Tuesday, May 8, 2012

City moves forward on plan to re-locate Evans Creek

Evans Creek headwaters are in East King County along the Old Red Brick Road.  The creek continues north and west through SE Redmond industries, past Keller Farm, before it's confluence with Bear Creek.   Bear Creek flows into the Sammamish River which flows into Lake Washington and Puget Sound.
On May 1, the Redmond city council approved land acquisitions to relocate Evans Creek north and east and away from SE Redmond industries. (See map).  If negotiations to purchase the property are unsuccessful the Council approved  use of eminent domain.
The benefits of re-locating Evans Creek are many.  Relocation: 1) improves habitat for wild salmon and wildlife, 2)  increases the land values and opportunity for redevelopment of industrial properties, 3) encourages clean-up of hazardous waste and further safeguards the city aquifer 4) improves flood water conveyence, 5) enhances Bear-Evans Creek Trail recreation with restored riparian habitat.
Evans Creek is an important and valuable stream in SE Redmond that's been heavily impacted by industrial development and permiting violations, as has "AWR."  Read More >>
Vegetated stream buffers are very narrow, exposing the stream channel to sunlight and untreated stormwater runoff.  King County and the Washington State department of Transportation have proposed or completed extensive channel and buffer enhancements upstream.  The large upstream watershed supports good wild Coho salmon runs and contains quality riparian habitat for other wildlife. The open space proposed for the new channel also contains the well-used Bear-Evans Creek Trail. This easement acquisition and habitat enhancement would also benefit passive recreation.

Reconstructing the channel to the north and east of industrial properties, keeping the new channel in open space where adequate buffers could be established. This would reconnect the channel with its floodplain wetlands, and restore buffer function. Regulatory buffer impacts to some developed areas would be reduced from the current situation, encouraging cleanup (if needed) and redevelopment. In-stream structures and native vegetation would be placed along the new channel.

Beaver dams also occasionally redirect significant !low into the proposed channel location, supporting the assumed feasibility of this project.

The costs and expenses for property acquisition will be paid from  Storm water Utility funds.

Photo courtesy City of Redmond
Source:  May 1 city council agenda
By Bob Yoder

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