Western Washington was one of four regions recognized in the Tuesday joint announcement by the Interior Department, EPA and NOAA. The federal government is highlighting these regional efforts to showcase how partnerships can help prepare vulnerable lands for the effects of climate change.

Share story

The federal government on Tuesday recognized two collaborative efforts in Western Washington that seek to conserve, restore and make lands more resilient to climate change.

In the Puget Sound region, federal, state and county agencies are partnering to improve coastal watersheds. In the Snohomish River watershed, governments, tribes and nonprofits are working to restore and increase the storage capacity of flood plains and revive tidal wetland habitats.

Western Washington was one of four regions recognized in the Tuesday joint announcement by the Interior Department, EPA and NOAA. The federal government is highlighting these regional efforts to showcase how partnerships can help prepare vulnerable lands for the effects of climate change.

In the Pacific Northwest, those effects include saltwater intrusion into freshwater zones because of rising sea levels, longer and more intense winter flooding and earlier spring runoffs because of warmer temperatures, according to Mike Stevens, director of Nature Conservancy in Washington state.

In Snohomish County, tribes are working with farmers on a range of projects, including turning cattle manure into biogas, improving drainage on some farm land, and converting other acreage into fish habitat.

“We’re trying to prepare for the future under changing-climate conditions,” said Terry Williams, a member of the Tulalip Tribes. “In the Snohomish River Delta, we are getting 500-year floods more frequently, early spring flooding and early drought.

“Its’ the relationships that we are most concerned about, building them with the farmers.”

The Tuesday announcement also recognized landscape partnerships in The Great Lakes, Southwest Flordia and Hawaii.