Climate Work in the Puyallup Watershed

FFTF Partners are committed to understanding the ways in which climate change will impact their work throughout the Puyallup River Watershed. This page provides information related to climate change studies being conducted and supported by FFTF partners.

Status: In-process

Scale and Extent: Watershed

Description: Quantify flood and sediment storage from proposed or potential setbacks as well as instream restoration in upland tributaries to compare to current and future flood volume and aggradation rates.

For more information, contact Guillaume Mauger, University of Washington Climate Impacts Group (UW CIG): gmauger@uw.edu

Status: In-process

Scale and Extent: Clear Creek

Description: Determine how often the salt wedge enters Clear Creek now and in the future.

For more information, contact Guillaume Mauger, University of Washington Climate Impacts Group (UW CIG): gmauger@uw.edu

Status: In-process

Scale and Extent: Lower to mid-river, site specific (Puyallup)

Description: Cross-section surveys where the river is confined between levees to capture changes in aggradation over time.

For more information, contact Helmut Schmidt  or Dennis Dixon at Pierce County: helmut.schmidt@piercecountywa.gov or dennis.dixon@piercecountywa.gov

Status: Planned

Scale and Extent: Watershed

Description: Determine future flood depth and extent for current conditions if all proposed setbacks are implemented with all man-made flood protections removed.

For more information, contact Helmut Schmidt or Todd Essman at Pierce County: helmut.schmidt@piercecountywa.gov or todd.essman@piercecountywa.gov

Status: Planned

Scale and Extent: Carbon and Puyallup Rivers

Description: A similar study has already been conducted on the White River. This study would expand on the analysis to update aggradation rates for the Puyallup and Carbon Rivers using data that has been collected since the 2011 report.

For more information, contact Kathleen Berger at Pierce County: kathleen.berger@piercecountywa.gov

Status: Planned

Scale and Extent: Middle and Lower Puyallup River, Carbon River

Description: Determine causes of aggradation to understand management options and long-term trajectory of aggradation.

For more information, contact Kathleen Berger at Pierce County: kathleen.berger@piercecountywa.gov

Status: Planned

Scale and Extent: Watershed, Site-Specific

Description: Monitoring suspended and bedload sediment at specific sites to track changes and sources of changes over time. Provide data for more accurate sediment modeling.

For more information, contact Kathleen Berger at Pierce County: kathleen.berger@piercecountywa.gov

Status: In-process

Scale and Extent: Puyallup River and Tributaries

Description: Determine future peak stream flows for Puyallup River and tributaries, providing all times/seasons.

For more information contact Guillaume Mauger, University of Washington Climate Impacts Group (UW CIG): gmauger@uw.edu

Farming in the Floodplain Project

The Farming in the Floodplain Project was an element of the Floodplains for the Future (FFTF) Initiative in the Puyallup River Watershed. The purpose of the FFP was to improve the understanding of agricultural needs in order to support the long-term agricultural viability of the Puyallup watershed and the Clear Creek area. Throughout the duration of the Farming in the Floodplain Project, numerous memos and documents were produced detailing technical information about agriculture and related elements throughout the watershed. These documents can be accessed below:

Farmland Pressure Mapping

To better understand the challenges facing farmland in the Puyallup River watershed, FFTF led a mapping project to identify current and future pressures facing agricultural lands. This effort examined the loss of farmland, the relationship between farmland and habitat and infrastructure projects, conserved farmland, cities and Urban Growth Areas (UGAs), and zoning. The document linked below provides a summary of the results and key points generated through the effort.

Farmland Pressure Mapping Factsheet

Connected/Natural Floodplain

One metric in the FFTF Index of Floodplain Health tracks the amount of connected natural floodplain in the watershed. At the May 2021 Results Summit, the Monitoring and Adaptive Management Team presented results for the metric for 2013, 2015, and 2017. The results showed that, due to the completion of floodplain reconnection projects, the acreage of Connected/Natural Floodplain is increasing. At the Results Summit, FFTF partners asked for additional analysis and breakdown of the metric results to help increase the understanding of what the results mean, particularly at the reach scale. The memorandum linked below provides those additional analyses and findings on the metric.

Connected Natural Floodplain Memorandum