the project email list for updates.

They call me “The Salmon Guy”

Carlton Stinson

Carlton Stinson is always looking good.

After 26 years of world-class service with the City of Seattle, Carlton Stinson is still building partnerships and inspiring our residents to take better care of the environment. His focus is to foster sustainable behaviors that protect our natural resources. He is affectionately known as “The Salmon Guy” to youth all over the city and is the lead for the city’s storm drain stenciling efforts. When you see the message “Dump No Waste, Drains to Sound” his work is visible!

He also works with Seattle Public School Districts, regional Native American Tribes, and local organizations to create the Salmon Homecoming event. The aim is to teach children about the importance of a clean watershed by integrating Native American teachings into their classroom. Carlton has been a member of the Salmon Homecoming Education Committee for the past 23 years. Learn more or help volunteer by visiting the Salmon Homecoming site.

Breaking News

Seattle releases plan to control 700 million gallons of stormwater using green infrastructure.

Watch the Ship Canal Water Quality Project video.


Save Salmon

Join the Salmon Watcher Program and help protect a Pacific Northwest Treasure.

Free Automobile Leaks Classes

Gain new car maintenance skills, and learn how to help keep local waterways and wildlife safe from oil and other fluid leaks.

Attend a RainWise workshop

Find upcoming workshops for RainWise and more!

Water Quality Hotline

Spot it? Spill it?
SPU's got it!
Report water pollution online or by calling (206) 386-1800

Participate in Green Seattle Days

Green Seattle on November 2nd. Trails and parks all over the city need your help. Find an event that works for you.

Help clean up Puget Sound

Find upcoming opportunities to make our waterways cleaner.

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Outreach Coordinator: Susan Harper