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Environmental Coalition of South Seattle 

Description

Founded in 1994, ECOSS has provided free education, resources and technical assistance to diverse regional businesses, multicultural communities, individuals and governments to promote opportunities to achieve a healthy environment and encourage urban redevelopment. As a result of our work, we have been recognized at the local, state and national level for our continued commitment to creating cohesion between groups with diverse interests in the pursuit of a common goal a thriving community.

In 1999, ECOSS expanded its services to non-native English speaking populations in and around the city of Seattle, a group traditionally underserved in terms of access to environmental health information and resources. The ECOSS Multi-Cultural Outreach Team made up of a diverse set of native- and non-native-English speakers representing most (if not all) of the major cultural communities within the region, has accomplished what few other environmental organizations could claim: providing relevant, much-needed environmental assistance and culturally competent education to diverse communities.

Mission Statement
ECOSS is a nonprofit organization that encourages urban redevelopment and a healthy environment by providing education, resources and technical assistance to diverse businesses and communities in the Puget Sound region.
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Environmental Coalition of South Seattle
605 S. Riverside Drive 
Seattle 
WA
98108-4449 
(206) 767-0432 

Elizabeth Loudon 
Interim Executive Director 

Programs

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:

For Business
  • 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.  
For Home
  • 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.  
For Community
  • 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

Recent Successes
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. 

Stormwater Programs
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.

Evaluation


Environmental Coalition of South Seattle (ECOSS) has developed a niche in delivering environmental education to targeted audiences who otherwise would not likely receive this information. ECOSS is highly regarded for its work with the diverse communities of South Seattle, and has staff and Board reflective of these diverse constituencies.

Accessibility & Cultural Competency
The ECOSS For Home Program works directly with diverse communities to help them understand energy efficiency, green cleaning and water conservation. Many immigrant and refugee residents are still learning English and purchase most of their cleaning products based on what they see on television. ECOSS is able to speak to these groups in their own language to show them how they can make cleaner, safer and more affordable choices for their home.

Collaboration
Founded initially to work with communities in South Park, ECOSS now has programs throughout central Puget Sound and routinely partners with government agencies, ethnicity-based groups and social service organizations. As part of the GrowSeattle partnership with Seattle’s Office of Economic Development, enterpriseSeattle and others, ECOSS uses its strength of services to assist over 200 businesses in exploring and adopting sustainable practices.

Proven Success
In 2007 ECOSS received a multi-year grant from the EPA to improve working conditions in the Vietnamese nail salons in South Seattle. The program has been successfully training workers and owners of these salons on ways to reduce chemical exposure to their employees.

Grant History with The Seattle Foundation:

Grants Awarded through The Seattle Foundation Grantmaking Program:

DateAmountPurpose
3/10/2012 $10,000.00support general operating expenses.
6/26/2008 $15,000.00support general operating expenses.

Financials

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