Sept. 22-24: Public invited to help plan for sea level rise

By Scott Weybright, College of Agricultural, Human & Natural Resource Sciences

hope-hui-risingSEATTLE – Community workshops to design a “blue greenway” to help the South Park and Georgetown neighborhoods adapt to rising tides associated with climate change will be held Sept. 22-24 at Seattle Community College’s Georgetown campus in C222.

Sessions will be 6-9 p.m. Sept. 22 and 23, 1-4 p.m. Sept. 23 and 9 a.m.-noon Sept. 24. Each workshop will host design game tables where high school and college students can participate with community members, stakeholders and design professionals.

“Our generations have contributed to climate change,” said Hope Hui Rising, director of the Water Urbanism Lab at Washington State University. “We hope to involve more young people in climate adaptation by having local experts and residents design side by side with high school and college students.”

To RSVP for one of the workshops, or for a link to the project website, please email

Homes and businesses in the Seattle neighborhoods experience basement flooding and sewage backup during high tides. Salt in the Duwamish River’s rising brackish water is likely to expedite the release of toxic substances in the neighborhoods’ contaminated soils, Rising said. This will increase the amount of toxic sediment and contaminated water in the river.

The lab is working with WSU water and engineering researchers to develop an amphibious green street prototype for detoxing contaminated soil and water without producing polluted soil for landfill disposal. The prototype could help minimize sewer overflow and the need to dredge toxic sediment from the river.

In addition, it could be part of a sustainable model of urban resiliency when implemented with a sewage treatment system that generates biofuel.

The project is part of WSU’s climate-sensitive water urbanism studio course taught by Rising, who is assistant professor of landscape architecture in the School of Design and Construction. The concept draws inspiration from San Francisco’s Blue Greenway (

Learn more about Rising’s work at


Hope Hui Rising, WSU School of Design and Construction, 503-962-0220,