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King County 2013 River Recreation Study

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About the study

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In 2013, The King County River and Floodplain management Section conducted a study of recreational use in limited reaches of the Snoqualmie, Cedar, Green, and White river basins within King County. These study reaches were chosen for their proximity to future major capital investment river and floodplain management work.

King County’s river managers view a better understanding of the recreational users of rivers, and those users’ perceived risks, as a critical component in effective and sustainable floodplain management that addresses the needs of fish and wildlife. Understanding recreational use on rivers allows for the appropriate consideration of recreational user behavior, timing, and associated risks in project conceptualization, design, effectiveness monitoring, and adaptive management.

Data was collected between Jun. 22, 2013 and Sept. 17, 2013. The study described in this report builds on observational study and in-person interview methodologies tested in the 2010 Cedar River Recreation Studyto identify patterns of recreational use, as well as attitudes and awareness regarding river safety.  This study also tested other data collection methodologies, looking for less staff staff-intensive ways to understand and monitor recreational use on King County rivers. This report describes the methods, results, and comparative analysis.

The recreational use data from the current and previous studies will be used to inform both multi-objective floodplain planning efforts as well as the development and implementation of capital projects, including physical design, construction timing, mitigating actions, and performance monitoring, and will also inform the management of the project and the associated project reach over time.

For more information about the River Recreation Study, please contact Katy Vanderpool, King County River and Floodplain Management Section.