Puget Sound Innovation Stories

Depave Puget Sound

Project Summary

Nonpoint sources of pollution, such as stormwater runoff, are the biggest threats to Puget Sound water quality. Polluted stormwater carries toxins, nutrients, sediment, and bacteria to Puget Sound where these pollutants affect aquatic life and public health. Depave Puget Sound is aimed at removing excess pavement in urban settings and replacing it with community greenspace, raingardens, or other low impact development that reduce impervious surfaces that provide natural filtration of stormwater. This project supports community lead efforts to remove pavement and create vibrant new green space that improves water quality as well as health and well-being, and engages a broader audience in restoring Puget Sound.  Three Depave implementation projects, including one out of jurisdiction “train-the-trainer” project will inform the development of a digital tool-kit to help other organizations start their own Depave program. Through Depave, community space can be transformed from a paved hard surface to a beautifully landscaped green space where rain water can soak into the ground instead of carrying pollution to Puget Sound.

For more information, watch a video about Depave Puget Sound.

Expected Results from this program

  • Removal of 15,000 — 30,000 square feet of pavement in areas of Tacoma, Puyallup, and Seattle
  • Builds raingardens to filter stormwater runoff
  • Installation of cisterns capture roof runoff to be used to water gardens
  • Estimated 720,000 gallons of stormwater infiltrated through greenspace or raingardens supported by this program
  • Approximately 2,000 plants and 70 trees planted along streets to filter runoff
  • Engagement of over 200 volunteers
  • Development of a Technical Assistance Guide for Depave projects and/or low impact development projects

Multiple Benefits

  • Depave Puget Sound is a community driven effort that relies on both public and private partnerships across multiple jurisdictions in Puget Sound
  • This project directly supports three National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit holders in Puget Sound enhance implementation of stormwater management projects
  • The creation of a Technical Assistance Guide offers a robust manual on implementing pavement removal and low impact development retrofit projects to local jurisdictions in Puget Sound


  • Congressional District: 6, 7, 9, 10
  • Legislative District: 11, 25, 27, 28, 29, 30, 32, 34, 36, 41, 45, 46, 47, 48
  • WRIA: 8, 9, 10, 12
  • County: King, Pierce


  • Pierce Conservation District
  • EPA National Estuary Program
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • The Rose Foundation
  • City of Puyallup
  • City of Tacoma
  • King County Department of Natural Resources
  • King Conservation District
  • Stewardship Partners
  • Sustainable Seattle
  • The River Network
  • Washington Conservation Commission

Project Funding

  • EPA National Estuary Program $242,000
  • The Nature Conservancy $30,000
  • The Rose Foundation $9,250

More Info

Publish Date: June 13, 2018