Impact Report: WSU Wildfire Response

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WSU Wildfire Response Download as PDF By The Numbers 1,541 fires burned across 1.1 million acres in Washington. 25 fires required state fire mobilization. The Washington Emergency Operations Center was activated for 43 days. 12 fire management assistance grants were approved. Washington fires resulted in a Presidential Emergency Declaration and a Presidential Disaster Declaration. Extension leadership provided the initial funding to support development of 2 support teams. 2016 Issue

During the summer of 2015 more than 1,541 fires burned in excess of 1.1 million acres across Washington. Tribal and county leaders were scrambling to meet the needs of … » More …

Impact Report: Residential Low Impact Development Program

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Residential Low Impact Development Program


By The Numbers

  • 13 six-session classes with 160 participants.
  • 528 Master Gardeners trained.
  • 34 community workshops for more than 620 people.
  • 15 tours/field days with more than 580 people.
  • Displays and outreach materials at 12 events engaging 2,750 people.
  • 10 grants/contracts contributing more than $100,000.

Collaborative Program between WSU and Washington Sea Grant


Preventing pollution from stormwater runoff is one of the top three priorities for Puget Sound. Stormwater runoff comes from many sources including traditional residential landscaping practices, which can contribute excess runoff containing nutrients, pesticides, and sediment to fresh and marine water bodies. Many local, regional, and state plans encourage and require alternative low-impact residential practices designed to reduce these water quality and quantity impacts.

Many studies and feedback through focus groups, assessments, and surveys indicate that helping people understand what changes are needed and overcoming barriers to making those changes require a variety of actions. The purpose of this program is to increase homeowner knowledge, commitment, and implementation of behavior changes in order to reduce impacts associated with residential landscaping practices in Whatcom County.

Washington State University Whatcom County Extension is uniquely supported in implementing this and other water resource programs through an ongoing partnership with Washington Sea Grant.


The Residential Low Impact Development (LID) program began in 2008 with public workshops and a Master Gardener training. Initial and ongoing assessment work over subsequent years guided the expansion of the program to include:

  • Bi-annual 6-session classes engaging participants through presentations, hands-on demonstrations, tours, site assessments, pledges, and incentives.
  • Stormwater management strategies for landscaping in annual Master Gardener trainings and participation in local and regional advanced trainings.
  • Workshops for multiple community groups.
  • Development of a sustainable landscaping manual and a series of media presentations.
  • Creation of multiple interactive dioramas for local and regional use.
  • Development of outreach materials including posters, brochures, and displays.

» More …

Impact Report: Riparian Grazing and Water Quality Protection

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Riparian Grazing and Water Quality Protection Download as PDF By The Numbers 2011-12 Western Center for Risk Management Education grant: $62,977. 2015 Western Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education mini-grant, professional development: $2,500. Registration fees for workshops: $3,100. 1 peer-reviewed journal article (Hudson, T.D., 2015). 9 educational videos. Over the last 5 years, Tip Hudson conducted more than 30 educational events with more than 1,000 individuals communicating water quality risk management principles and practices. 2015 Issue

Acute social and legal conflict over regulation of non-point source pollution related to livestock in Washington State strains proactive efforts … » More …

Impact Report: Low Impact Development and Stormwater Management

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Low Impact Development and Stormwater Management


By The Numbers

  • 73 grant-writing workshop participants.
  • More than 300 annual LID training class participants.
  • 4 grant writing workshops, 2 LID workshops, and several presentations on LID techniques.
  • 4 training videos on Low Impact Development for eastern and western Washington.


The need for strong and consistent stormwater management is evident in our waterways. Stormwater runoff is the primary transporter of toxic, nutrient, and pathogen pollutants to surface and groundwater resources. In many cases, state-mandated stormwater permits require those in the regulated community to meet permit limits designed to better protect our water resources. Municipalities, as well as industrial and business sectors, often turn to consultants for technical know-how to meet permit requirements. The federally mandated National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System stormwater permits are complex and broad reaching, and can be challenging to implement. Also, each time the permits are reissued, there are additional requirements that can create new challenges.


The Washington Stormwater Center formed in 2010 with the mission to protect Washington’s waters through improvements in stormwater management, serving as the central resource in Washington for education, permit technical assistance, stormwater management, and new technology development. The Center strives to provide assistance, information resources, and training on stormwater management, while also serving as a gateway to research, information, and innovative technologies. The expertise of project partners and the full-scale demonstration and research areas at the WSU Puyallup Research and Extension Center provide a place for training and comprehensive testing of technical solutions.

In addition to providing assistance to municipalities, business, and industry, the Center serves a coordinating role to house the Technology Assessment Protocol – Ecology program, and provides new tools and resources to better understand and control stormwater runoff. The Center played an integral part in developing a statewide Low Impact Development (LID) training plan that is now being used as a guide for Ecology and the state legislature in ensuring that all pertinent audiences in the state receive the training needed to meet new stormwater regulations and codes. This plan was used by the Washington State Department of Ecology, along with a consulting group, to host 64 trainings across the state for stormwater professionals.

Work completed at the Center includes:

  • Partnering with jurisdictions to develop 6 stormwater products ranging from an online decant facilities map to an LID comparative cost analyses report;
  • The successful design, development and implementation of the first Washington State Municipal Stormwater Conference attended by more than 400 Washington stormwater professionals;

» More …

Impact Report: Forest Stewardship and Health

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Forest Stewardship and Health Download as PDF Empowering family forest landowners to become experts of their properties By The Numbers 1,200 feet of the Dungeness River have been improved by in-stream habitat construction and stream-side vegetation plantings. More than 10,000 landowners have executed fire hazard risk-reduction practices. This equates to $97 million in firefighting costs if the land were to burn. 2014 Issue

There are approximately 215,000 family forest landowners that control 5.8 million acres in Washington, making them the largest private land user group in the state. These forests contribute significantly to environmental, … » More …

Impact Report: Voluntary Stewardship Program

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Voluntary Stewardship Program Download as PDF By The Numbers On May 16, 2011, Governor Gregoire signed ESHB 1886, creating the Voluntary Stewardship Program. 28 of 39 Washington counties participate. Washington’s 2013-15 state budget included $246,000 to implement VSP in Thurston and Chelan Counties. $1 million was set aside to be used statewide if federal funds were received for the program. The federal Farm Bill designated $100 million specifically for programs like VSP. Chelan and Thurston Counties have begun implementation of the VSP. In 2015, the Washington Legislature provided full funding for VSP at $7.6 million, … » More …

Beach Watchers

We are members of communities around Puget Sound who are dedicated to learning about its creatures, landscape and natural resources so that we can better protect this priceless heritage.

Columbia Plateau PM10 Project

A multi-disciplinary team of scientists working to provide significant insight and quantification on wind erosion and dust emissions from farm fields and the potential impacts to people living downwind. The project continues to identify or develop sustainable practices that will reduce dust emissions from agricultural soils as well as to develop the capabilities to predict blowing dust events. As a result, decisions by farmers and agencies are being made from solid science.

Extension Forestry

The WSU Forestry and Wildlife Extension program provides education and information about forest management to private forest landowners as well as the general public. We offer classes, workshops, and field days as well as publications, videos, and online resources to help you achieve your goals as a forest owner.