In a pandemic year that’s turning life upside down and sideways, you’ve got to appreciate the simple things — and there are few simple pleasures better than those that summer brings. Warm days and late sunsets; getting outdoors and celebrating Washington’s breathtaking beauty; time with friends and family — moments more precious than ever in this year of isolation.
Of course, as your friendly neighborhood environmental protection agency, we at Ecology are working to protect those simple pleasures. Because summer is simply better when you can enjoy it with clean water, clean air and uncontaminated lands.
This week, we’re sharing some of the ways we enjoy summer and how we’re ready to give it a go in a 2020 we sure didn’t expect in 2019! Here’s a look at some of what we have in store on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
Washington has plenty of scenery, with mountains towering over the rest. To protect the state’s gorgeous vistas, we monitor and regulate air emissions that can cause haze.
Eastern Washington’s basalt cliffs, coulees and towers stand out especially well in the summer. We work with growers to manage smoke as they burn off field stubble and orchard prunings, mainly in the late summer and fall, so new cycle of crops can grow.
Wetlands are fun and interesting to see from a path or boardwalk. Many Washington wetlands are threatened by climate change and rising sea levels — a risk that drives our work to limit greenhouse gas emissions.
Green outside and indoors
Nothing’s better than a summer day on the water. We partner with boaters and other agencies to provide convenient, easy to use pump-outs wherever boating is popular. Kudos to boaters who use these facilities to keep bacterial pollution out of Washington’s waters!
Yardwork is a big part of summer, and that leaves a lot of clippings and trimmings. They make great compost, either on your own, or through curbside programs in many areas. Either way is a great alternative to burning.
Keeping homes and businesses clean is a key part of coronavirus protection. Safely doing so includes selecting cleaning products — such as those with EPA’s Safer Choice label — that are safe for the job and the environment.
We’re learning new ways to do old jobs. Summer is prime time for our Washington Conservation Corps' work to protect and restore the state’s environment and natural beauty. A portable handwashing station is one way crew members stay safe on the job.
Late summer is a great time to study streams, because low flows can reveal the hydrology that shapes these water systems. If the study involves a fluorescent dye test, our scientists add a brief splash of color to the process.
Mask on, a stormwater inspector shares a selfie as she returns to field work. Like all of us, she’s ready for summer!