Title

The Snohomish River Estuary: Restoration, Conflict, and Compromise

Presenter Information

Anthony Braun

Document Type

Oral Presentation

Location

SURC Ballroom C/D

Start Date

15-5-2014

End Date

15-5-2014

Keywords

Restoration, Hydrology, Salmon

Abstract

The Snohomish River is a commercially and historically important river in central Snohomish County, Washington. In the early 20th century, the islands of the river’s estuary were diked to prevent tidal flooding and provide land for the agricultural needs of the county. Modification of tidal flow has changed the estuary by removing salmon rearing habitat, damaging native wetlands, and preventing natural tidal movements. Snohomish County, and the City of Everett, moved to reestablish the wetlands and marshes that made up the estuary in order to revive important habitat. In the late 20th century, restoration efforts began, and levees were breached to allow for a more natural tidal movement. However, political lines are being drawn between those in favor of continued restoration efforts and those that advocate for future growth and development. Republican groups have fought against restoration to preserve farmland and the growth of industry in the estuary. Meanwhile, the majority Democratic Snohomish County pushed strongly for restoration. This case study seeks to examine multiple factors, including land ownership, land use, and hydrology to make recommendations in order to create a compromise that will preserve farmland and industry while allowing for restoration of the Snohomish River estuary. Geoprocessing of aerial imagery and digital vectorization of map features will be conducted to examine infrastructure risks if proposed restoration projects take place. Along with raster registering and vectorization, hydrological modeling of tidal flow will be used to digitally alter tide levels to examine how water level rise will effect the landscape.

For this presentation, Anthony Braun received a College of the Sciences Best Poster Presentation Award for 2014.

Poster Number

27

Faculty Mentor(s)

Lipton, Jennifer

Additional Mentoring Department

Geography

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May 15th, 11:30 AM May 15th, 2:00 PM

The Snohomish River Estuary: Restoration, Conflict, and Compromise

SURC Ballroom C/D

The Snohomish River is a commercially and historically important river in central Snohomish County, Washington. In the early 20th century, the islands of the river’s estuary were diked to prevent tidal flooding and provide land for the agricultural needs of the county. Modification of tidal flow has changed the estuary by removing salmon rearing habitat, damaging native wetlands, and preventing natural tidal movements. Snohomish County, and the City of Everett, moved to reestablish the wetlands and marshes that made up the estuary in order to revive important habitat. In the late 20th century, restoration efforts began, and levees were breached to allow for a more natural tidal movement. However, political lines are being drawn between those in favor of continued restoration efforts and those that advocate for future growth and development. Republican groups have fought against restoration to preserve farmland and the growth of industry in the estuary. Meanwhile, the majority Democratic Snohomish County pushed strongly for restoration. This case study seeks to examine multiple factors, including land ownership, land use, and hydrology to make recommendations in order to create a compromise that will preserve farmland and industry while allowing for restoration of the Snohomish River estuary. Geoprocessing of aerial imagery and digital vectorization of map features will be conducted to examine infrastructure risks if proposed restoration projects take place. Along with raster registering and vectorization, hydrological modeling of tidal flow will be used to digitally alter tide levels to examine how water level rise will effect the landscape.

For this presentation, Anthony Braun received a College of the Sciences Best Poster Presentation Award for 2014.