Floodplains by Design - Success Stories

Location: Calistoga Reach, Orting, WA  |  Photo Credit: Keith Lazelle

The Washington State Legislature is considering a $50 million budget proposal to fund projects following the Floodplains by Design approach. If approved, we could see more of our local river communities taking this ecosystems approach to floodplain management.  We recommend you read two local sucess stories for projects completed in Pierce and King County.


In case you missed it –  in this recent article, Joe Pestinger, the mayor of Orting, Washington, remembers the flooding events from the past as he describes the success of the Calistoga Reach Floodplains by Design project. One year ago, in March 2014, this Pierce County town took action to safeguard its community and downstream neighbors from the flooding waters of the Puyallup River. By widening the river, this project allows the water to spread out and run more slowly past Orting. Not only does this protect human lives and local infrastructure from floodwaters, the river’s ecosystem now enjoys over 100 additional acres of habitat!

Another local success for the Floodplains by Design initiative is the Rainbow River Bend Floodplain Restoration project implemented along the Cedar River in King County. Take a look at this fantastic video documenting the benefits this project provides to the local residents and salmon populations.

The Nature Conservancy, Washington State Department of Ecology, and Puget Sound Partnership collaboratively lead the Floodplains by Design partnership and support projects along Washington's rivers.

For more information on Floodplains by Design, we recommend this animated video produced by the partnership to explain their approach and purpose.


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