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Farming in the Floodplain Project moves into next phase

After protecting farmland and building relationships in the Puyallup Valley for nearly a decade, PCC Farmland Trust signed on to lead the Farming in the Floodplain Project (FFP) in 2016 – a pilot project in the Clear Creek area aiming to meet multiple community and environmental needs in response to flooding. We saw it as a unique opportunity to ensure continued viability of important agricultural lands in our focus area.

During our leadership of the FFP, we worked to illuminate the unique challenges farmers face in this flood-prone area, and help incorporate them into projects that support a safe, vibrant community for all. We engaged and collaborated with local farmers, while our partners at Environmental Science Associates conducted a technical analysis of current and future conditions that may affect local agriculture. We also convened a group of technical and agricultural experts to report out on our progress and analyze the information we uncovered about agriculture, climate change, and hydrology in the area.

With the long-awaited passing of the Capital Budget, we are thrilled to see significant funding for this project moving forward, as well as for agricultural conservation easements in the Puyallup River watershed. We are also pleased to share that Washington State University’s Stormwater Center in Puyallup will be taking the Farming in the Floodplain Project into its next phase, with a focus on deeper engagement around key drainage issues and priorities identified in the initial phase.

In order to determine a path forward for proposed hydrology changes in the Clear Creek area, Pierce County will be moving forward with a formal collaborative planning process that uses the findings from our collective research as a guide.

We look forward to supporting the goals of the FFP through an advisory role within the newly formed FFP agriculture committee, advocating for farmers in Clear Creek, and providing counsel on implementation of the project as it moves into its next phase.

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