Event Title

Implementing early, on-the-ground, actions to support farmer engagement: The Farming in the Floodplain Project

Presentation Abstract

The Farming in the Floodplain Project (FFP) is an effort to engage farmers in the Clear Creek area, just east of Tacoma, in the planning and design of a multiple-benefit floodplain reconnection project. The FFP sought to document technical information on the needs of the agricultural community in the area so that those needs can be incorporated into the project. As one technique to encourage farmer engagement and to support agricultural viability, the FFP sought out visible and effective “early wins” and on-the-ground actions. Over the past 2.5 years, the FFP has identified and helped implement several early actions to support agricultural viability in the Clear Creek area, based on recommendations from technical reports and ongoing conversations with the agricultural community and stakeholders in Pierce County, as well as those representing habitat needs. The early actions were each implemented collaboratively and benefited both agricultural viability and salmon habitat, which is helping to facilitate conversations, build trust, and improve cooperation between farmers, the County, and habitat interests. In response to farmers’ need for better agricultural drainage, the FFP conducted an inventory of the drainage system in the area, which led to a project to plant 1.4 acres of native plants along 2,000 feet of the drainage system to shade out reed canarygrass and other invasive aquatic plants. Another technical memorandum assessed the tide/flood gates where Clear Creek enters the Puyallup River. Due in part to the FFP's leadership, Pierce County and the Port of Tacoma have implemented several of the memorandum’s recommendations, improving conditions for drainage, habitat, and flood risk reduction. As Pierce County begins to develop an official planning Strategy for the Clear Creek area, positive engagement with the agricultural community will hopefully lead to better outcomes, including continued utilization of the high-quality soils in the area for agricultural purposes.

Session Title

Understanding What Matters to Agricultural Poducers

Conference Track

SSE2: Collaboration and Engagement

Conference Name

Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference (Seattle, WA : 2018)

Document Type

Event

SSEC Identifier

SSE2-189

Start Date

5-4-2018 2:30 PM

End Date

5-4-2018 2:45 PM

Type of Presentation

Oral

Contributing Repository

Digital content made available by University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Geographic Coverage

Salish Sea (B.C. and Wash.)

Rights

This resource is displayed for educational purposes only and may be subject to U.S. and international copyright laws. For more information about rights or obtaining copies of this resource, please contact University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA 98225-9103, USA (360-650-7534; heritage.resources@wwu.edu) and refer to the collection name and identifier. Any materials cited must be attributed to the Salish Sea Ecosystem Conference Records, University Archives, Heritage Resources, Western Libraries, Western Washington University.

Type

text

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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Apr 5th, 2:30 PM Apr 5th, 2:45 PM

Implementing early, on-the-ground, actions to support farmer engagement: The Farming in the Floodplain Project

The Farming in the Floodplain Project (FFP) is an effort to engage farmers in the Clear Creek area, just east of Tacoma, in the planning and design of a multiple-benefit floodplain reconnection project. The FFP sought to document technical information on the needs of the agricultural community in the area so that those needs can be incorporated into the project. As one technique to encourage farmer engagement and to support agricultural viability, the FFP sought out visible and effective “early wins” and on-the-ground actions. Over the past 2.5 years, the FFP has identified and helped implement several early actions to support agricultural viability in the Clear Creek area, based on recommendations from technical reports and ongoing conversations with the agricultural community and stakeholders in Pierce County, as well as those representing habitat needs. The early actions were each implemented collaboratively and benefited both agricultural viability and salmon habitat, which is helping to facilitate conversations, build trust, and improve cooperation between farmers, the County, and habitat interests. In response to farmers’ need for better agricultural drainage, the FFP conducted an inventory of the drainage system in the area, which led to a project to plant 1.4 acres of native plants along 2,000 feet of the drainage system to shade out reed canarygrass and other invasive aquatic plants. Another technical memorandum assessed the tide/flood gates where Clear Creek enters the Puyallup River. Due in part to the FFP's leadership, Pierce County and the Port of Tacoma have implemented several of the memorandum’s recommendations, improving conditions for drainage, habitat, and flood risk reduction. As Pierce County begins to develop an official planning Strategy for the Clear Creek area, positive engagement with the agricultural community will hopefully lead to better outcomes, including continued utilization of the high-quality soils in the area for agricultural purposes.