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County receives $8.5M grant for floodplain restoration work along the Lower Skykomish River

EVERETT, Wash., January 12, 2022Snohomish County’s Community Floodplain Solutions (CFS) program received a second grant of $8.5 million from the Washington State Department of Ecology’s Floodplains by Design program. The 2021 grant furthers the integrated floodplain management work that was funded in 2019 for the Skykomish River near the cities of Sultan and Monroe and expands this work further downstream in the Snohomish Watershed through 2025.

“Integrated Floodplain Management requires years of planning and cooperation between multiple agencies and willing landowners,” said Department of Conservation and Natural Resources Director Tom Teigen. “The second Floodplains by Design grant allows capital projects to move beyond the initial scoping and design phase toward construction and completion so that we may help bring relief to flood-impacted residents and local farmers while also supporting endangered fish and wildlife.”

The next phase for CFS will expand opportunities for more willing landowners and begin implementing conservation and floodway improvements where voluntary easements and acquired land allow. Specific actions planned for the 2021-2025 grant cycle include: 

  • Provide permanent flood risk reduction and improved protection for up to 1200 acres
  • Reconnect and enhance about 200 acres of floodplain habitat
  • Protect and enhance 554 acres of agriculture land 
  • Provide opportunities for other land use types, such as passive recreation

“These collective actions require acquisitions and other land use agreements to establish a footprint where projects can begin,” said CFS Program Manager Jessica Hamill. “Thanks to this additional funding from Floodplains by Design, we have the ability to offer more landowners the option to divest from high-risk areas, recoup income for unusable land, and find ways to reduce losses to agriculture land and river habitat.” 

CFS partners (Snohomish County Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Snohomish Conservation District, Washington Farmland Trust and Tulalip Tribes) are working with willing landowners to develop a multiple-benefit easement and acquisition strategy along the Skykomish River that will target properties with the highest risk of repetitive flood loss and the greatest potential for farmland preservation and salmon recovery. Interested residents should call 425-262-2443, email, or visit the CFS Interactive Project Map.

About Snohomish County Conservation & Natural Resources

The Snohomish County Department of Conservation & Natural Resources (DCNR) includes the Division of Surface Water Management; the Division of Parks, Recreation and Tourism; the Office of Energy and Sustainability and the Office of Agriculture. DCNR works in support of thriving communities; a clean and healthy environment to foster environmental stewardship; ensuring food security; supporting a green economy, and strengthening communities by providing regional parks and infrastructure; protecting the region’s water, air, land and natural habitats; enhancing agriculture and recreation; and reducing flooding.

Content Source: Snohomish County Govt.

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