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Coronavirus COVID-19

COVID-19 Advisory: WSU Extension is working to keep our communities safe. All Extension programming is being provided virtually, postponed, or canceled. Effective March 16, 2020, WSU Extension county offices and WSU Research & Extension Centers will be closed to the public. We are available via email, phone, and webconference.


Program Contact: Erica Guttman, Senior Extension Coordinator & Educator
(360) 867-2164 •

WSU Extension Thurston County Water Resources programs provide outreach and educational services to the communities we serve. Our research-based publications and workshops offer practical guidance for protecting natural resources associated with streams, rivers, lakes, wetlands, estuaries and marine waters. Topics of special interest include:

Pacific Northwest Clean Water Challenge

This is an effort to challenge ourselves to take positive steps to protect our environment. Our water provides recreation opportunities, economic resources, wildlife habitat, drinking water, and natural beauty. The Challenge is supported by the Pacific Northwest Regional Water Program.

Landscaping and Water Quality

Native plants play an important role in protecting water quality. Attend a workshop or view an educational video to learn how to plant native vegetation effectively on your property.

Rain Gardens

These attractive landscape features capture and hold rain and storm-water runoff, and reduce the amount of pollutants flowing into surface waters. Rain gardens are a great tool for homeowners seeking an affordable, low-tech way to improve water quality and prevent soil erosion. View our educational videos to learn how to build rain gardens and design landscapes that protect Washington’s water.

Realtor Education

Professional development courses are offered periodically for real estate professionals interested in water resource issues related to homes and property development.

Septic Systems

The Public Health and Social Services website is a great resource for Thurston County residents looking for information on septic system inspection, maintenance and permitting.

Shoreline Living

Those of us who live on the shores of streams, rivers, ponds and bays can help protect water quality by limiting fertilizer use and planting native vegetation along slopes and beaches. Visit the Shoreline Living website to learn more.

Washington’s Water

This web site is the gateway to WSU Extension statewide water programs and resources. This site also links to the Pacific Northwest water program. Check it out! Technical assistance for specific water quality issues is available for residents, watershed groups, and professionals who live and work in Thurston County. For more information contact Bob Simmons, Regional Water Quality Resources Extension Agent.