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Poulsbo stormwater program wins Puget Sound Partnership honor

BREMERTON — The Puget Sound Partnership honored the City of Poulsbo's engineering department as a Puget Sound Champion Monday, for its efforts to incorporate low-impact development, also known as green infrastructure, wherever feasible in order to soak in dirty stormwater that would otherwise run untreated into Liberty Bay.

The department was one of six Champions from the North Central/West Sound Action Area during a ceremony in Bremerton. The others: City of Bremerton Public Works & Utilities/Wastewater Treatment Plant, which reduced sewer overflows by 99 percent from the 1990s to 2009; Kitsap Golf & Country Club, which restored nearly a quarter-mile of Chico Creek with a more natural meander, new side channels and additional large woody debris; Kitsap Home Builders Association, for its efforts to promote low-impact development; Kitsap Conservation District, which increased the number of rain garden installations from three in 2010 to 34 in 2011; and Kitsap Sun environmental reporter Chris Dunagan, for his reporting on complex topics and for advocating for responsibility, action and science-based solutions.

"Your work is significant locally. Be assured that it also makes a regional difference," said Ron Sims, former King County executive and a member of the Partnership's Leadership Council. "Without your efforts, the regional Puget Sound recovery effort would exist only as a vision, not a reality."

Of the Poulsbo engineering department's efforts, the Partnership reported:

"Since 2007, the City of Poulsbo Engineering Department and City Engineer have been the driving force behind the design and installation of nearly 7,000 linear feet of pervious sidewalks in addition to pervious bike lanes, parking lots and a linear rain garden. Poulsbo is also scheduled to break ground this winter on the largest low-impact development project in its history: the installation of bioretention cells and tree box filters on Anderson Parkway, the largest single impervious surface in the downtown core that discharges untreated stormwater to Liberty Bay. Beneficial water quality impacts are expected to be immediate and substantial."

The honorees are partners with the West-Central Local Integrating Organization Network, one of 10 local watershed-based groups the Partnership works with to help set priorities for local programs and projects. Awards were presented by Sims and Anthony Wright, the Puget Sound Partnership's executive director.

"These efforts show how local efforts can make a positive impact on the future of Puget Sound's health," Wright said. "The success of the regional recovery effort relies on the hard work of talented and dedicated people making tangible improvements in their counties, their cities and their own backyards."

The Puget Sound Partnership is the organization leading the recovery of Puget Sound. The Partnership is a state agency that coordinates the efforts of citizens, governments, tribes, scientists and businesses to set priorities, implement a regional recovery plan and ensure accountability for results. For more information, go to www.psp.wa.gov.

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