Kitsap County News

  
12/5/2017

(Seattle, WA) – Kitsap County was awarded a green star on Nature's Scorecard for embracing a healthy and more sustainable future. Puget Soundkeeper and the Washington Environmental Council released Nature's Scorecard Nov. 28 as the first comprehensive assessment of holistic health and water-quality planning in cities and counties around Puget Sound. The report highlights municipalities that exceeded requirements and recognizes ten "green star" communities, including Kitsap County and the city of Port Orchard. 

As part of stormwater permitting and under the authority of the Clean Water Act, 81 cities and counties across Puget Sound were required to update their code to make low-impact development (LID) principles and practices the preferred and commonly used approach.

"In Kitsap, we have developed a culture of viewing water as a resource," said Charlotte Garrido, chair of the Kitsap County Board of Commissioners. "A low-impact development approach allows us to work with the rain, rather than against it. This approach protects, restores, conserves, and reclaims our water -- and this scorecard helps us know exactly where we stand in our region."

The scorecard recognizes Kitsap County as a leader in LID practices, noting the county took the permit requirements to heart, submitting 90 pages of amended code and making significant progress in the ways communities are planned, designed and built. The scorecard shows fewer than half of cities and counties round Puget Sound have made meaningful changes with 15 percent completely failing to meet requirements as of Dec. 1.

"Recovering Puget Sound must include transforming how we manage stormwater as a region," said Mindy Roberts, program director of People for Puget Sound at the Washington Environmental Council. "We are inspired by our cities and counties who are truly stepping up and taking responsibility for protecting community health and local waterways."

Low-impact development techniques include rain gardens, buffers around paved areas, permeable pavement, and preserving existing plantings on development sites. Soundkeeper and the Washington Environmental Council won legal decisions in 2008 and 2009 requiring that LID be incorporated into state permits for managing stormwater.

To see the full scorecard go to https://naturesscorecard.com/scorecard/ . For information on low-impact development practices, visit the Kitsap Conservation District or Kitsap County Department of Community Development.

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