Stormwater Action Monitoring

The Stormwater Action Monitoring (SAM) brings together municipal stormwater permitees to collaborate on monitoring needs under the Western Washington municipal stormwater permits. SAM provides structure, transparency, and accountability for permittees and stakeholders.
The group aims to improve stormwater management, reduce pollution, improve water quality, and reduce flooding. They do this by working together to measure stormwater impacts on the environment and evaluate the effectiveness of efforts to manage stormwater.

What is SAM?

SAM is a collaborative, Western Washington regional stormwater monitoring program that is funded by more than 90 cities and counties, the ports of Seattle and Tacoma, and the Washington State Department of Transportation under the general municipal stormwater permits. This approach is unique since no other permit-driven monitoring in the state is defined and funded by permittees. Additional funds and in-kind are contributed by other Washington state agencies, federal agencies, local businesses, and community volunteers. 

All jurisdictions — large and small — can benefit from SAM projects that are designed to produce regionally transferable findings. All permittees implement SAM findings to protect downstream waters such as lakes, streams, and bays.

The Stormwater Work Group (SWG), a formal stakeholder group, provides leadership and oversight on SAM projects. The Pooled Resources Oversight Committee (PRO-C), a subgroup of the SWG, oversees Ecology's administration of SAM's pooled resources. Ecology serves to administer the SAM program, by managing funds and executing SAM contracts.

What is SAM's goal?

SAM's goal is to improve stormwater management to reduce pollution, improve water quality, and reduce flooding. To achieve this goal, SAM studies and projects target three broad strategic categories:

Effectiveness studies — How well are required or innovative stormwater management practices working? What are the most common types of pollution in stormwater and how can we improve treatment?

Status and trends studies  —  Are small streams and marine nearshore water quality is getting better or worse?

Source identification projects — What are the common sources of illicit discharges? What are some regional solutions for source control and elimination? 

SAM Round 4 project solicitation

SAM Round 4 request for proposals (RFP) is now open for new study ideas for stormwater effectiveness studies and source-identification projects. These studies will be funded with revenue collected under the municipal stormwater permits from 2022–2024. A new list of preferred study topics was generated for this round. See these SAM Round 4 guidelines for instructions and the topic list. 

Timeline starts January 2023.

Stage 1 Letters of intent (LOI)

  • Feb. 28, 2023 — LOIs from project proponent are due to SAM Coordinator. 
  • March 31, 2023 — SAM Coordinator provides feedback to all project proponents.

Stage 2 Full proposals

  • May 31, 2023 — Full proposals from project proponent due to SAM Coordinator.

Stage 3 Scoring of proposals 

  • July 31, 2023 — SAM staff coordinate for scoring and technical reviews by SWG study-selection subgroup, Ecology, and other regional experts. SAM staff will send reviews back to project proponents.

Stage 4 SAM Round 4 project-selection workshop 

  • Late August 2023 — SWG will invite study proponents to present their proposal at an in-person workshop . Hybrid meeting options will be evaluated.
  • Online voting by permittees that pay into SAM will follow the workshop one week later.  

Stage 5 SWG approval 

  • At their Nov. 15, 2023, meeting, SWG will decide which proposal will be SAM-funded.

Past workshops

SAM Round 3 project-selection workshop was Sept. 16, 2020, and was attended by more than 80 stakeholders. Proposed studies were presented to an audience of stormwater managers, permittees, and interested stakeholders. See the Round 3 final slides, summary of proposals, and workshop Q&A. SWG considered the subsequent permittee voting and sent SWG's Round 3 funding decisions to Ecology in November 2020.

Keep in touch

Join our SAM email list to receive:

  • Newsletters with the latest news on SAM projects and activities.
  • Fact sheets to help you make informed policy decisions.
  • Hear about upcoming symposiums or workshops.