|Regional Director Josh Baldi swims the Duwamish.|
The director of Ecology’s Northwest Region (Kitsap, King and counties north) donned the suit and slid into the water this week. He joined Mark Powell, who heads the Washington Environmental Council’s People for Puget Sound Program, in “Swim Duwamish.”
Powell, alone and sometimes with guests, has been swimming the entire 85-mile length of theGreen and Duwamish rivers a few miles at a time since last month. The swims are part of a campaign to draw attention to efforts – both under way and still needed – to restore and protect the river that begins in the Cascades as the Green and empties into Seattle’s Elliott Bay as the Duwamish. (The name changes in Tukwila.)
Swimming with the fishes
|Hundreds of stormwater drains enter the river.|
The swim began at the King County/U.S. Army Corps of Engineers North Wind’s Weir restoration site in Tukwila and carried the swimmers more than two miles to the South Park Bridge.
“We got a lot of looks and waves from people on docks and riverside trails,” Baldi added. “And we saw several pipes that feed stormwater into the river. That’s one of the concerns and challenges we face.”
The basin covers and drains mountain forests and descends through agricultural, suburban and industrial landscapes. The last five miles, the Lower Duwamish Waterway, is a Superfund cleanup site, overseen by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and supported by Ecology.
|A unique view from mid-stream.|
Local governments play a critical role through their stormwater programs in all parts of the state, and this is especially so in all parts of the Green-Duwamish system.
Ecology’s website offers details and links to information about the basin and the many efforts to restore and enhance its waters.