Snohomish Coordinated Investment Network
The Snohomish Coordinated Investment Network is an experiment in increasing state and federal agency coordination in support of local ecosystem recovery. Governance strategies are described on the Coordinated Investment page. These efforts are generally identified by the Snohomish Sustainable Lands Strategy, sponsored by Snohomish County, and supported by the Tulalip Tribes, Snohomish Conservation District, agricultural representatives, and other partners. Coordinated investment builds on the existing efforts of the Snohomish-Stillaguamish LIO, two Lead Entities, the Snohomish Marine Resource Committee, The Snohomish Sustainable Lands Strategy, and the Snohomish Agricultural Advisory Board. This local network is augmented by dedicated state and federal staff from NOAA, TNC, PSP, Ecology, WDFW and the Water and Salmon Grant Program Coordination workgroup.
The Snohomish Coordinated Investment proposal defines eight objectives for improved federal-state-local collaboration:
- A. Coordination Infrastructure - integrated place-based implementation workgroups
- B. Ecosystem Design Capacity - state and federal staff support design and construction projects
- C. Regulatory Efficiency - regulatory systems achieve net gain with local participation
- D. Funding Efficiency - resources support priority projects with the least waste
- E. Integrated Landscape Protection - integrated land use serves farm, fish and flood objectives
- F. Ecosystem Observation - collaborative observation of ecosystems to inform decision making
- G. Knowledge Management - shared systems for retaining and synthesizing knowledge
- H. Resilience Planning - climate change and disaster resilience integrated into planning
In the Snohomish, the following efforts are supported by coordinated investment. Items with a ** are focus efforts for coordinated investment:
1. Snohomish Delta Efforts
There are a series of efforts centered on the lower delta which will ultimately form the largest estuary restoration in Puget Sound.
- Smith Island Restoration - Tidal reconnection anticipated in 2018
- Mid-spencer Island Restoration - Increase connectivity at historical breach site across Steamboat Slough from Smith Island Site. Design and mobilization has been synchronized with Smith Island work.
- Snohomish Delta Ecosystem Monitoring and Evaluation - System-scale monitoring for adaptation
- Blue Heron Mitigation Bank - a project developed by Wildlands Inc, and enabled by a NOAA Habitat Equivalency Analysis that is the first site that allows for sale of both wetland and ESA mitigation credits.
- Evaluating Salmon Rearing Limitations in River Deltas - While centered on the Skagit Delta this effort enrolled four delta systems including the Snohomish to gather evidence of whether delta degradation is limiting chinook populations.
- Climate Change Impacts on Snohomish Agricultural Drainage - Develop Sea Level Rise Risk Evaluation tools in the context of long term delta management of the Snohomish Delta, and in support of the Snohomish Agricultural Resilience effort
- Snohomish Delta Story Map - A tool developed by ESRP for telling the history of delta management
- Ebey Island is a site with a long history entwined with restoration analysis, drainage maintenance, and agricultural land loss.
- Snohomish Diking District 6 is a derelict diking district with conceptual designs for restoration, but as of 2018 lacking a clear sponsor due to Snohomish County's entanglement in Smith Island.
- Several other completed restoration actions are scattered in the lower delta including Qwuloolt Restoration, Spencer Island Restoration, Union Slough Restoration, and the Marysville Mitigation Site.
- French Creek Drainage Management** - Initial regulatory coordination in floodplain wetlands converted for agriculture
- Lower Snohomish Reach Scale Plan - Defines net-gain strategy for Snohomish River Floodplain.
- Remlinger Farm Restoration - Multi-benefit project that adds robust buffer, and improves in-channel habitat, while reducing bank erosion. This should ultimately be rolled into a larger Sno-Sky Confluence Restoration effort which is emerging under the leadership of Dave Remlinger and the Tulalip Tribe
- Lower Skykomish Reach Scale Plan - Defines net-gain strategy for Lower Skykomish Floodplain
- Goose Island Reach Project is a scope of work described in a Snohomish County 2018 Floodplains by Design proposal which includes several miles of river downstream of Sultan.
- Skykomish Braided Reach Project is a complete and innovative effort to use "flood fencing" to drive gravel deposition to guild river evolution
The Lower Stillaguamish generally incorporates the estuary in the local vernacular.
- Stillaguamish Valley Protection Initiative - a developing effort to protect the farming landscape from residential development in a way that also supports restoration of fish habitats.
- Lower Stillaguamish Reach Scale Plan - an effort in integrate existing flood resilience, salmon recovery and agricultural protection work into a shared effort.
- There is a sequence of estuary restoration that is nearing completion, including in chronological order, Port Susan Restoration, Zis a Ba Restoration, and Leque Island Restoration.
- The Stillaguamish Tribe has been leading development of multi-benefit actions, largely funded by Floodplains by Design which includes flood hazard management associated with Irvine Slough, nutrient management innovation at the Visser Dairy, and work by the City of Stanwood on farmland protection, and shoreline redevelopment.
- Snohomish Railroad Grade Beach Nourishment - Range of efforts to enhance, monitor and enable beach nourishment led by the Snohomish Marine Resource Committee.
Snohomish County-Wide Efforts
Network-wide efforts support the development of local systems that in turn support multiple landscape workgroups. Development of a shared communications strategy is anticipated to improve transparency of agency activities.
- Snohomish Communications Coordination - Develop storytelling vehicles that express multi-benefit vision
- Snohomish-Stillaguamish LIO - A planning process to establish priorities and NEP funding priorities consistent with the Puget Sound Action Agenda
- Snohomish Agricultural Resilience - A long-term set of activities coordinated by the Snohomish Conservation District to support county-wide agricultural planning
- Snohomish Farmland Protection Strategy - A discrete project to develop decision support for farmland protection
- Sno-Stilly Riparian Zone Management Strategy - Provides a decision support basis for a riparian zone efforts that integrates Salmon Recovery and Clean Water Act authorities. Supports NEP easement acquisition.
- Snohomish Basin Hydrodynamic Modelling - A variety of efforts are resulting in an ad hoc agglomeration of models describing water flow.
- Culvert Replacement Regulatory Coordination** - an effort to reduce per-culvert transaction costs for regulatory review to accelerate recovery.
- Flood Management Integration** - a short term think tank established to identify strategies for integrating flood management agency resources and programs into local integrated floodplain design.
Regional Supporting Efforts
The following projects are anticipated provide value to local workgroups. A quarterly Steering Committee of agency leadership solves problems.
- Technical Assistance Registry - Identify agency labor resources (following the needs of place-based workgroups).
- Single Grant Schedule** - Water and Salmon Grant Program Coordination simplifies planning for project funding
- Multi-purpose Acquisition Toolkit** - Partners organize acquisition/incentive tools (anticipated to follow Stillaguamish Valley Protection Initiative
- Large Project Budget Standards** - Water and Salmon Grant Program Coordination supports development and funding of multi-benefit projects
- Sea Level Rise Risk Evaluation - Supports capital project risk assessment in River Delta, Beach and Embayment systems. This function may be provided by a recent NOAA funded project by UW SeaGrant.
- Working Buffer Pilot Project - Describe potential for multi-function near stream systems.