French Slough Drainage Management

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French Creek ditch network
This effort is linked to Coordinated Investment pilot work

This was an initial effort in regulatory coordination in floodplains. This effort was focused on drainage maintenance in floodplains areas of the French Creek Watershed managed by the French Slough Flood Control District, however the purpose of the effort was to make multi-agency regulatory review in floodplains more predictable, efficient, and lead to improvement of ecosystem functions. French Creek drainage permits provide an opportunity to begin evaluating the actual business of floodplain regulation, starting on improving predictability and efficiency in the regulation of agricultural systems. The District ultimately declined to have their maintenance efforts serve as a pilot for regulatory coordination, and so the project was aborted. Learning was used to inform a Agricultural Drainage Symposium 2019 hosted by WSU Extension.


Additional materials on the overall system are curated on the French Creek Watershed page


  • Efficiently complete permitting on agricultural drainage maintenance operations that are protective of trust resources.
  • Develop relationships and situational understanding that sets us up for future efforts that resolve French Creek floodplain habitat problems.

Situation Notes

  • WDFW has signed a 5-year HPA (see above).
  • The French District has submitted a JARPA for activities negotiated under the programmatic HPA, that JARPA was closed but may be reopened.
  • The Snohomish Sustainable Lands Strategy is providing support for this effort.
  • An ad hoc workgroup has developed a work plan for developing coordinated assessments to support projects like French Slough.