Sno-Stilly Riparian Zone Management Strategy

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Snohomish riparian zone management pilot.png
Efforts linked to Snohomish Coordinated Investment
This is an evolving long-term project led by NOAA Restoration Center that aims to integrate multiple efforts to cultivate a more comprehensive riparian zone management strategy in the Snohomish-Stillaguamish lowlands, that integrates Salmon Recovery and TMDL implementation with farmland preservation and regulatory coordination as part of Coordinated Investment efforts.

This work follows some initial collaboration between SCD and NOAA in the Working Buffer Pilot Project. It has been running parallel to Snohomish Agricultural Resilience efforts led by SCD, which includes the Snohomish Farmland Protection Strategy work built around mapping and prioritization by PCC Farmland Trust and supported by the Snohomish Sustainable Lands Strategy.


  • Snohomish CD secured NEP funding for a planning phase and the County and NOAA have pledged technical assistance.
  • We have assembled REFERENCE MATERIALS (see below) that inform riparian zone management in the Sno-Stilly lowlands.
  • We have developed a preliminary Geographic Information System to support discussion, decisions, and quantification (see below).
  • We have had an initial "meet and greet" with riparian zone field staff from Snohomish County (including Surface Water Management and Weed Control), Snohomish Conservation District, Tulalip Tribes, Stillaguamish Tribe of Indians, and Sound Salmon Solutions, which are the primary riparian zone project managers in the Sno-Stilly lowlands.

Geographic Information System

To support discussion, analysis and quantification of riparian zone work, NOAA staff are developing a multi-scale riparian zone geodatabase, using best available local data sources to explore how we ask questions about the riparian zone, and how broad strategies defined by legal mandates translate into a detailed understanding of local landscapes.

GIS study has been limited to lowland sub-basinsThe current model combines waterbodies, waterway lines, and topographic flow pathways into a riparian netowrkWhen combined with catchment analysis and high-resolution land cover and development data, we can characterize durable units to develop and quantify riparian zone management

Contact for data sharing.


Reference Materials

Stillaguamish River strategies build on Recovery planning and TMDL temperature analysis.

Snohomish River work builds on Salmon Recovery Planning, Pilchuck River Watershed assessments, French Creek Watershed analyses, and the impending Temperature and Fecal Coliform TMDL.