Volunteer Programs

In the City of Des Moines there are a number of ways individuals or groups can help protect and restore our natural surface water resources. By volunteering you can help make a difference in the health of our streams and the Puget Sound.

Storm Drain Marker Volunteer Program (Age 15 and older)
Did you know runoff from the storm drain system is not treated before it reaches our creeks, wetlands and the Puget Sound? When it rains, water runoff collects oil, pet waste, grease, soaps, and sediment. Where it then enters into the storm drain system, polluting the surface water and the environment.

The Surface Water Management Department is looking for Storm Drain Marker volunteer(s) to place "Puget Sound Starts Here" markers near neighborhood storm drains in our community.
Puget Sound Starts Here

You or your organization can help raise public awareness, protect our water quality, and reduce the amount of pollution by participating as a volunteer in this program. This activity normally takes place during spring and summer. You can spend as much time as you wish and choose the area you want to mark. Instructions, maps, and storm drain marking supplies will be provided.

For more information on volunteering or to report an illegal discharge, please call Michael Posey at (206) 771-0167 or email.

Join your neighbors in adopting a storm drain to protect the environment and help prevent flooding. Keep your neighborhood clean and protect Des Moines creeks and the Puget Sound.


Tips for Clearing a Storm Drain:

  • Use tools to help you clean! A broom, dustpan, rake, trash grabber, and work gloves can help you safely clean your drain
  • Never remove the grate or otherwise attempt to clean inside a storm drain. Clean only the top of the storm drain grate and area around it
  • Safety first! If possible, clear the storm drain before it starts raining. Try to stand on a curb when cleaning the drains, not in the street. Never use your bare hands to move debris.
  • Make sure to sort any materials you clear. To dispose of waste, separate it into three categories and place in the appropriate receptacle: garbage (polluted street leaves, trash, and other debris), recyclables (clean glass, plastic bottles, and cans) and compostables (leaves, grass clippings, and sticks). When in doubt, throw it in the trash.
  • Track your impact on the adopt-a-drain website! Report the amount you collect at least twice a year – at the start of winter and at the end of spring – by logging in your account and clicking on “track your impact”.  If you take any great photos while you are out there cleaning, share them with us by sending them to [email protected].

Friends of Des Moines Creek
Since 1999, Friends of Des Moines Creek has partnered with community volunteers to remove invasive weeds, replant natives, and maintain and protect the Des Moines Creek buffer. Please contact Laura Hartema to inquire about ongoing volunteer opportunities.

Beach Naturalist Program
Beach Naturalists are local citizens who care about Puget Sound beaches and want to protect them. More than 100 Naturalists have volunteered to help people learn about and enjoy area beaches this summer.
Beach Naturalists know their beach. They can help you enjoy the beach without harming it. They can tell you what sea stars eat, why barnacles stand on their heads and how moon snails lay their eggs. Children are especially welcome!
For more information on King County Beach Naturalist Program, go to their website.