Most salmon migrate through salt water and fresh water in their lifetime, but did you know there are certain types of salmon that are landlocked? The City of Sammamish happens to be home to one of these landlocked salmon called the kokanee salmon, also referred to as the “little red fish.” Triangle Associates was hired by the City of Sammamish through a King Conservation District Grant to provide both school and community outreach to help protect waterways and these local rare fish.
In fall 2015 Triangle taught a “Healthy Watersheds, Healthy World” classroom workshop to students in elementary schools throughout Sammamish and hosted a community events booth at events such as a kokanee fry release at Lake Sammamish State Park, Sammamish Farmers Market and the Sammamish Days summer festival. The educational materials and activities were consistent with, and helped raise awareness of, the regional stormwater committee’s (STORM Committee) Puget Sound Starts Here campaign and also supported the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit requirements requiring the City of Sammamish to provide education and outreach related to improving stormwater quality. School-age children are one target audience that is important for desired behavior changes. Classroom workshops and community events allowed the greatest success at reaching this target audience.
As a result of this fall outreach, 168 families and community members signed a written pledge to make at least one behavior change in order to prevent stormwater pollution, and an additional 28 families provided written reports of over 300 actions they took in the fall of 2015 that prevented stormwater pollution. The classroom workshops were successful with 100% of participating teachers stating, on written feedback forms, that they strongly agreed that these workshops enhanced student understanding of stormwater issues, increased student knowledge of kokanee salmon and their habitat and promoted positive behavior change relevant to the daily lives of students and their families.
Triangle is excited about the potential to continue collaborating with Sammamish in an effort to inspire more community members about the positive actions that will help protect our local waterways and the unique “little red fish.”