South Central Action Area Caucus Group

Building Cities in the Rain

A South Central LIO NTA started this innovative project, which addresses challenges of ensuring compact growth in urban areas while still managing stormwater needs. The Department of Commerce leads a broad-based committee developing recommendations for a stormwater control transfer program designed to help restore priority basins while addressing stormwater. New draft guidance is planned for release in summer 2015.

Implementation of Salmon Habitat Plans

The South Central LIO is home to three salmon recovery watersheds: WRIA 8, WRIA 9, and WRIA 10/12.  All three have been working hard with numerous stakeholders to implement their recovery plans.

Since 2005, we have completed 49 projects from the plan and initiated an additional 51, resulting in:

  • 2,625 acres protected through acquisition or easement
  • More than 450 acres of riparian area planted/treated
  • Nearly 1 mile of levees removed or set back
  • More than 73 acres of floodplain reconnected
  • More than 8,000 linear feet of lakeshore restored

Since 1998 more than 80 projects and 14 programs have been completed or are in progress, resulting in:

  • 918 acres protected through acquisition or easement
  • More than 61 acres of riparian area planted
  • 6,200 feet of levees removed or set back
  • More than 57 acres of floodplain reconnected
  • 3,000 linear feet of marine shoreline restored
Since 1999, more than 56 projects have been completed with 21 projects either underway or proposed for 2015, resulting in the following in the Puyallup Watershed:

  • More than 150 acres of riparian area planted
  • More than 584 acres of floodplain reconnected
  • More than 21,820 linear feet of levee setback or removed
  • More than 1,257 acres of floodplain property acquired

Information for Improved Decision-Making

South Central LIO partners have collected data and tested strategies to help improve recovery actions, including completion of several large NEP-funded research grants:  

  • Estimating the costs of stormwater infrastructure needed to restore water quality and flow in WRIA 9.
  • Enhancing and standardizing benthic macro-invertebrate monitoring (BIBI).
  • Evaluating effectiveness of rural land use regulations in protecting water quality.
  • Identifying methods and metrics to monitor aquatic habitat in small wade-able streams, fostering adaptive management.
  • Modeling toxic contamination reduction and source control needs to eliminate fish consumption advisories in Lake Washington.
  • Assessing how human activities affect nitrogen loading and dissolved oxygen levels in Quartermaster Harbor (a shallow marine estuary) so water quality can be improved.
  • Implementing a new approach to encouraging riparian stewardship among landowners along 16 miles of the lower Cedar River.
  • Creating a Green Shores for Homes rating system to encourage shore-friendly development;
  • Developing and evaluating strategies for model flow control measures for creeks.
  • Advancing the Don’t Drip and Drive social marketing program so that it is ready to be a major regional effort to improve vehicle owners’ awareness of leaks and motivate them to fix their leaks.
  • Demonstrating significant improvements in water quality outfalls in Tacoma, including 89 to 98 percent reduction in three PAHs at all seven outfalls. Tacoma attributes this success to its aggressive source control and enhanced maintenance programs.

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