for Pierce County and Partners
for Pierce County and Partners
Pierce County should prove to be more resilient to Climate Change than many places throughout the United States and across the globe. We do have some major challenges that need to be tackled immediately and the resilience work will only intensify as our climate changes over time. Planning now can save the County taxpayers tens of millions of dollars and will prioritize human safety and wellbeing for decades to come.
Early Action (0-3 Years)
1Work with partners to plan for sea level rise across Pierce County. A partial list of local partners should include, City of Tacoma, Port of Tacoma, Pierce Conservation District, BNSF, JBLM, the Puyallup, Muckleshoot and Nisqually Tribes. Regional partners will also be very helpful in this process.
2Make sure new stormwater infrastructure and roads projects are built to handle larger storms with more precipitation. Rebuilding outdated infrastructure is incredibly expensive so we need to make sure we get these systems sized right the first time.
3Work with the Health Department to better understand how we can limit health issues related to climate change.
4Work with local tribes and other partners to increase tree canopy around streams and increase low impact development. Consider code changes to increase tree planting.
5Reduce County use of fossil fuels and continue to work to reduce wood smoke (black carbon) that is speeding up the loss of Mt. Rainier glaciers.
6Continue to warn the public about areas that are prone to landslides. Making sure County regulations protect human safety with the most updated information possible.
7Develop a plan for how Pierce County can help residents deal with increased heat with cooling centers, spray parks and other cooling mechanisms.
8Develop an extreme heat plan for County workers that work outside in the summer time.
9Develop a plan to limit wildfires at County owned properties.
10Continue to seek funding to move people out of frequently flooded areas and continue to give rivers more room to move through levy setback projects. Continue to fund projects that give rivers more room to move and spread out so that sediment is not channelized in our river systems. Pierce County has an excellent flood plan and is leading the State with integrated floodplain management but the size and scope of the funding need is extreme at well over $200 million dollars.
Long Term Action
1Funding for DEM, SWM, Roads, Parks and Facilities will need to be increased over time as they deal with a higher frequency of climate change related service interruptions.
2Develop a long-range plan for low lying roads and infrastructure (areas within 2 feet of current high tides).
3Reach out to our Fishing and Aquaculture interests to support their efforts to better understand Ocean Acidification and potential improvements we can make at the County level.
4Develop a map of residential areas that could be damaged by increased wildfires.
5Remove the Chambers Creek Dam.
6Study the viability of an electric ferry, new ferry docks and boat ramps owned by Pierce County.