In 2018, Puget Soundkeeper won successful Clean Water Act cases against Samson Tug & Barge for $80,000 and Cargill Inc. – Ferndale Grain for $70,000. A total of $150,000 was funded to third-party environmental benefit projects to mitigate pollution and deter future pollution.

American Rivers

Amount Awarded: $25,000

Focus: Headwater Restoration at Roxhill Bog

Project Description: American Rivers’ seeks to restore hydrologic functions to Roxhill Bog, which is located at the headwaters of Longfellow Creek, a highly urbanized sub-basin of the Green-Duwamish River that flows into an estuary in the south end of Elliott Bay in Puget Sound. Over the past century, the impacts of urbanization have degraded fish habitat, and as the Bog has drained, the quality and quantity of water across the lower reaches of the Green-Duwamish basin have diminished. A study conducted by the City of Seattle in 2000 found that Roxhill Bog groundwater levels are draining rapidly along the northeast corner of the wetland through stormwater and sewer lines. In 2017, the Bog became so dry that it caught fire, further harming an already vulnerable headwaters system. This grant will advance key first steps to restore Roxhill Bog’s natural hydrology to enhance its water quality, improve ecological resiliency, and benefit salmonid recovery in Longfellow Creek and the greater Green-Duwamish basin. Wetland restoration will reduce direct stormwater discharge and increase groundwater recharge, thereby decreasing water temperature, stabilizing baseflow and improving salmonid habitat conditions in the Longfellow watershed. Currently, stormwater from the surrounding area is directed into the stream via stormwater drainage. Restoration can be achieved by redirecting stormwater into the wetland. Target outcomes for this project include full saturation of peat soils that currently dry out too frequently and reduced annual water level fluctuations (WLF) to approximately 8-9 inches, with lower fluctuations during growing seasons.

Beavers Northwest

Amount Awarded: $9,825

Project Title: Improving Water Quality Through Non-Lethal Beaver Management

Project Description: Funds support Beavers Northwest, an outreach program in King and Snohomish Counties highlighting the importance of beavers and opportunities for non-lethal management. Beavers have long been recognized for their ability to create and maintain vast wetland complexes that result in numerous water quality, habitat and hydrologic benefits, such as increases in riparian vegetation and benthic microbial organisms that sequester pollutants, decreases in erosion and sedimentation, and promotion of groundwater recharge. Since beaver damming can also impact humans by flooding homes, farmland and other infrastructure, landowners and land managers often turn to lethal management: trapping and killing beavers to remove them from the system. To stop the continuation of lethal beaver management, Beavers Northwest is working to advocate for and implement non-lethal solutions to ensure that the ecosystem services provided by beavers are maintained. The outreach supported by this grant will include landowner workshops, presentations at local schools, website enhancements and brochure distribution to highlight cost-share and the water quality benefits that beaver-wetland complexes provide.

City of Auburn Parks Department

Amount Awarded: $18,246

Focus: Fenster Nature Park Community Planting

Project Description: This project will revegetate a 1.4 acre mowed field adjacent to the Green River at the City of Auburn’s Fenster Nature Park with tall native trees and shrubs that will increase the riparian forested buffer. Planting this site will extend the riparian plantings installed in 2014 as part of the Fenster levee setback project. The plantings will further enhance riparian habitat for salmon, including Endangered Species Act (ESA) listed Chinook and steelhead that migrate through and spawn in this reach of the Green River. The 2011 Green River TMDL identified the lack of shade a main driver for high summer water temperatures. The report identified the need for tall, continuous riparian vegetation to reduce high summer temperatures that sometimes reach lethal levels for salmon. The project site is located on a south-facing aspect identified by the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe as a “critical” priority shoreline for planting. In addition to the habitat benefits, this site provides a rare opportunity along the Lower Green River to engage volunteers in revegetation efforts. The site is flat and easily accessible to volunteers, providing an excellent opportunity to engage Auburn Schools and community groups in hands-on restoration work. The City of Auburn plans to coordinate its volunteer engagement with Mid Sound Fisheries Enhancement Group and nearby Cascade Middle School to help with fall planting and learn about the value of riparian forest.

City of Tukwila

Amount Awarded: $25,000

Focus: Tree Cover & Riparian Habitat

Project Description: This project revegetate 450 linear feet of private shoreline along the Lower Green River within the City of Tukwila. This grant will help fund the implementation of an innovative new public-private partnership model to increase tree cover and riparian habitat on private shoreline properties along the Green-Duwamish River. Summertime temperatures in the Green River frequently exceed the lethal threshold for ESA-listed Chinook and other salmon and fail to meet state water quality standards (Ecology TMDL, 2011). This funding would extend an upcoming City of Tukwila led shoreline planting project, resulting in a total of 1,160 linear feet of restored shoreline on a reach identified as a high priority for tree shade. The project would also contribute to Tukwila’s tree canopy, improve water quality by slowing surface runoff and filtering pollutants, provide overhanging vegetation for fish, and contribute organic matter critical for juvenile salmon growth.


Community To Community

Amount Awarded: $25,000

Focus: Tierra Y Agua Farmland and Watershed Stewardship Training Project

Project Description: Funding will help to develop and implement the Tierra Y Agua Farmland and Watershed Stewardship Training Project, a training program in sustainable farm practices for emerging farmworker-owned farming cooperatives throughout Whatcom County and throughout the Salish Sea region. Foundation funding would be especially targeted for our work with Tierra y Libertad, a farmworker-owned cooperative which owns 60-acres of farmland in Whatcom County on which Community to Community is partnering to develop and implement entirely organic and sustainable farming practices that mitigate groundwater damage by mono-agriculture and its use of pesticides and that protect water draining into the Salish Sea. This land is particularly important in that it is the first farmworker-owned farming cooperative and a model for similar farmworker cooperatives now in development. With the help of the Rose Foundation, they will research and compile best practices, create a curriculum in organic growing practices and sustainable land management, and pilot a farm-based training program for members of the farmworkers cooperative.

Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association

Amount Awarded: $25,000

Focus: Delridge Wetlands and Stewardship Project

Project Description: DNDA’s Delridge Wetland Restoration and Stewardship Project was a concept borne during the disposition of surplus properties by the City of Seattle (including sites owned by Seattle City Light) in late 2015. Delridge Neighborhoods Development Association, a local nonprofit, became interested in acquiring the site to preserve an urban green space. Funding builds on two past Rose Foundation grants supporting engagement of the Delridge community in the preservation and restoration of Longfellow Creek and its natural habitat in a highly urbanized setting that is undergoing tremendous change due to residential development. This project is designed to slow, cool, and pretreat stormwater and substantially reduce and/or prevent pollution from entering nearby waterways, such as the Duwamish River, into which the Creek feeds. Passing through a system of bio-filtration swales, stormwater entering the site will be pretreated prior to entering the wetland. DNDA is constructing this swale system within the boundary of the park which will then be linked to Seattle Department of Transportation’s (SDOT) neighborhood system of bioswales. DNDA is consulting with SDOT and Seattle Pacific University to ensure that the bioswale(s) and culvert are easily accessible for cleaning and other maintenance. In this third phase of the project, DNDA will 1) increase community education for greater engagement and stakeholder involvement 2) have restoration work parties to remove invasive species, and revegetate mulch areas and native plants 3) complete phase 2 design of the Wetlands Park which includes engineering and 80% of construction drawings, and 4) coordinate and plan with SDOT Safe Routes to Schools to increase active transportation.

Deschutes Estuary Restoration Team

Amount Awarded: $20,550

Focus: Restoring the Deschutes Estuary: Environmental Impact Statement Response and Community Education

Project Description: The Deschutes Estuary Restoration Team (DERT) will develop a Technical Team with scientific expertise in oceanography, water quality and quantity, habitat restoration, hydrology and sediment transport, contaminants, stormwater, Clean Water Act regulations and the connection to a healthy economy. The Technical Team will review and respond to the scientific feasibility of alternatives to be evaluated during the Department of Enterprise Services Environmental Impact Statement process to begin in the late fall of 2018. The Team will represent the latest and best science in estuary restoration from a number of disciplines: habitat, water quality, water quantity, sea level rise, flooding, sediment management, economic implications and regulation.

Duwamish Alive! Coalition

Amount Awarded: $12,500

Focus: Duwamish Alive Coalition General Support

Project Description: Duwamish Alive Coalition events restore critical native habitat and improve water quality for the recovery of the 5 salmonoid species in the Green-Duwamish Watershed while providing community education and engagement about important environmental issues in the highly industrial & urbanized Duwamish Watershed which is made up of underserved communities of diversity. The goal is to expand the number of sites and activities that improve habitat and water quality, address issues impacting habitat and water quality, increase volunteers by engaging more community members as stewards, and provide mentorship and resources to community groups establishing new restoration sites. Given the complexity of the watershed, Duwamish Alive Coalition continues to promote and facilitate collaboration across organizations, local communities and sectors, focusing on Longfellow Creek’s restoration by identifying and mapping all projects and promoting collaboration.

Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition/TAG

Amount Awarded: $25,000

Focus: Duwamish Valley Rain Garden Project

Project Description: Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition/Technical Advisory Group (DRCC/TAG) will work with youth to build rain gardens on private properties to help reduce storm water pollution and flow, and to green the community. The Duwamish Valley has been subject to air, ground, and water pollution for decades but the area is being cleaned up as part of the Duwamish Superfund site. Cleaning up storm water is important so that we don’t recontaminate the site after hundreds of millions of dollars are spent to clean the river. DRCC/TAGs highly successful youth program, the Duwamish Valley Youth Corps, has for several years worked to educate its members, as well as peers and family of members, on issues regarding environmental justice and equity, including clean water.


Amount Awarded: $20,000

Focus: Commencement Bay Stewardship Collaborative – Bridge Funding

Project Description: Thanks to SuperFund and the Natural Resources Damage Assessment process, sites along Tacoma’s highly polluted Commencement Bay have been transformed from one of the most polluted spots in the country to one of the brightest spots of hope for environmental restoration. Now it is a national model for recovery; where restored habitats support critical populations of birds and fish alongside once heavily-polluted industrial areas. Vigilance is needed to keep these areas from becoming polluted again, and also to keep habitats around the bay on a positive trajectory to keep supporting key wildlife populations and improving water quality. Partner organizations (and fund grantees such as Citizens for a Healthy Bay and Earth Ministries) mobilize residents to keep industries from further polluting the bay and tidelands around it. EarthCorps’ role is to steadily improve the pockets of natural areas that propel the recovery and survival of plants and animals that once thrived here. The Commencement Bay Trustees including NOAA, US Fish & Wildlife Service, Washington State Department of Ecology, the Puyallup Tribe, and the Muckleshoot Tribe have worked diligently since 1998 to restore over 300 acres of habitat throughout the Puyallup River Watershed. Much of the habitat in the lower portion of the watershed has been injured by more than 100 years of pollution. The Trustees entrusted the long-term stewardship of these habitat sites to EarthCorps. Funding will allow for the Trustees and EarthCorps to ensure that these restoration sites continue to provide a healthy home for salmon and birds for future generations.

Earthrise Law Center at Lewis & Clark College

Amount Awarded: $25,000

Focus: Advocacy to Reduce Nutrient and Toxic Pollution in Puget Sound

Project Description: Earthrise Law Center will bring targeted litigation to help control both point source (industrial and municipal dischargers) and non-point source (run-off from agriculture, forestry, and urban areas) pollution into Puget Sound. In this litigation, Earthrise will represent Northwest Environmental Advocates (“NWEA”), which is also submitting a parallel proposal for this project. Together with additional co-counsel, Earthrise and NWEA will prosecute several lawsuits designed to use the “hammer” of statutes like the Clean Water Act and the Coastal Zone Act Reauthorization Amendments to change key federal agency decision-making in Washington. In turn, this litigation will require changes by the State of Washington to improve the foundational programs affecting pollution into Puget Sound. The litigation targets key federal and state agency decision-making, with the ultimate goal of bringing about on-the-ground reductions in pollution into Puget Sound. This project targets multiple forms of Puget Sound pollution. In particular, the lawsuits focus on nutrient pollution, which causes water quality problems such as low dissolved oxygen, massive algal blooms, and food web changes. Focusing on nutrient pollution is strategic because nutrient treatment technology also removes many regulated and unregulated toxic pollutants.

Friends of North Creek Forest

Amount Awarded: $25,000

Focus: North Creek Forest Stewardship

Project Description: The mission of Friends of North Creek Forest is to maintain and improve the ecological function of North Creek Forest through education, stewardship, and conservation in perpetuity. This 64 acre mature forest in Bothell helps to improve the water quality in nearby North Creek, a Chinook salmon bearing stream, by naturally filtering runoff from upland neighborhoods and protecting the steep slope from erosion. We request funding to support our Stewardship Program, which focuses on restoring North Creek Forest, while simultaneously engaging the community to participate in its care. We increase ecological literacy by engaging, supporting, training and inspiring volunteers of all ages, including college students and school children, to learn how to restore and protect North Creek Forest and beyond. We link our efforts to the snow caps to whitecaps philosophy for the recovery of Puget Sound, through teaching how what happens in the forest relates to the health of the Southern Resident Killer Whale population. The people we train participate in protection and stewardship of other sites in the Puget Sound basin, so we increase the region’s capacity to improve our waters.

Friends of the Earth

Amount Awarded: $25,000

Focus: Salish Sea Marine Conservation & Oil Transportation Safety Campaign

Project Description: For two decades, Friends of the Earth (FoE) has worked with federal, state, tribal and local partners leading efforts to protect Puget Sound communities and marine life from ship-sourced pollution, including oil spills as well as air and water discharges from cruise ships, cargo ships and oil tankers. Regardless of whether the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project is completed (which would result in a 700% increase in dilbit tankers transiting through the endangered killer whale’s critical habitat), there is an urgent need to update the State’s tug escort and oil spill response plan rules to address existing risks and to prevent the extinction of the endangered Southern Resident Killer Whale community. As part of FoE’s ongoing effort to catalog and publicize the movement of oil in, out and within Puget Sound, this project continues with a focus on how Washington State can increase our ability to prevent and respond to oil spills. Funding will enhance oil spill prevention and response capabilities for barges and other smaller oil carriers not subject to the safety measures required of large oil tankers transiting the Salish Sea. In addition to preventing oil spills from vessels transporting diluted bitumen between Burnaby, B.C. through Puget Sound to the U.S. Oil refinery in Tacoma, this project will also advance the capacity to respond to oil spills from all types of commercial vessels that can carry up to two million gallons of fuel. Finally, two State rule-makings will occur in early 2019, and FoE’s participation in these rule-makings and other state processes (e.g. the Governor’s Orca Task Force vessel safety working group) are essential to ensuring the highest level of protection for the Salish Sea.

Front and Centered

Amount Awarded: $25,000

Focus: Engaging Communities of Color on Water Quality Issues

Project Description: Front and Centered received continued funding in order to build upon their efforts over the past year and to increase their scope of impact as follows:

  • Building a Collective Vision – 1) work among Front and Centered members to create core principles that will guide their Collective and drive strategies that center equity around water quality; 2) create and formalize partnerships among environmental organizations and leaders around a collaborative effort around addressing water quality in an equitable manner; and 3) develop shared priorities around which they can mobilize including policies, advocacy, education and engagement.
  • Centering Equity Around Water – work to develop and implement a policy agenda around addressing water pollution and compromised water quality. Included among the water-related issues which they envision addressing are protections against infiltration of farm runoff into drinking water, the corrosive impact of micro-fibers and micro-plastics in our waters and other urgent needs and emerging priorities that are identified by the Collective.
  • Serving as Convener and Action Hub around Puget Sound Water Issues- 1) convene and staffed monthly meetings of the Collective; 2) convene communities of color around emerging policy priorities; 3) do policy research; and 4) coordinate strategy development and implementation, including media and mobilization strategies.
  • Continuing to Convene Communities of Color – conduct an additional convenings among communities of color to ensure that their efforts align with the water-related priorities and needs that people are facing.


Amount Awarded: $25,000

Focus: Protecting Water, Fish and Wildlife Through Improved Shoreline Master Plans

Project Description: Futurewise works at the intersection of environmental policy and planning to create and promote solutions that defend our lands and sustain our communities. Funding will support involvement in developing guidance and supporting community engagement for Puget Sound cities and counties as they update their Shoreline Master Programs – policies and regulations which protect shoreline and riparian environments that are critical for maintain and improving the production of Chinook salmon, and ultimately the resident orca population supported by salmon.

Garden Green

Amount Awarded: $10,000

Focus: Garden Green Pesticide Reduction

Project Description: Garden Green is a community effort to reduce toxic pesticide sales and use on Vashon-Maury Island and Puget Sound. It involves education and lobbying of retail management, plus education of the public, community groups, and government agencies. The work ties closely to recommendations in the Vashon-Maury Island Watershed Plan, and is designed to maintain/improve island surface water, groundwater, and the waters of Puget Sound. Our actions help protect families, pets, birds, pollinators and other wildlife: everything from the tiny aquatic insects eaten by young salmon, to the orca whales that live primarily on Chinook salmon.

Green Futures Lab

Amount Awarded: $24,929

Focus: Duwamish Floating Wetlands Water Quality Monitoring

Project Description: This project will fund water quality and habitat monitoring for the Duwamish Floating Wetlands Project, using a citizen science approach. The project will train citizen scientists in gathering and managing water quality and habitat data from four floating wetland “Biobarges,” deployed on the Duwamish Waterway in Seattle, Washington. Fostering pathways for citizen-led science, community participants will will evaluate how floating wetlands affect conditions for outmigrating salmon smolts in the Puget Sound, while inspiring community stewardship and education. Floating wetlands support the hydroponic growth of native wetland vegetation, mimicking natural wetlands by improving water quality and providing aquatic habitat. Benefits include carbon sequestration; reduction of aquatic pollutants and water temperature; increased oxygen; invertebrate food chain reconnections; habitat improvement; and shoreline beautification and protection. While incorporated into the improvement of urban water quality in cities such as Baltimore and Chicago, little is known about how salmon respond to floating wetlands. To investigate their potential benefits as resting and feeding points for smolting juvenile salmon along the industrialized Duwamish outmigration corridor, four floating wetland Biobarges will be deployed and their functions measured during salmon smolting months, March – May of 2019-2020. Generating scientific data on functional design and performance, this monitoring program will aid regional planners, stormwater managers, and restoration ecologists in optimizing floating wetland technologies throughout the Puget Sound. In addition, this project will promote environmental literacy and mobilize communities to take part in protecting local waters. This project aligns with the Rose Foundation’s philosophy that the most effective projects are often initiated at the community level and nurtured within an institutional framework.

Harbor WildWatch

Amount Awarded: $11,000

Focus: Citizen Science: Communities Collecting Meaningful Data to Encourage Puget Sound Stewardship

Project Description: Harbor WildWatch’s (HWW) Citizen Science Experience (CSE) trains and guides volunteers to collect meaningful scientific data at select south Puget Sound sites. In 2017, the CSE conducted 38 events with a total of 522 participants, contributing 1,227 service hours. Current CSE protocol includes beach monitoring at 10 south Puget Sound locations, salmon observation, water quality monitoring, young-of-year Rockfish surveys, beach clean-ups, and riparian zone restoration. This grant will fund existing CSE events, develop monitoring protocol for sea bird and eelgrass monitoring, expand the location and number of water quality sampling events, increase the reach of our volunteer training, and conduct trend analysis of the last five years of data using the ESRI GIS.

Killer Whale Tales

Amount Awarded: $9,000

Project Title: Killer Whale Tales: Kids Making a Difference Now/Stormwater Busters, Deep Dive

Project Description: Killer Whale Tale’s overarching goal is to promote the conservation of the Puget Sound waters and the orca population that depends upon it, by providing a high quality environmental education program for 2nd through 6th grade students, at no-cost to the participating schools. The innovative curriculum uses the endangered Southern Resident killer whale (SRKW) population, a species with complex individual and social behaviors, to capture children’s attention and imaginations and inspire them to become Puget Sound stewards. Students are fascinated by orcas’ complex communication systems and matriarchal pods. When they learn about the species, they naturally begin to care about it and are eager to learn what they and their families can do to mitigate local marine pollution.

Long Live the Kings

Amount Awarded: $25,000

Focus: Address Sources of Flame Retardants Affecting Nisqually & Snohomish River Salmon and Steelhead

Project Description: This project will identify and begin work to address the sources of flame retardants (PBDEs) affecting the health of ESA-listed Chinook and steelhead in the Snohomish and Nisqually watersheds of Puget Sound. Long Live the Kings has been leading the international, 60 entity Salish Sea Marine Survival Project to identify what’s killing salmon and steelhead as they migrate downriver and through the combined waters of Puget Sound and the Strait of Georgia, known as the Salish Sea. As a part of this work, investigators have found very high PBDE concentrations in 100% of the wild juvenile Chinook in the estuary/lower delta of the Snohomish River, and in over 30% of wild juvenile Nisqually River steelhead: concentrations at levels that cause reduced disease resistance and alter thyroid function, factors that can lead to increase mortality as these fish exit their rivers and traverse Puget Sound. We will work with our partners to assess detailed fish and water quality data to identify the sources of these PBDEs, ensure addressing this issue is a priority for the local watersheds and region, and outline and begin to advance strategies to reduce contamination of these rivers and their precious salmon.

Nisqually Land Trust

Amount Awarded: $25,000

Project Title: Nisqually River Riparian Stewardship Initiative

Project Description: The Nisqually Land Trust’s mission is to acquire and manage critical lands to permanently benefit the water, wildlife, and people of the Nisqually River Watershed. Today, the Land Trust owns, protects, and stewards more than 7,000 acres in the watershed, and has planted over 290,000 native tress and scrubs on Trust properties. The Nisqually Land Trust seeks funding to continue the work of their Riparian Reforestation Initiative. Funds will be used to help support riparian forest restoration activities along the main stem of the Nisqually River over the next two years. Restoration sites are located near the City of Yelm and along the Nisqually River’s Middle Reach in Thurston and Pierce counties. Project activities, which will engage over 100 volunteers from the local community, will include garbage and debris cleanup; site preparation, planting native trees and shrubs, and seedling maintenance; and a variety of conservation property management tasks including controlling invasive weeds, and removing plant protectors from established seedlings.

Nisqually Reach Nature Center

Amount Awarded: $25,000

Focus: Nisqually Reach Aquatic Reserve

Project Description: Through this funding, the Nisqually Reach Nature Center will engage citizen stewards in research and education outreach in South Puget Sound communities. Citizen scientists will collect data on active waterfowl breeding sites and forage fish spawning beaches in the Nisqually Reach Aquatic Reserve and report that information to Aquatic Reserve managers, state and federal agencies, and the public. As the site proponent, the Nature Center staff will motivate and organize volunteers to accomplish this effort. Citizens will be engaged in the long-term stewardship of these aquatic resources. During this next two-year period, Nisqually Reach Nature Center will work with the Nisqually Reach Aquatic Reserve Implementation Committee on a proposal to expand the Aquatic Reserve to include McNeil Island. The project will also develop partnerships with the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife in an effort to help monitor planned restoration projects on McNeil Island. Over the next few years, there will a heavy focus on removal of overwater structures, groins, bank stabilization, and debris from McNeil Island (an uninhabited island and site of a former prison), The Nature Center is poised to be a leading advocate for this restoration work.

Nooksack Salmon Enhancement Association

Amount Awarded: $22,780

Focus: The Nooksack River Stewards Program

Project Description: The Nooksack River Stewards Program provides watershed education to residents, visitors, and recreational users of the Nooksack River, which benefits water quality and habitat for native fish. This program fills a need in Whatcom County to build camaraderie between upriver and downriver residents, and promotes an understanding of our collective watershed. Through innovative, collaborative outreach, the Nooksack River Stewards Program creates education and outreach for all ages to learn about river ecology, native anadromous fish, and the various ways to minimize negative impacts on the Nooksack River while enjoying this special place. New additions to the program this season include offering unique citizen science and service-based project opportunities. Through strategic partnerships, these opportunities provide a critical connection between local scientific research and river clean-up efforts by directly addressing upstream [Nooksack River] activities that impact water quality for the greater Puget Sound watershed.

Northwest Environmental Advocates

Amount Awarded: $15,000

Project Title: Advocacy and Education to Reduce Nutrient and Toxic Pollution in Puget Sound

Project Description: Northwest Environmental Advocates (NWEA) will use litigation and advocacy to bring the Clean Water Act (CWA) to bear on water pollution in Puget Sound. The CWA requires a series of linked actions by state and federal regulators to ensure that dischargers do not cause or contribute to violations of water quality standards that are established to protect human health, fish, and wildlife. The CWA and Coastal Zone Act Reathorization Amendments (CZARA) also require federal agencies to ensure that Washington carries out non-point source pollution control programs. In contrast, the Department of Ecology, with federal agency approval, has long ignored legal requirements when issuing discharge permits, thereby failing to control major sources of pollution to Puget Sound. Likewise, Ecology has a mere fig leaf of a non-point source program that fails to protect the Sound from agriculture, septic systems, run-off, and logging. This project includes multiple lawsuits to trigger federal actions that are intended to propel the state into carrying out federal law properly, controlling pollution from both point and non-point sources. To a significant extent, these ongoing and planned lawsuits target nutrient pollution, which causes water quality problems such as low dissolved oxygen, massive algal blooms, and food web changes. However, focusing on nutrient pollution is also strategic because nutrient treatment technology also removes many regulated and unregulated toxic pollutants, including personal care products and pharmaceuticals. The lawsuits build off decades of studies conducted by Ecology and many years of failure by agencies to respond to the results. Accompanying the litigation are education and outreach activities including educating reporters on how the regulatory programs are intended to work and increased use of social media. Where the outcome of litigation provides for public involvement, NWEA will work with other groups in Washington to organize that effort.

RE Sources for Sustainable Communities

Amount Awarded: $25,000

Project Title: Protecting the Marine Waters of Skagit County through Citizen Science and Public Education

Project Description: RE Sources provides staff support for the Fidalgo Bay Aquatic Reserve Citizen Stewardship Committee (FBAR CSC). The committee is tasked with carrying out the Department of Natural Resource’s (DNR’s) management plan to promote the preservation, restoration, and enhancement of the Aquatic Reserve. RE Sources assists with this implementation through staff support for the committee’s volunteer efforts to host meetings, plan and host educational events, conduct citizen science projects, and provide technical comments to foster stronger protections of Fidalgo Bay and the surrounding and connected shorelines of Skagit County. The goal of all this work is threefold: (a) to provide a baseline of data that informs policy, restoration efforts, clean-ups, and polluter accountability; (b) to augment microplastics research efforts in Puget Sound and determine impacts on aquatic wildlife; and (c) to engage more people in the work of protecting Fidalgo Bay aquatic reserve and the marine waters of Skagit County.

Salmon Defense

Amount Awarded: $17,800

Focus: Salmon Defense: Water Quality Protection through Education and Leadership

Project Description: Salmon Defense is partnering with the Deschutes Estuary Restoration Team (DERT), the Squaxin Island Tribe and the Port of Olympia to protect water quality in South Puget Sound through two specific public and youth education efforts. First, we will work with DERT and the Squaxin Island Tribe, to provide educators and speakers for hands on activities and help recruitment for the youth camp days on the Steh-Chass – the indigenous name for the Budd Inlet/Deschutes Estuary area in the South Puget Sound area of the Salish Sea. Second, we will partner with the Squaxin Island Tribe and the Port of Olympia to develop a trail on the Budd Inlet waterfront along with interpretive signage to honor Billy Frank Jr., our late leader and warrior activist for our indigenous culture, environmental justice, salmon, water quality and habitat.

Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group

Amount Awarded: $25,000

Focus: Riverfront Park Community Restoration

Project Description: This funding will allow Skagit Fisheries Enhancement Group (SFEG) to conduct riparian restoration at Riverfront Park and provide the opportunity for underprivileged members of the Skagit Valley community to engage in a project that will convert 7 acres of thick blackberry brambles into a healthy native ecosystem consisting of native riparian plants. Restoration on this site will protect water quality on a TMDL listed tributary to the Skagit River while also improving habitat for salmon, wetland birds, and other wildlife. Key partners included in this project are the City of Sedro-Woolley, Cascade Middle School, Clear Lake Elementary, and the Kulshan Creek Neighborhood Youth Program. Volunteer work parties and service learning projects involving targeted school and special interest groups will be carried out in the fall of 2019 and spring of 2020 to plant more than 4000 native trees and shrubs along the stream.

Sound Salmon Solutions

Amount Awarded: $13,632

Project Title: Youth Exploring Stream Science

Project Description: Youth Exploring Stream Science (YESS) engages youth in court-mandated diversion programs in meaningful experiences in watershed science. Sound Salmon Solutions (SSS) is currently in a pilot year of the YESS program and is seeking funding to further provide these youth with experiences in citizen science water quality monitoring and riparian habitat restoration along Jones Creek in Marysville, Washington. The Jones Creek site is bound by dense residential housing to the north, east and south. To the west, Jones Creek flows downstream through an intact greenbelt, reconstructed stream channels, and into the Qwuloolt estuary, discharging into the Snohomish River at Ebey Slough. This project would aim to address water quality issues on this site through restoration activities to reduce water temperature, increase dissolved oxygen, reduce fecal coliform and bacteria inputs, and improve salmon habitat. YESS students will have ownership over 1/2 acre of this site so that they may see the cumulative impact of their restoration activities. In addition to restoring habitat, YESS students will be gaining positive community connections, fostering confidence and career skills through engagement in water quality education and water quality monitoring, and through empowering students to engage their community in the stewardship of their local waterbodies for the health of humans and wildlife.

Stand: Stop Fossil Fuels

Amount Awarded: $20,000

Project Title: Protecting the Puget Sound and Washington’s Delicate Ecosystems from Fossil Fuel Pollution

Project Description: This grant will support Stand‘s work to protect the Puget Sound and Washington’s delicate ecosystems from pollution caused by existing and expanding fossil fuel infrastructure in Skagit County, WA. Specifically, Stand will: 1) work toward a moratorium on all unrefined fossil fuel export projects in Skagit County and 2) continue planning for a just transition to a clean energy economy in Skagit County. There are two oil refineries in Skagit County (Shell’s Puget Sound Refinery and the Andeavor (formerly Tesoro) Anacortes Refinery). These two refineries are a major source of air, water, and climate pollution. When oil travelling to or from these refineries is transported by tanker, there is a risk of oil spills, which are disastrous to the health of marine environments as well as the local population. When transported by train, oil can spill, leak, and cause dangerous explosions, threatening communities along the rail line. In addition, refineries create significant and adverse health impacts for all—especially young families and children living in fence-line communities. Furthermore, these two refineries are also among the most significant sources of greenhouse gas pollution in the region. In light of these serious risks to the health of the Puget Sound and the surrounding communities, our ultimate goal in Skagit County is to prevent expansion of these refineries and in-particular, limit unrefined fossil fuel export, thereby minimizing the risk of catastrophic oil spills in the Puget Sound and surrounding waterways. In addition, an integral part of this work, as we move toward a clean energy economy, is to ensure a fair and equitable transition for refinery workers.


Stillwaters Environmental Center

Amount Awarded: $25,000

Focus: Carpenter Creek Estuary Restoration, Research and Monitoring Program

Project Description: This model restoration project in Central Puget Sound protects and restores over 30 acres of high quality estuarine habitat in this crucial Puget Sound location for migrating salmonids. The estuary is one of the last refuges before the salmon head north into the Strait. This grant supports Stillwater Environmental Center’s Monitoring Program of the restoration project which is critical to evaluation of the project effectiveness and in creating a reference site for restoration elsewhere around the Sound. The project will engage citizen-scientists and professionals, all volunteers, to conduct monitoring and research in the watershed on 20+ different parameters.

Toxic Free Future

Amount Awarded: $25,000

Focus: Not So PFASt! Protecting Puget Sound from PFAS Chemicals in Firefighting Foam

Project Description: Toxic-Free Future (TFF) is taking great strides in leveraging the breakthrough we achieved in Washington in 2018 on restricting PFAS chemicals in firefighting foam. Our goal is to stop this highly toxic and highly persistent class of chemicals from becoming the next legacy contaminant in Puget Sound. PFAS chemicals (PFCs or Teflon chemicals) are highly persistent, cancer-causing chemicals used for their stain- and water-resistant properties in a wide variety of consumer products and industrial applications. PFAS chemicals contaminate Puget Sound waters, sediments and freshwater fish as well as marine mammals and wildlife all over the globe. PFAS-containing firefighting foam has been identified as a major source of PFAS contamination in the Puget Sound region. Getting PFAS out of firefighting foam will cut off a significant source of these chemicals to Puget Sound. TFF is uniquely positioned with strong relationships in the firefighting community to accelerate the transition of fire services in the Puget Sound region to PFAS-free foams. Because firefighters experience higher rates of cancer than the general population they are highly concerned about the toxics such as PFAS that they are exposed to on the job. But firefighters also understand how PFAS contaminates the environment when released during training and firefighting, therefore they have emerged as strong partners in the fight against PFAS. TFF is already engaging major fire services in the Puget Sound region in launching the switch to PFSA-free foams. Through this grant, TFF will support fire services in the Puget Sound region in their transition to PFAS-free firefighting foams, assess PFAS-free alternative foams, and leverage growing public concern around PFAS chemicals.

Vashon Nature Center LLC

Amount Awarded: $10,000

Focus: Storm Water Action Group (SWAG): improving water quality through community science

Project Description: Vashon Nature Center, with support from Rose Foundation grants, conducted citizen science research that revealed impacts of stormwater in watersheds on Vashon-Maury Islands. This spurred a collaborative, multi-year effort to improve conditions. Funding is now secured for the first downtown stormwater improvement project to install a series of rain gardens in the headwaters of Shinglemill Creek. This grant funding will allow VNC to coordinate a team of volunteer stormwater ambassadors of all ages, aka the Storm Water Action Group (SWAG), who will monitor stream invertebrates, water quality during storms, and salmon populations, before and after rain gardens are installed, and share their results with the community. We are also working with the WSU stormwater lab to create a stormwater monitoring toolbox- a set of citizen-science based research protocols that we can share with other groups around Puget Sound who are interested in engaging volunteers in stormwater research and monitoring.

Washington Environmental Council

Amount Awarded: $25,000

Focus: Orcas Love Raingardens

Project Description: Washington Environmental Council is accelerating green stormwater infrastructure solutions that reduce the amount of pollution entering Puget Sound and move Washington away from the grey infrastructure of the past. A grant from the Rose Foundation will support WEC’s efforts to launch a new program – Orcas Love Raingardens – that links orca recovery to on-the-ground actions like raingardens to control stormwater inputs to Puget Sound. We are partnering with Defenders of Wildlife, Tacoma Public Schools, Metro Parks Tacoma, and others to launch a multi-year program to institutionalize raingardens in highly visible and influential locations with a goal to accelerate adoption everywhere. In the next year, we will host events that showcase new signage and improved plantings at several existing raingardens that need additional attention; work with educators to tie raingardens into curriculum; shape policies; and engage leaders who will champion the program to meet community needs.

Weed Warriors

Amount Awarded: $9,000

Focus: Hazel Valley Community Garden with Storm Water Mitigation

Project Description: Funds will support Weed Warriors in the creation of an organic community garden and native plant raingarden swale. This project will redirect stormwater runoff from the Highline United Methodist Church roof, which drains directly into the Duwamish River section of the Puget Sound. Once completed, water that currently flows from the roof and other impervious surfaces will be redirected to the catchment system with an above ground cistern that will utilize the rainwater for garden projects that encourage sustainable, chemical-free gardening for the community. The raingarden swale will also provide the means to filter excess rainwater before entering the Duwamish River, which will reduce the toxins and chemicals found in stormwater runoff that is detrimental to the health of the watershed’s ecosystem. Not only will this project contribute to the overall environmental health of the Duwamish watershed, but it will also reduce food insecurity within the community and provide a means for the community to connect with each other and their local environment.

Western Washington University Foundation

Amount Awarded: $25,000

Focus: Restoring Riparian Buffers for Improving Water Quality and Quantity in Dogfish Creek and Beyond

Project Description: Important to the water quality of the Puget Sound, city parks can be managed to create riparian buffer zones comprised of native trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants that function as a protective barrier for aquatic habitats. However, non-native, invasive weed species have impacted thousands of hectares of Washington’s native areas. This results in the degradation of riparian buffer zones that require a diverse mix of plant species for functional water protection. Since 2002, the Poulsbo community has put a great deal of volunteer time, effort and money into improving the riparian zone of Fish Park, a 17-hectare (42 acre) park that connects Dogfish Creek to the estuary in Liberty Bay. Despite notable improvements, to address the remaining challenges caused by invasive species, Western Washington University has developed a three-year management plan. This proposal seeks funding to experimentally design methods for the restoration of degraded urban riparian zones that are impacted by invasive species. These funds will be allocated to: 1) create a digital map with a Master Vegetation Plan that documents plant community types and prioritizes invaded areas, 2) remove blackberry and reed canary in prioritized areas, followed by an experimental native tree planting using a rapid riparian revegetation approach, and 3) finalize an adaptive management plan that includes park inventory and new methodology for the improvement of riparian buffers. To accomplish this, two undergraduate research assistants will be hired to assist the principal investigator to complete the inventory, initiate the project design, help coordinate volunteers and document methodology that can be replicated throughout this and other Puget Sound urban parks that impact water quality. All work will be in conjunction with the Fish Park Steering Committee, who will aid project oversight, provide consultation, and mobilize community volunteers.

Whatcom Conservation District

Amount Awarded: $19,610

Focus: Sound Horsekeeping in Whatcom County

Project Description: Since 1946, Whatcom Conservation District (WCD) has been assisting residents of Whatcom County with natural resource conservation and promoting the use of Best Management Practices (BMPs) to improved animal health and environmental stewardship. Through free farm visits, workshops and incentive programs, WCD has been working to generate awareness and understanding of water quality issues and promote responsible stewardship of local resources. This Sound Horsekeeping program will recognize the Whatcom County horse owners who have implemented specific BMPs on their land, and promote them to leaders in their community through landowner recognition signage. Additionally, the program will provide much needed tools to the horse community including soil testing, manure spreading equipment, and pasture management assistance.

Whidbey Watershed Stewards

Amount Awarded: $10,000

Focus: Langley Middle School Ocean Acidification Research Project

Project Description: Whidbey Watershed Stewards‘ Langley Middle School Ocean Acidification Research Project focuses on ocean acidification. Our goal — to foster stewardship, an appreciation for the fragility of our threatened ecosystem, focusing for an extended length of time, on the ecological components of the marine environment – intimate time spent observing small subtle scientific fluctuations in the sea.

White River Valley Museum

Amount Awarded: $10,800

Focus: Stream to Sea Week at the Mary Olson Farm

Project Description: After many years and touring thousands of school students through the Mary Olson Farm where participants learned about stream ecology during the five runs of salmon who call that stream home, the adoption of Next Generation Science Standards calls for a new approach. Funding will help pilot Stream to Sea Week at the Mary Olson Farm, an experiential environmental education program that features new subjects and occurs only during the first week in December when salmon are guaranteed to be in the stream. Two busloads of students will arrive every 90 minutes; students will be led by a guide through a series of eight stations. The activities address Next Generation Science Standards and focus on watersheds and stream ecology. Students will participate in stream water testing, learn about watershed health, take a forest walk and learn about native plants, observe salmon spawning with a Native American storyteller, meet a salmon predator (a live bald eagle), learn about historic Native fishing techniques with a Muckleshoot instructor, get introduced to the Boldt Decision and treaty fishing rights, and meet the farm’s livestock and learn about manure management and composting with staff from the King Conservation District.

Wild Fish Conservancy

Amount Awarded: $25,000

Focus: Protecting Puget Sound from Commercially-Propagated Viruses

Project Description: Our Sound, Our Salmon is a collection of groups and individuals across the Puget Sound Region brought together and lead by Wild Fish Conservancy. In 2018, the coalition – with partial funding from the Rose Foundation – worked effectively to aid in the passage of legislation that will phase out Atlantic salmon net pens from Washington waters by 2022. In 2018 and 2019, Wild Fish Conservancy is continuing to lead Our Sound, Our Salmon to test for the presence of Piscine Reovirus (PRV) in remaining Atlantic salmon net pens in Puget Sound, and, through a parallel effort, to raise public awareness of and advocate for state-conducted testing of PRV, which is a highly contagious and potentially lethal salmonid virus that has the potential to spread to and harm native wild salmon and steelhead. Continued support will aid Wild Fish Conservancy in the following efforts: 1) work in coordination with the University of Montana’s Flathead Lake Biological Station to utilize a groundbreaking research tool to determine the distribution of the virus in active Puget Sound net pens; 2) increase public awareness of the threats posed by Piscine Reovirus, a virus that may infect and harm wild Pacific salmon; 3) persuade Washington State officials to test the remaining Atlantic salmon in net pens for PRV, and 4) urge Washington State to remove all Atlantic salmon infected with PRV from net pens in Puget Sound. This project will benefit those that rely on the integrity of Puget Sound’s water quality – ranging from chinook salmon and the Orcas that eat them, to the Tribes and First Nations that have made their homes in the Salish Sea for a millennium.