TOTE installs industrial rain garden (4/19)

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Seafarers-contracted Totem Ocean Trailer Express has issued the following news release, dated April 19:


Totem Ocean Trailer Express, Inc. Installs First Industrial Rain Garden in South Sound


Tacoma, WA – The Puget Sound region’s first industrial rain garden became a reality on April 19 with a planting event at the Totem Ocean Trailer Express (TOTE) terminal at the Port of Tacoma.


The rain garden, which features almost 600 native plants, is designed to filter pollutants from water that runs off building rooftops. Plantings included coast strawberries that were generously donated by The Tacoma Garden Club.


TOTE’s rain garden was installed with help from the non-profit Stewardship Partners, which is working with Washington State University to install 12,000 rain gardens in the Puget Sound region over the next five years.


“TOTE’s leadership putting in one of the first industrial rain gardens in the region, serves as a great example of what we believe will be many more to follow as businesses recognize the outstanding value and return on investment rain gardens provide,” said David Burger, Stewardship Partners executive director.


The rain garden is expected to eliminate more than 80 percent of the heavy metals in the stormwater that otherwise would flow into Commencement Bay. The annual rainfall collected and filtered by TOTE’s rain garden is estimated to be over a quarter million gallons.


“TOTE achieves three objectives with this rain garden,” said Rand Lymangrover, TOTE’s terminal, environmental and security manager. “It improves stormwater quality, it demonstrates to others in the industry that it works, and it helps beautify our site.”


“We appreciate TOTE’s continued leadership and initiative in creating economic and environmental vitality in our community,” said John Wolfe, Port of Tacoma’s chief executive officer. “This project demonstrates how creativity and partnerships continue to make Tacoma a great place to do business.”


About Totem Ocean Trailer Express, Inc.
Totem Ocean Trailer Express, Inc. (TOTE) is a privately owned shipping company operating roll-on/roll-off cargo vessels between the ports of Tacoma, Wash., and Anchorage, Alaska, since 1975. Recent environmental awards won by TOTE include: 2010 World Trade Center-Tacoma’s Globe Award for Community Vitality; 2008 Washington Recycling Association Recycler of the Year Award; 2007 Tahoma Environmental Business Award; 2006 Washington Governor’s Award for Pollution Prevention and Sustainability. For more information on TOTE, please visit


About Stewardship Partners
Stewardship Partners is a non-profit environmental leader in the Puget Sound region with a decade long track record of helping individuals, communities and businesses find the best solutions to achieve environmental protection. We are partners with Washington State University on the groundbreaking “12,000 Rain Gardens in Puget Sound” campaign. Our work helps to restore fish and wildlife habitat, improve water quality, protect open space, and "green up" the built environment while maintaining working landscapes of farms, forestland, and livable communities throughout the State. For more information please go to:


About the Port of Tacoma
The Port of Tacoma is an economic engine for South Puget Sound, with more than 43,000 family-wage jobs in Pierce County and 113,000 jobs across Washington state connected to Port activities. A major gateway to Asia and Alaska, the Port of Tacoma is among the largest container ports in North America. The Port is also a major center for bulk, breakbulk and project/heavy-lift cargoes, as well as automobiles and trucks. To learn more about the Port of Tacoma, visit


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