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Repair and Maintenance Program

Flood Control Zone District
Repair and Maintenance Program

The rivers, streams, and coastlines of Whatcom County are subject to conditions that often Bank stabilizationdestabilize natural systems or damage constructed flood protection works, primarily levees and bank protection projects.  If left unchecked, flood damages and the cost of repairs to infrastructure can increase dramatically.  The Whatcom County Public Works Department administers the Flood Control Repair and Maintenance Program to address these problem areas and mitigate future flood damages in a proactive and cost-effective manner. The photo at left demonstrates the bioengineered bank stabilization project on the Nooksack River near Ferndale immediately after construction.

The program has been developed to include a cost-share with a local sponsor.  Typically, local sponsors are diking districts, sub-flood control zones, drainage districts, or property owners.  Project applications are solicited once a year.  A subcommittee of the Flood Control Zone District Advisory Two years after constructionCommittee visits the sites and prioritizes project applications.  When prioritizing projects, the subcommittee evaluates what is at risk, whether the risk is likely to increase if a project is not undertaken, benefits and costs of a project, and evidence of efforts taken by those directly benefiting from the project.

Staff from the Public Works River and Flood Division initiates the process to implement solutions for those project applications receiving a high priority.  This process can include alternatives analysis, design, permitting, construction and monitoring of a repair project.  This process has become more complex in recent years with the listing of spring Chinook and bull trout under the Endangered Species Act.  Projects are now designed to include mitigation for any potential adverse impacts to fish and their habitat and improve habitat conditions.

South Fork of the Nooksack River - Bank stabilization project:

Construction of upstream hard point for cedar tree revetment: Bank stabilized with cedar tree revetment provides significant fish habitat: