background preloader

New Fund Will Help More Seattle Residents Build Rain Gardens

New Fund Will Help More Seattle Residents Build Rain Gardens
RainWise garden Image by Lisa Stiffler Seattle’s RainWise rain garden program is spreading green stormwater solutions across the city, but the rebate program has been out of reach for some homeowners with more modest incomes. While RainWise offers generous reimbursements—$4,600 on average for the installation of rain gardens and cisterns—the homeowner has to pay for the work upfront, then wait up to two months for the program to pay them back. It’s an expense that not everyone can shoulder. A new financial program called the Green Infrastructure Rebate Advance Fund (GIRAF) should remove that hurdle by bridging the payment gap. A separate access fund will also provide small grants to partially pay for projects near the Duwamish River that cost more than the city’s rebate. RainWise “is definitely an exciting success story,” said Aaron Clark, the driving force behind GIRAF and program manager for the non-profit Stewardship Partners. Seattle rain garden image by Lisa Stiffler

Related:  Built Environment | NewsClimate & Energy | NewsPeter's Picks

Vulcan Real Estate Makes News by Going Salmon Safe Tuesday, 07 July, 2015 13:31Last Updated on Tuesday, 07 July, 2015 13:32Written by Stewardship Partners On June 8th, 2015, Vulcan Inc. announced its Commitment to Action with the Clinton Foundation’s Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) for urban watershed protection and restoration through sustainable development practices that align with Salmon-Safe environmental certification. The public announcement occurred in early June at the CGI America 2015 conference in Denver, Colo., which brings together various leaders from across industries for a think-tank style multi-day engagement focused on developing solutions for economic growth. At CGI America, Ada M.

Volkswagen's appalling clean diesel scandal, explained It sounds like the sinister plot of some straight-to-DVD movie. Since 2009, Volkswagen had been installing elaborate software in 482,000 "clean diesel" vehicles sold in the US, so that the cars' pollution controls only worked when being tested for emissions. The rest of the time, the vehicles could freely spew hazardous, smog-forming compounds. Suffice to say, regulators were livid once they caught on. Last Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency announced that Volkswagen had very flagrantly violated the Clean Air Act. Not only did the EPA order the German firm to fix the affected vehicles — which include diesel TDI versions of the Golf, Jetta, Beetle, and Passat — but the agency could end up levying fines as high as $18 billion.

Zero Counties in the U.S. Have Enough Housing for Families in Extreme Poverty From Portland, Oregon, to Portland, Maine. From Jacksonville to Juneau. No matter where you look, there isn’t enough affordable housing. Without exception, there is no county in the U.S. that has enough affordable housing. Seattle 2030 District Releases New Strategic Plan High Performance Building Districts At our Summer Reception, the Seattle 2030 District unveiled a new Strategic Plan to make substantial progress toward achieving our ambitious energy efficiency, water and commuting goals for existing and new buildings. The Board has adopted two strategic priority areas – transforming our buildings and transforming our market.

The EPA's big crackdown on smog, explained The lobbying battle over smog has been one of the most bitter environmental fights of the Obama era. Public health advocates have long argued that cities like Los Angeles still have dangerous levels of smog, a leading cause of respiratory illness for millions of Americans, and have pushed to tighten existing rules. Industry groups, meanwhile, have been adamant that doing so would be exorbitantly expensive. On Thursday, the Environmental Protection Agency finally weighed in, setting brand new standards on ground-level ozone pollution, the key ingredient in smog. And the Obama administration appears to have largely sided with industry on this.

Implementing Stormwater and Erosion Control Best Management Practices - Forester Network Concluding this three-part series on stormwater and erosion control standards of professionalism, author Jerald S. Fifield further discusses concepts of professional integrity derived from an educated understanding of S&EC components and follow-up accountability toward project implementation. Despite a diversity of professional backgrounds—whether the credentials originate in engineering disciplines or the field of environmental sciences—professional certification, a thorough understanding of planning and regulatory requirements, as well as experience in stormwater and erosion control practices hold such professionals accountable. Are Professional Engineers Qualified to Develop, Sign, and Review Sediment and Erosion Control Plans?

Do You Live in a Resilient City? Climate Change, Resilience, Revalue Ecosystems, Secure Livelihoods, Transform Cities A version of this post originally appeared on 100 Resilient Cities. 1. Your commute options aren’t limited to a car. Nation's water challenges are many, but so are the solutions This Friday, Sept. 4, 2015 photo shows construction of the Carlsbad, Calif., desalination plant between Interstate 5 and the Pacific Ocean. Climate change and drought have stretched water supplies from coast to coast. The vast majority of 50 state water officials surveyed by the federal government expect shortages to affect them over the next 10 years. This map shows where your state’s oysters are in trouble This story is reproduced here as part of the Climate Desk collaboration. When carbon dioxide emissions from power plants and cars rise into the atmosphere, they don’t always stay there. While the majority of these emissions hang around to create the greenhouse effect that causes global warming, up to 35 percent of human-made carbon falls into the ocean. When that happens, the pH level of the ocean drops, causing a phenomenon known as ocean acidification.

The home that pays its own utility bill (and then some) Imagine opening your monthly utility statement to find a check instead of a bill. That dream may become a reality as more architects design buildings that generate more energy than they use. In Britain, the first low-cost version of just such a home is opening Thursday, marking the country’s initial forays into an emerging global market for so-called energy-positive or net-positive housing – solar-powered homes so efficient, they can generate more power than they consume. It’s the gold standard for green homes, and a concept that has begun to take off around the world.

‘Rebuild by Design’ Joins 100RC to Bring Collaborative Research & Design-driven Approaches to Cities 09.30.15 | By 100RC Facebook Twitter NEW YORK (September 30) – Rebuild by Design, the international design competition tasked with developing innovative plans to protect New York from another Superstorm Sandy, will now join 100 Resilient Cities (100RC), an organization pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation, to help export the cutting edge program to cities in the 100RC network around the globe. By joining 100RC, Rebuild by Design will bring best-in-class design and research-driven processes to cities to ensure their long-term resilience. 100RC will direct and deploy the Rebuild by Design model under the new joint venture, and Rebuild by Design staff and management will participate as part of the 100RC prioritization process.

States, Cities Brace for Global Warming Fallout A cyclist and vehicles negotiate heavily flooded Miami streets last September during heavy rains and high tides, illustrating the city’s vulnerability to rising sea levels. Florida is among several states and communities that have begun to address the concrete effects of global warming. (AP) SAN FRANCISCO – Eroding beaches and the seawater that laps onto the Embarcadero waterfront during high tide—not to mention severe storm flooding—were sending a clear message to a city surrounded by water on three sides. San Francisco responded in September, when its Capital Planning Committee decreed that in all future construction projects, city and county agencies, including low-lying San Francisco International Airport, must acknowledge the rising sea level and come up with plans to adapt. The sea level around San Francisco rose nearly 8 inches during the last century, and it is projected to rise by as much as 55 additional inches by 2100.

Tuhoe and NZ's first 'living building' In my work we collaborate with local Tangata Whenua frequently and I love it. I particularly like how Maori take a long-term view when it comes to decision making, rather than the 'boom and bust' mentality that sees so much destruction of our natural resources. While Maori may not have as much experience dealing with the Western system of education, finance and economy - and some mistakes are inevitable when learning something new - they certainly have a deep spiritual connection to the land which informs their approach. Will California redouble its push for clean energy? It all rides on this upcoming vote. It's difficult to overstate how important California is to the US clean energy effort. For decades it has been serving as a kind of existence proof, growing its economy even as per-capita energy use and carbon intensity have fallen. (CA Senate) Every year, the market researchers at CleanEdge put out a Cleantech Leadership Index, ranking US cities and states on a range of more than 70 indicators, from renewable energy deployment to VC investment to clean energy patents to green buildings and more. Here are the overall top 10 states from 2010 on: