Skip to main content Skip to navigation
Washington State University

Water Resources

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.

Green Stormwater Infrastructure (GSI)

GSI is a stormwater management strategy that emphasizes conservation and use of existing natural site features integrated with distributed, small-scale stormwater controls. These implementations more closely mimic natural hydrologic patterns in residential, commercial and industrial settings. GSI practices include the installation of rain gardens. Washington State University and Stewardship Partners are leading a groundbreaking campaign to install 12,000 rain gardens in the Seattle/Puget Sound Region.

Real Estate Professionals Accredited CE

Professional development courses are offered periodically for real estate professionals interested in water resource issues related to homes and property development. Please contact Bob Simmons or Erica Guttman.

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.

Shore Stewards

Residents, farmers, and businesses join Shore Stewards to learn better ways of managing their own land to protect local waters and preserve critical habitat for fish, wildlife and birds. Visit the new Shore Stewards website, download the new updated booklet:  Guide for Shoreline Living or watch the new Shore Stewards TV playlist.  No volunteer commitment required. Click here 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.