I can’t begin to estimate the number of times I’ve typed “Kitsap County Surface and Stormwater Management Program” over the past 20 years in stories about pollution in Kitsap County and the need to clean up local waterways.
But my typing fingers are already offering thanks for a new, shorter name, which will no doubt save some ink as well.
We won’t be talking about the “swim program” anymore when trying to pronounce the abbreviation, SSWM. I hope we won’t need any abbreviation for the new name, which is “Clean Water Kitsap.”
“Clean Water Kitsap” nicely wraps up the goals and image of the long-running program with just three words. It’s a good name with an up-to-date style.
This is the program that collects stormwater fees from properties in unincorporated Kitsap County and uses the money to track down pollution, reduce stormwater and help people do the right thing. The spirit of the program is captured in a new video you can see on this page.
Four agencies receive portions of the stormwater money and coordinate their efforts to clean up our local waters. Here is a short summary of what they do:
Kitsap County Public Works (Stormwater Program): Maintenance of public stormwater systems, inspection of private systems, upgrades to regional systems, street sweeping, watershed monitoring and public education.
Kitsap Public Health District: Countywide monitoring of streams, lakes and bays; pollution identification and correction programs; pollution advisories; public-health investigations; and septic system education.
Kitsap Conservation District: Farm-management assistance and planning; rain garden and green infrastructure grants and assistance; and backyard habitat grants.
WSU Kitsap Extension: Training for stream stewards, beach watchers and rain garden professionals; and coordination of various volunteer projects.
I wrote about the newly approved name Clean Water Kitsap in November (Kitsap Sun, Nov. 29, 2013, subscription), when officials began planning on how they would roll out the new name and logo. Some people wanted to start using the name right away, but organizers kept a lid on it.
As of today, the new name is official and will be used with a new logo. A new website is coming.
I wrote a brief story for tomorrow’s newspaper (Kitsap Sun, May 22), but I could not attend today’s dedication because of other reporting commitments.
From a news release from the county, we get these quotes:
Kitsap County Commissioner Linda
“It seems fitting that we are making this change in 2014, at the 20-year mark of this innovative and nationally-recognized program. It is built upon partnerships between agencies, volunteers and community groups.”
Kitsap County Commissioner Rob Gelder:
“Our community may not know what their stormwater fees pay for or think about stormwater management every day. But, Kitsap residents benefit every day – rain or shine.”
The site of the dedication was an overhauled stormwater pond north of Silverdale. The pond, with 2,000 young plants, will increase stormwater storage by 20 percent and provide habitat for birds and other wildlife.
Chris May, manager of the county’s Stormwater Program,
speaking of the revamped pond :
“Thanks to the Public Works crews for transforming this ‘water prison’ to a water quality improvement project for Clear Creek and a community amenity. As we move to greener stormwater solutions, it’s facilities like this that will help restore our streams and Puget Sound.”