Puget Sound Innovation Stories

Floodplains By Design

Floodplains by Design began with $500,000 in U.S. Environmental Protection Agency funding in 2012, and since then Floodplains by Design has invested more than $80 million in Puget Sound floodplain projects. This collaborative effort has brought local and tribal governments and state agencies together to reduce flood hazards, restore habitat, and sustain local communities.

While floodplains deliver a wealth of benefits, the Floodplains by Design partnership recognized floodplain management had not kept pace with our growing communities. To improve flood protection and water quality, restore salmon habitat, support agriculture, and enhance outdoor recreation, the Floodplains by Design partnership has undertaken the following:

  • Provided $80 million for projects, revitalizing key Puget Sound rivers, including the Cedar, Dungeness, Green, Skokomish, Stillaguamish, Nooksack, Snohomish, Snoqualmie, Skagit, and Puyallup
  • Constructed 5 miles of new, state-of-the-art flood control levees
  • Removed 500 tons of garbage and hazardous waste from Puget Sound floodplains
  • Undertook 29 projects in ten major floodplains
  • Helped remove 430 residences from high flood-risk areas

Funding Sources:

  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • Washington State Legislature
  • State, local, and private funding

Congressional Districts: 1, 2, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10


  • Washington State Department of Ecology
  • Puget Sound Partnership
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • Numerous local and tribal governments
  • State and federal agencies
  • Conservation districts
  • Private organizations

Ecy-FbD-Skokomish Flooding Dec 9, 2015 (9)Ecy-FbD-Puyallup Side Channel Project 4-2014 (1)

Photo credits: Washington State Department of Ecology

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Publish Date: April 20, 2017