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Tell us what you think!

Visit King County Connects, an online forum, to provide comments and learn about recommendations to protect and restore the Bear Creek Watershed Study between Feb. 16-Mar. 21, 2018.

Draft study release and upcoming public meeting

The Bear Creek Watershed Management Study project team will host a public meeting to provide the community with a brief summary of the health of the Bear Creek watershed and the recommendations to protect and restore it. Community input, comments and questions will be welcomed.


Wednesday, March 7, 2018
6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Brightwater Education and Community Center
22505 S-R 9 SE, Woodinville


The 2018 Draft Bear Creek Watershed Management Study will be released on Feb. 21, 2018. A short summary of the Study is available now. Let us know what you think. Our public comment period is from Feb. 21 to March 21, 2018

About the study

Bear Creek sampling

The Watershed Management Study (Study), formerly referred to as a Watershed-Scale Stormwater Plan, of the Bear Creek Basin in the Greater Lake Washington (WRIA 8) is nearing completion. The goal of the study is to outline actions and strategies to restore Bear Creek to existing and designated uses, so that it provides a healthy environment for the community and Chinook salmon and other aquatic species.

The goal of the Study is to link stormwater management and salmon recovery and identify  strategies to ensure hydrologic, water quality, and stream channel habitat conditions fully support existing and designated uses.

The specific objectives of the study are as follows:
  • Demonstrate the ability of multiple jurisdictions to collaborate on a watershed basis: Establish multi-jurisdictional partnerships focused on working together to restore Bear Creek.
  • Holistically assess existing conditions of in-stream habitat, near-shore buffer integrity, wetlands, and watershed/stormwater characteristics: Look at existing data and studies; initiate the collection of new data; and develop the necessary mapping for accurate watershed characterization.
  • Model existing conditions and future conditions: Develop the analytical tools to estimate both hydrologic and water quality issues.
  • Model potential solution suites: Identify the land use and stormwater management strategies to achieve established goals for restoring Bear Creek, while recognizing possible economic constraints.
  • Collaboratively develop an implementation plan that transcends jurisdictional boundaries.
  • Complete an implementation plan that is realistic and achievable by all local governments involved.


King County is leading the planning process in collaboration with Snohomish County, City of Redmond, City of Woodinville, and the Washington State Department of Transportation to develop the Bear Creek Watershed-Scale Stormwater Plan.

Bear Creek Basin Stormwater Plan study area

Public Involvement

Because the outcomes from this Study process may influence Stormwater Management Policies locally and for the decades to come, we are very interested in hearing your input and feedback as the Study is developed.

To inform the Study, and ensure that a multitude of perspectives are considered, King County and its Study Partners is actively seeking input from the public, local groups and organizations, state and federal agencies, and tribal nations throughout the process.

Timeline (newest to oldest)


  • King County is required to conduct a watershed-scale stormwater planning effort to satisfy permit obligations under section (S5.C.5.c) in the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Phase I Municipal Stormwater Permit.
  • The NPDES was established by Congress in 1972 as part of the Clean Water Act. The municipal NPDES program issues permits to municipalities and requires them to undertake efforts to reduce stormwater pollution by implementing steps referred to as best management practices (BMPs), which refer to a wide variety of pollution prevention systems or efforts. The Clean Water Act allows the EPA to delegate NPDES permitting to individual states that meet specified requirements.
  • The current NPDES Phase 1 Municipal Stormwater Permit was issued by the Washington State Department of Ecology, effective August 1, 2013 through July 31, 2018, and was modified January 16, 2015.
  • King County selected Bear Creek watershed for the watershed-scale stormwater planning effort because it was identified by the Washington State Department of Ecology as a targeted watershed for stormwater retrofit planning due to its “high integrity.”
  • Substantial development has occurred in the watershed and more is expected to come, with expansion of disturbances emanating from redevelopment and new development.
  • This work builds upon the Bear Creek 1995 Basin Plan that recommended ways to protect valuable stream, wetland and fishery habitat and reduce flooding, erosion and sedimentation.

For more information about the Bear Creek Watershed Management Study, please contact Jeff Burkey, Project Manager, King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks, Science and Technical Support Section.