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Posted on January 28, 2022 at 3:18 PM by Camila Matamala-Ost
As the 2022 gets underway, the Pierce Conservation District (PCD) is planning for a greener future in the new year. After receiving over sixty applications for the new Green Stormwater Mini-Grant, PCD is pleased to award $60,000 to sixteen projects in Pierce County’s most urban watersheds. In 2022, PCD will work with grant recipients to plant seven rain gardens, remove 1,200 square feet of pavement, convert 5,000 square feet of lawns into urban wildlife habitat, and install five rain tanks to harvest rainwater. Combined, these projects are expected to keep 2 million gallons of polluted stormwater runoff out of the environment every year.
When rainwater falls on impervious surfaces (like buildings, roads, and turf lawns), the water flows over these surfaces and picks up pollution along the way, creating a toxic soup that goes untreated into local creeks and streams, eventually reaching the Salish Sea. Scientists estimate that 75% of pollutants in Sea come from stormwater runoff. Prior to urban development, trees and native plant communities soaked up the rainwater and infiltrated it in the soil. Green stormwater projects like those funded with by the mini-grant program mimic and use nature to clean polluted water and reduce the amount of runoff during heavy rain events.
Polluted runoff comes from all our homes, neighborhoods, and communities, but projects and funding to address stormwater haven’t been applied equitably across Pierce County. As part of our effort to be a more equitable and just organization, PCD prioritized projects located in and serving communities that have been historically disinvested in. As a result of this prioritization, ten of the sixteen projects are located in an under-served neighborhood and eight of the grant recipients are people of color. Many of these projects will also engage neighbors and community members, allowing PCD to reach even more people and help with even more projects.
Demand for grant funding far exceeded PCD’s expectations, and the District plans to provide funding for additional grants next year to meet this demand. To receive notifications of when PCD will be accepting a new round of grant applications, sign up for PCD’s newsletter.
Tag(s): Water Quality, Stormwater Mini-Grant, Stormwater Grant, Mini Grant