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Little Bear Creek Stormwater Management

Little Bear Creek Stormwater Management

Client: Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, Snohomish County, WA

Case Study: Peak developed a public engagement and outreach strategy for communities impacted by Little Bear Creek stormwater and flooding in Snohomish County. Our work on Little Bear Creek Watershed Management emphasized outreach and appropriate outreach materials to overburdened communities in the development of the Little Bear Creek Stormwater Management Action Plan.

The Little Bear Creek Watershed is approximately 8,550 acres or 13.4 square miles and located east of the cities of Bothell and Mill Creek and north of the City of Woodinville. The basin area has more than 5,000 households and is an important resource for fish, recreation, and open space.

During high runoff periods, areas in Little Bear Creek have been overwhelmed by stormwater. This can lead to backups that cause localized flooding or lead to greater runoff of contaminants such as trash, nutrients, sediment, or bacteria into local waterways. More frequent and intense downpours combined with stormwater and wastewater drainage can result in flooding which increases vulnerabilities for those living in affected areas. The additional cost of repair and rehabilitation, relocation of people, and removal of property from flood-affected areas can disproportionately impact overburdened and underserved communities.

Impact: Peak engaged the community through a virtual stakeholder meeting and in-person public meeting, flyers, and fact-finding with the community which informed the Little Bear Creek Stormwater Management Plan (SMAP) in fulfillment of their 2019-24 NPDES Phase 1 Permit requirements. Little Bear Creek Watershed Management involves the development of specific short-term and long-term actions to improve drainage, water infiltration, and water quality conditions as well as habitat and riparian conditions is of immense benefit. Reducing stormwater backups and localized flooding also reduces the risk of financial loss and disruption to overburdened and underserved communities located in affected areas of the watershed.

SMAP Fact Sheet Draft (Blue Map) (snohomishcountywa.gov)

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