Puget Sound Innovation Stories

Sustainable Lands Strategy

The Sustainable Lands Strategy is a game-changing partnership in Snohomish County.

Historically, estuary restoration projects have been implemented without a clear vision of how those projects fit into the broader landscape with farming and flood control. Projects are often delayed and occasionally halted due to litigation and public concern. Over the past several years, however, groups who have traditionally opposed each other are coming together in Snohomish County due, in part, to the collaborative efforts of the Sustainable Lands Strategy.

The Sustainable Lands Strategy focuses on developing new, positive relationships between members of the agricultural and diking district communities, the Tulalip and Stillaguamish Tribes, the Snohomish Conservation District, state and federal agencies, and non-profit organizations. In building trust, respect, and willingness to listen to different perspectives, participants are able to work through the issues that, for years, have separated them and affected both human quality of life and environmental health. Recently, bread was literally broken as members from these different sectors attended a “farm to table” dinner, sitting down together to discuss their hopes for the future and the social as well as economic barriers that must be overcome—a gathering that would have been inconceivable only a few years earlier.

Funding Sources:

  • Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife
  • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration 

Congressional Districts: 1,2


  • Tulalip Tribes
  • Snohomish County
  • Snohomish Conservation District
  • Agricultural producers
  • The Nature Conservancy
  • Stillaguamish Tribe
  • Many other state, federal, local governments, non-profits, and individuals




Photo credits: Snohomish Conservation District

Further questions? Think you can use this as inspiration for your own project? Please inquire with:

Erik Stockdale–Special Projects Coordinator with Snohomish County Public Works


More Info

Publish Date: April 20, 2017
Restoration Focuses: Flood Control
Key Benefits: Community Engagement
Funding Sources: EPA