Pierce County Levee Setback Planning

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Pierce levee setbacks.jpg

The Puyallup River is the primary drainage channel for the Puyallup Watershed, which drains the west and northwest sides of Mount Rainier and surrounding foothills. The Carbon and White Rivers are the major tributaries of the Puyallup River. The Puyallup Rivers has been confined by revetments and levees to reduce flooding and to open the floodplain to rural, industrial and residential development since about 1906. Most sections of the Lower Carbon and White Rivers have been similarly confined since the mid-1960’s.

Pierce County Public Works and Utilities, Water Programs Division (Pierce County) contracted GeoEngineers, Inc. (GeoEngineers) to conduct a Levee Setback Feasibility Study for portions of the Puyallup, Carbon and White Rivers in Pierce County, Washington. The study was made possible by a grant from the Salmon Recovery Board (SRF Board) in 2005. Pierce County intends to use this study as a tool to evaluate the feasibility of 32 setback projects that would best reestablish dynamic channel forming process and recapture lost flood storage. The study also assesses which levee setback projects are best suited to restoring salmon habitat and salmon recovery. The 32 projects include 20 sites along the Puyallup River, 6 sites on the Carbon River and 6 sites on the White River. The study area is shown on Figures 1 and 2.