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Seattle, WA, United States

Seattle Public Utilities

Seattle, WA, United States
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News Article | May 2, 2017

Church of Scientology Seattle Volunteers Help Keep One of the City's Oldest Green Spaces Beautiful celebrated Earth Day in Kinnear Park by removing invasive species from the park entrance. Invasive species are such a problem in the State of Washington that in 2006 the legislature established the Washington Invasive Species Council and tasked it with providing policy-level direction, planning, and coordination for combating these plants and animals throughout the state and preventing the introduction of others that are potentially harmful. Invasive species alter the natural cycle of forestation by hampering the ability of native trees and shrubs to repopulate themselves. The end result of allowing these infestations to continue is a reduction of the natural forests, impacting both wildlife and the environment. Over the past few years, Kinnear Park, one of Seattle's oldest green spaces, has undergone several significant renovations to the landscape to open up visibility within the park and allow for a safer, more user-friendly environment for the neighborhood. Volunteers from The Way to Happiness Foundation and the Scientology Environmental Task Force have spent hundreds of hours improving both upper and lower levels of the park during the latest round of renovations. In celebration of Earth Day, Dave Scattergood, forest steward and coordinator of the Task Force, had the volunteers concentrate on the large bed near the park entrance. He described it as "in severe need of weed control. We undertook a clean-up of this bed to bring it back to its original intended design and look." A yearround activity, Scattergood says "the volunteers work to keep the park free of invasive species which hamper the ability of the forest to reestablish itself and maintain the natural look the park is known for. We hold regular work parties to remove these nuisance plants throughout the greater park area." The Foundation and the Task Force use The Way to Happiness to promote awareness of the need to care for the environment and encourage others to take part in the work of keeping Seattle green. The Way to Happiness is a nonreligious commonsense moral code written by author and humanitarian L. Ron Hubbard. One of its precepts is "Safeguard and Improve your Environment": "There are many things one can do to help take care of the planet. They begin with the idea that one should. They progress with suggesting to others they should. Man has gotten up to the potential of destroying the planet. He must be pushed on up to the capability and actions of saving it." The Scientology Environmental Task Force of the Church of Scientology Seattle has been part of the Seattle Public Utilities "Adopt-A-Street" program since the initiative's inception in the late 1980s. Adopting Kinnear Park 16 years ago, they have contributed thousands of volunteer hours to its upkeep and beautification. Read the article on the Scientology Newsroom.

Bierbaum R.,University of Michigan | Smith J.B.,Stratus Consulting | Lee A.,Chevron | Blair M.,American Cancer Society | And 8 more authors.
Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change | Year: 2013

We reviewed existing and planned adaptation activities of federal, tribal, state, and local governments and the private sector in the United States (U.S.) to understand what types of adaptation activities are underway across different sectors and scales throughout the country. Primary sources of review included material officially submitted for consideration in the upcoming 2013 U.S. National Climate Assessment and supplemental peer-reviewed and grey literature. Although substantial adaptation planning is occurring in various sectors, levels of government, and the private sector, few measures have been implemented and even fewer have been evaluated. Most adaptation actions to date appear to be incremental changes, not the transformational changes that may be needed in certain cases to adapt to significant changes in climate. While there appear to be no one-size-fits-all adaptations, there are similarities in approaches across scales and sectors, including mainstreaming climate considerations into existing policies and plans, and pursuing no- and low-regrets strategies. Despite the positive momentum in recent years, barriers to implementation still impede action in all sectors and across scales. The most significant barriers include lack of funding, policy and institutional constraints, and difficulty in anticipating climate change given the current state of information on change. However, the practice of adaptation can advance through learning by doing, stakeholder engagements (including "listening sessions"), and sharing of best practices. Efforts to advance adaptation across the U.S. and globally will necessitate the reduction or elimination of barriers, the enhancement of information and best practice sharing mechanisms, and the creation of comprehensive adaptation evaluation metrics. © The Author(s) 2012.

Burton K.D.,Seattle Public Utilities | Lowe L.G.,6018 Mill Creek Boulevard | Berge H.B.,201 South Jackson Street | Barnett H.K.,Seattle Public Utilities | Faulds P.L.,Seattle Public Utilities
Transactions of the American Fisheries Society | Year: 2013

Anadromous salmonid populations are particularly vulnerable to migration blockages, such as Dams and culverts, because access to historic spawning and rearing habitats is prevented. The process of salmonid recolonization has not been well documented for river systems where anthropogenic migration barriers have been removed or where fish passage facilities have been constructed. In September 2003, Seattle Public Utilities completed construction of a fish passage facility that circumvented Landsburg Dam on the Cedar River, Washington. Chinook Salmon Oncorhynchus tshawytscha spawned in newly available main-stem habitats immediately after fish passage facility construction and in all subsequent years. Further dispersal into tributary habitats occurred 5 years after construction. Redds tended to be concentrated in the downstream third of the available habitat above the Dam, although some fish did utilize suitable spawning sites throughout the main stem, even in the uppermost reaches of the newly available habitat. Median spawn timing for redds observed above the Dam was not significantly different from spawn timing for the source population, indicating that migration delays through the fish passage facility were minimal. Male Chinook Salmon consistently outnumbered females, with annual sex ratios ranging from 1.3:1 to 4.7:1. Chinook Salmon spawning above the Dam contributed between 2.7% and 14.7% of the total annual redd count (2003-2010) for Cedar River Chinook Salmon; upstream redds as a percentage of total redds increased over time, indicating that a new, naturally reproducing population above the Dam was growing. The proportion of hatchery-origin fish spawning above the Dam decreased over the duration of the study but was consistently higher than the hatchery component observed below the Dam. © American Fisheries Society 2013.

Anderson J.H.,University of Washington | Faulds P.L.,Seattle Public Utilities | Atlas W.I.,Simon Fraser University | Pess G.R.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Quinn T.P.,University of Washington
Molecular Ecology | Year: 2010

Selection during the colonization of new habitat is critical to the process of local adaptation, but has rarely been studied. We measured the form, direction, and strength of selection on body size and date of arrival to the breeding grounds over the first three cohorts (2003-2005) of a coho salmon (Oncorhynchus kisutch) population colonizing 33 km of habitat made accessible by modification of Landsburg Diversion Dam, on the Cedar River, Washington, USA. Salmon were sampled as they bypassed the dam, parentage was assigned based on genotypes from 10 microsatellite loci, and standardized selection gradients were calculated using the number of returning adult offspring as the fitness metric. Larger fish in both sexes produced more adult offspring, and the magnitude of the effect increased in subsequent years for males, suggesting that low densities attenuated traditional size-biased intrasexual competition. For both sexes, directional selection favoured early breeders in 2003, but stabilizing selection on breeding date was observed in 2004 and 2005. Adults that arrived, and presumably bred, early produced stream-rearing juvenile offspring that were larger at a common date than offspring from later parents, providing a possible mechanism linking breeding date to offspring viability. Comparison to studies employing similar methodology indicated selection during colonization was strong, particularly with respect to reproductive timing. Finally, female mean reproductive success exceeded that needed for replacement in all years so the population expanded in the first generation, demonstrating that salmon can proficiently exploit vacant habitat. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Anderson J.H.,University of Washington | Anderson J.H.,National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration | Faulds P.L.,Seattle Public Utilities | Atlas W.I.,University of Washington | And 2 more authors.
Evolutionary Applications | Year: 2013

Captively reared animals can provide an immediate demographic boost in reintroduction programs, but may also reduce the fitness of colonizing populations. Construction of a fish passage facility at Landsburg Diversion Dam on the Cedar River, WA, USA, provided a unique opportunity to explore this trade-off. We thoroughly sampled adult Chinook salmon (Oncorhynchus tshawytscha) at the onset of colonization (2003-2009), constructed a pedigree from genotypes at 10 microsatellite loci, and calculated reproductive success (RS) as the total number of returning adult offspring. Hatchery males were consistently but not significantly less productive than naturally spawned males (range in relative RS: 0.70-0.90), but the pattern for females varied between years. The sex ratio was heavily biased toward males; therefore, inclusion of the hatchery males increased the risk of a genetic fitness cost with little demographic benefit. Measurements of natural selection indicated that larger salmon had higher RS than smaller fish. Fish that arrived early to the spawning grounds tended to be more productive than later fish, although in some years, RS was maximized at intermediate dates. Our results underscore the importance of natural and sexual selection in promoting adaptation during reintroductions. Journal compilation © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited and is not used for commercial purposes.

Martin K.A.,University of Washington | Van Stan II J.T.,Georgia Southern University | Dickerson-Lange S.E.,University of Washington | Lutz J.A.,University of Washington | And 3 more authors.
Water Resources Research | Year: 2013

Tree canopy snow interception is a significant hydrological process, capable of removing up to 60% of snow from the ground snowpack. Our understanding of canopy interception has been limited by our ability to measure whole canopy water storage in an undisturbed forest setting. This study presents a relatively inexpensive technique for directly measuring snow canopy water storage using an interceptometer, adapted from Friesen et al. (2008). The interceptometer is composed of four linear motion position sensors distributed evenly around the tree trunk. We incorporate a trunk laser-mapping installation method for precise sensor placement to reduce signal error due to sensor misalignment. Through calibration techniques, the amount of canopy snow required to produce the measured displacements can be calculated. We demonstrate instrument performance on a western hemlock (Tsuga heterophylla) for a snow interception event in November 2011. We find a snow capture efficiency of 83 ± 15% of accumulated ground snowfall with a maximum storage capacity of 50 ± 8 mm snow water equivalent (SWE). The observed interception event is compared to simulated interception, represented by the variable infiltration capacity (VIC) hydrologic model. The model generally underreported interception magnitude by 33% using a leaf area index (LAI) of 5 and 16% using an LAI of 10. The interceptometer captured intrastorm accumulation and melt rates up to 3 and 0.75 mm SWE h-1, respectively, which the model failed to represent. While further implementation and validation is necessary, our preliminary results indicate that forest interception magnitude may be underestimated in maritime areas. ©2013. American Geophysical Union. All Rights Reserved.

Kirschbaum R.,Herrera Environmental Consultants Inc. | Spencer B.,Seattle Public Utilities
Low Impact Development 2010: Redefining Water in the City - Proceedings of the 2010 International Low Impact Development Conference | Year: 2010

Like many cities in the United States, a large portion of Seattle's underground drainage pipe networks consist of combined stormwater/sewer systems that were designed to convey both sewage and rainfall runoff from paved surfaces, such as rooftops and roadways. These systems were not designed with adequate capacity for the demands placed on them today. With population and development in Seattle already beyond the designed system capacity in many areas, the combined sewer systems are frequently overwhelmed during large rain storms, resulting in combined sewer overflows (CSOs) into local lakes and Puget Sound. Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is investigating various strategies for controlling these CSO events. Traditionally, large centralized detention facilities have been used to store high flow volumes during the peak of a storm, which are then released back to the system after the storm has subsided. Currently SPU is conducting a pilot project in the Lakewood neighborhood to evaluate the use of decentralized (customer-based) strategies for reducing CSOs to Lake Washington. These strategies include rain gardens and cisterns installed on single family residential sites to capture and control rainwater on-site. Hydrologic and hydraulic modeling performed for this project using InfoWorks Collection System (CS) and Western Washington Hydrology Model (WWHM) indicate that the pilot project alone would not achieve the regulatory goal of one CSO event per year in the basin. However, widespread use of cisterns and rain gardens by Lakewood residents could significantly reduce the required volume of other traditional CSO infrastructure by as much as 25 percent. This paper documents the development and evaluation of alternatives for decentralized strategy pilot studies in the Lakewood neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. To support alternative development, an array of decentralized strategies was evaluated for CSO reduction benefits, as well as potential water quality impacts to Lake Washington. © 2010 ASCE.

Tackett T.,Seattle Public Utilities
Low Impact Development 2010: Redefining Water in the City - Proceedings of the 2010 International Low Impact Development Conference | Year: 2010

Seattle is embracing sustainable building and green infrastructure stormwater management practices through numerous different programs and policies. The newest addition to Seattle's policies is the implementation of a stormwater code requiring the use of green stormwater infrastructure to the maximum extent feasible. This paper provides an overview of the tools in place for new and redevelopment and how Seattle is reviewing and enforcing the inclusion of green stormwater infrastructure. © 2010 ASCE.

Spencer B.,Seattle Public Utilities
Low Impact Development 2010: Redefining Water in the City - Proceedings of the 2010 International Low Impact Development Conference | Year: 2010

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) received a grant from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to evaluate the use of decentralized green stormwater infrastructure through the private property installation of rain gardens and cisterns in a combined sewer overflow basin. Over a 2 year period, residents were educated and recruited to participate in the program. A variety of methods were used to educate and recruit participants, and lessons learned along the way have influenced the strategies the city will implement as it pursues additional installation of green stormwater infrastructure on private properties as part of SPU's Residential RainWise program in target combined sewer overflow (CSO) basins. © 2010 ASCE.

News Article | October 27, 2016

Scientology Environmental Task Force and The Way to Happiness Foundation celebrate Spring Clean with Seattle Public Utilities Adopt-a-Street Program.

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