Urge King County Flood Control District to Develop a Habitat Friendly Plan
Flowing off Washington's Cascade Mountains, the Green-Duwamish River provides important habitat for chinook salmon — vital to local tribes and communities and critical to the diet of endangered southern resident killer whales (orcas). Salmon on the Green River have nourished generations of Native Americans and other local populations. It is a species that is iconic to the Pacific Northwest – culturally, economically and environmentally.
Industrial pollution and habitat degradation have reduced the historic Green-Duwamish salmon runs by as much as 90 percent. Two dams and extensive levee systems have resulted in a fragmented, channelized river. Meanwhile, the risk of flooding in the Green-Duwamish Valley is growing as storm frequency and intensity increases due to climate change. To address problems with flooding, the King County Flood Control District is developing a Lower Green River Corridor Flood Hazard Management Plan that proposes upgrading the levee system to provide 500-year flood protection along the river. The scope of the plan, as currently drafted, fails to include habitat restoration goals or specific habitat improvements as recommended by the adopted Salmon Habitat Plan.
More than $163 million has already been invested to restore salmon habitat in the watershed. The King County Flood Control District must build off these previous investments to strengthen their current Flood Hazard Management Plan and continue to restore salmon habitat. This is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to permanently increase salmon habitat along the Green-Duwamish, combating salmon and orca declines in the Puget Sound.
Please join us in asking the King County Flood Control District to develop a flood management plan for the Green-Duwamish River that supports the needs of people and salmon.