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 or call Susan Harper at (206) 386-9136

Have a Say About Your Waterway

Lake Union

With your help, we can protect waterways like Lake Union for all to enjoy.

Millions of gallons of raw sewage and polluted runoff overflow into Seattle waterways every year. We’re working to protect our lakes, creeks, bays, and the Duwamish River by preventing these overflows. The draft Plan to Protect Seattle’s Waterways is ready. We encourage the public, interested agencies, and tribal governments to review and comment on the Plan, proposed alternatives, and potential impacts. Find out more by:

  • Visiting
  • Attending the open house and public hearing:
    Tuesday, June 24 at 6 p.m.
    Lake Washington Rowing Club
    910 N. Northlake Way, Seattle

Holy Family Parish and School - Getting a Makeover!

Holy Family Church

The Holy Family Parish project is a prominent model for large-scale RainWise projects.

The Holy Family Parish is working with Sustainable Seattle and Rain Dog Designs to install rain gardens, cisterns and other sustainable features. By collaborating with the RainWise program, this project will provide a guide to access financial incentives and develop community assets for large-scale project. The installations are also designed to qualify for the Stormwater Credit Program. Through this program, Holy Family could save 13% to 36% off their annual fee for drainage. So this is a win for the environment and the customer!

This project is community-driven. Sustainable Seattle works to gather community input to ensure the community's interests and needs are top of mind when planning and implementing the project. Sustainability Ambassadors, in partnership with Sustainable Seattle, are collaborating with Holy Family's teachers to incorporate the rain garden and cisterns into the school’s curriculum, enabling students to understand stormwater issues, be caretakers, and become advocates.

Interested in learning more, participating in a planting day, or taking a tour to learn how you can do such a project at your site? Contact Hannah at or visit the Sustainable Seattle website.

Thornton Creek Confluence Project

Thornton Creek Flooding

The project will reduce flooding along the south branch of Thornton Creek.

We’re working to improve the health of Seattle’s largest urban watershed - Thornton Creek - 18 miles of urban creeks and tributaries flowing from Shoreline through northeast Seattle and into Lake Washington at Matthews Beach Park. Thornton Creek provides habitat for many species of fish, including endangered salmon and trout.

For years, the confluence of the North and South branches of Thornton Creek, just east of 35th Avenue Northeast, has been prone to flooding. In urban areas, there is less space in the stream for water during high-flow events and no safe location for the water to flood when the channel is overwhelmed. Floodplains can provide excellent flood mitigation and also play an important role in filtering pollutants, trapping food for smaller organisms, and renewing aquatic and streamside habitat.

Construction for the Thornton Creek Confluence Project has begun. For more visit the Thornton Creek Confluence & Meadowbrook Pond project site.

Breaking News

Summer Tours of the Cedar River Watershed

Join us for upcoming 2014 tours and programs and learn about the source of your drinking water.


Install a Rain Garden or Cisterm!

If you live in a targeted combined sewer overflow (CSO) basin, you may be eligible for rebates to hire a trained RainWise contractor to install a rain garden or cistern.

Seattle reLeaf

Love trees? Want to learn more about how you can help protect Seattle’s forested parks? Visit Seattle reLeaf.


Rolling Rain Gardens at Port of Seattle

Learn about the creative solution that the Port of Seattle is using to reduce stormwater runoff.

Protecting Our Waters: What’s Race Got to Do with It?

Read the workshop report (pdf) to learn about race, culture and inclusive outreach.


Free Auto Leaks Classes

Help keep our local waterways and wildlife safe from oil and other fluid leaks from your car.


Join volunteers across the city to maintain storm drains. Sign up to adopt a drain near your home or work.

Watch a Video, Save Puget Sound

View stormwater videos to learn more about polluted runoff and how you can help

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Outreach Coordinator: Susan Harper (206) 386-9136