Swan Creek residents and business owners can learn about an effort by Pierce County to improve the creek’s water quality at a community meeting on Feb. 19.
Pierce County staff will share information about the development of a watershed characterization and action plan for Swan Creek at the meeting, which will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Mid-County Community Center, 10205 44th Ave. E in Tacoma. Community members are encouraged to ask questions and become involved as stakeholders in the process.
“Swan Creek is a valuable resource for the area and we want to make sure it remains that way for many years,” said Dan Wrye, Public Works and Utilities water quality manager. “We want to share information about our plans with the community around the creek and explain why it’s important they are involved.”
For the watershed characterization, Pierce County will collect new data, conduct field observations, and review existing data to build a more complete picture of the creek’s health. This data will help create an action plan for improving Swan Creek, which will include strategies for maintaining and improving the creek’s health and re-evaluating previously identified projects based on the new information.
Earlier studies of the creek by the county and other agencies identified high levels of fecal coliform, nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment in the creek, which reduce the quality of habitat for fish and wildlife. While these studies provided important information, the goal of this project is to understand the root cause of the problems and address them in a cost effective manner.
The watershed characterization and action plan will be completed by the end of 2014. Funding for this project comes from a Washington State Department of Ecology grant. For more information, visit the project website at: www.piercecountywa.org/swancreek.
Swan Creek is also part of the county’s Raise the Grade program which identifies water bodies with poor water quality. The county then works with the community to develop solutions.
Mike Livingston-Halliday, Public Works and Utilities public information specialist
Lisa Spurrier, Public Works and Utilities biologist