Environmental Coalition of South Seattle Programs
ECOSS is unique in serving a diverse spectrum of the community from small and mid-size businesses, individual homeowners, refugee and immigrant communities and the South Park Neighborhood of South Seattle.
All of the work that we do revolves around working together to create a cleaner, healthier and economically thriving Puget Sound.
ECOSS divides its work into three key areas to accomplish this vision, each area consists of unique strategies, activities and goals.
Through our work we hope to see the following changes:
- Clients integrate sustainable practices into day to day operations and long-term business plans.
- Businesses reduce their carbon emissions, waste tonnage, water and energy use.
- Businesses prevent stormwater pollution by implementing stormwater plans and training staff.
- Immigrant and refugee individuals and families reached by our Multi-Cultural Outreach Team are educated and made aware of environmental toxic hazards present in homes, businesses and the surrounding environment.
- A reduction in health disparities due to environmental factors amongst low-income and new immigrant populations in the Puget Sound region.
- Low-income communities are reached through our Powerful Neighborhoods outreach efforts, resulting in energy and water conservation behavior changes and adoption of green practices.
- ECOSS will assist in the development of a healthy and vibrant South Park community and business district.
- Work with communities and partners to redevelop brownfield sites throughout King County.
- Steward volunteer and community building projects that make South Park a better place to live, work and play.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
In 2014, ECOSS’ programs reached more than 12,000 individuals and businesses, providing underserved communities with the education and resources that will yield immediate benefits. Recent program highlights have included:
Healthy Homes Program
The Healthy Homes Program reached 500 members of the Burmese, Bhutanese, and Somali communities in 2014 with free training, information, and green cleaning kits in an effort to address indoor air pollution. The program seeks to increase awareness, improve indoor air quality, and prevent harmful health effects associated with indoor air pollution of indoor air quality issues among the area’s low-income, refugee, and new immigrant communities.
Healthy Vietnamese Nail Salons
The program has trained hundreds of salon owners and nail technicians as well as beauty school students who are seeking employment in the industry about toxic hazards associated with the industry and how to prevent exposure.
ECOSS’ stormwater programs help to save Puget Sound and prevent the re-contamination of the Duwamish Waterway. In 2013-2014, ECOSS served 1,840 businesses through the Spill Kit program, which provides assistance in determining where stormwater goes, creating a plan to prevent spills, providing a free spill kit, and training employees on how to respond to a spill. 24% of these businesses were reached through multicultural outreach. In addition, ECOSS offered a series of stormwater workshops, including several targeting Spanish-speaking businesses.
Making South Seattle RainWise
ECOSS seeks to beautify South Seattle neighborhoods while also diverting water stormwater drains and watersheds in partnership with RainWise, a King County and Seattle Public Utilities rebate program. Through this partnership, 20 rain gardens and 16 cisterns added to South Park and Highland Park neighborhoods in 2014. ECOSS is also partnering with community groups in South Park and Southwest Seattle to design and build rain garden demonstration sites and outdoor learning spaces at the New Hope Mosque and the White Center Salvation Army Community Center. These gardens will help to beautify the landscape, improve stormwater management, and educate all ages about water issues.