Watershed Approach to Recovering Urban Streams: Developing and Implementing a Watershed Management Plan
Redmond's Watershed Management Plan was adopted by its City Council and was developed in partnership with the Washington State Department of Ecology. Redmond's stormwater utility is now in the process of implementing the program. This includes developing transparent tracking systems, detailed engineered implementation plans for select watersheds, effectiveness monitoring development, and regional collaboration on this approach.
The City of Redmond's Watershed Plan had the goals of 1) providing baseline scientific information for evaluating watershed potential; 2) prioritizing the Citys watersheds to identify where the greatest potential for response to rehabilitation efforts exists; and 3) Identify specific tools to rehabilitate priority watersheds in 50 years.
Once priority streams are identified, stream watershed specific planning efforts are needed to develop restoration plans. The objective of these plans is to identify retrofit projects that will make a positive impact on the watersheds at strategic locations. Once the City begins to build these retrofit projects, it becomes possible to take developer contributions from some development projects and use those funds in the targeted basins so that investments in stormwater controls are most effective in the priority basin.
A Stormwater Control Transfer Program is a mechanism that can be used under the framework of the Citywide Watershed Management Plan to focus construction of new stormwater controls within priority watersheds, without causing new harm to existing impacted streams. Such a program is not a relaxation of stormwater controls, but rather a targeting of improvements where the needs are the greatest.
Monitoring of the steams is an important adaptive management tool so that as retrofit projects are constructed, impact can be reported and the most effective types of projects will continue to be constructed in the future.
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