The MRC’s concerns about water quality and storm water contaminants prompted the MRC to initiate a multi-year effort to install rain gardens in high priority locations.
Rain running off roads and driveways flows into storm drains that discharge to local streams and bays. This stormwater often carries pollutants and contaminants such as heavy metals, fertilizers, oil and pet waste. Rain gardens are designed to catch the first flush of run-off during a rainstorm, which carries the highest levels of pollutants, and hold it temporarily in bio-retention basins. The water filters through special soils that hold onto pollutants and plant roots absorb excess nutrients, reducing contaminated runoff before it reaches our bays and recharging the groundwater. See WSU Rain Gardens for more info about why rain gardens are such effective filters.
MRC funds served as leverage for broader community support. WSU Extension, City of Port Townsend, Jefferson County, the Port of Port Townsend, Port Townsend Marine Science Center, Jefferson Community School and individual citizens are all helping to build rain gardens.