Written by Bob Carey, Strategic Partnerships Director
Maps by Erica Simek-Sloniker, Visual Communications
Floodplains by Design, a public-private partnership aimed at revolutionizing river management across Washington, came together in 2012 with the goal of making our communities safer and rivers healthier. It started as a concept: get the leaders of programs and interest groups that influence coastal and riverine floodplains out of their silos, have them work together to figure out how to manage these landscape in a collaborative, integrated fashion, and we’ll collectively do a better job of delivering society’s goals of reduced flooding, stronger salmon runs, clean water, economic development and a high quality of life.
Floodplain managers of various sorts – county flood managers, tribal fisheries biologists, agricultural drainage districts, conservationists, etc. – embraced the concept, having seen the folly of trying to “control rivers” and the inefficiency of trying to manage only one cog in a complex social and environmental landscape. In 4 short years the concept has evolved into a broad partnership – a “movement” in the words of one local partner. The “movement” has benefitted from strong support from the state legislature which has given $80M to the Washington Department of Ecology for the new state Floodplains by Design grant program.
Erica Simek Sloniker, Cartographer and Visual Communications specialist for The Nature Conservancy, has produced a map series that documents the evolution from concept to movement. The initial 9 Floodplains by Design demonstration projects were funded by the state legislature in 2013. 2014 brought 13 more and 2015 another 7. Earlier this year, the Department of Ecology received 56 proposals for the next round of funding – an indication of the strong interest in joining this river revolution.
For more information visit www.floodplainsbydesign.org .
Snohomish County farmers take part in advocacy after participating in a Photovoice project.
hanksgiving Day floods found many people evacuating their homes around Puget Sound and fish searching for quiet places to get away from fast-moving floodwaters.
How do we solve big flood events? By listening and learning from each other.
Floodplains are all around us, quietly at work, providing rich soil for our farms, habitat for our salmon and beautiful backdrops for our lives.
Help us celebrate Bob Carey's tenure by learning more about some of the projects Floodplains by Design has inspired and supported across the state.
We are hopeful for the future of the Puget Sound. The Puget Sound Partnership is providing impetus for us and many others to seek new solutions for the sound's health.
As important as estuary and floodplain restoration is to the health of Puget Sound’s water, salmon and people, it is rare to be able to fully document project outcomes.
Through a series of workshops, seven farmers from the Stillaguamish and Snohomish valleys joined together and shared their photos, their messages and discussed their hopes, dreams, challenges and solutions for the future.
Tribes, commercial food producers and the conservation community are coming together to work on a prototype manure processor designed to convert dairy wastewater into valuable products, helping the environment, farmers and communities.
Today, at both the state and federal level, we face very challenging fiscal and political conditions that are putting conservation funding at risk.
We’re focusing much of our work to ensure that rivers and floodplains are managed in a way that people and nature can thrive. But what is a floodplain?