State of Our Waters

Discover the health of our local rivers, lakes and streams

Snohomish County is home to a bounty of water resources that sustain aquatic life and provide recreational opportunities and economic benefits. In 2017, the County started State of Our Waters, an environmental health monitoring program where we collect biological, physical, and chemical data from our waterways in order to: 

  • Understand and provide you information on the health of local waterways
  • Track changes over time to identify problems and their causes
  • Focus County resources to protect healthy waters and improve impaired ones

Find the health of your local waterway

Find State of the Waters information and award winning health reports by selecting your water type of interest below. In the coming years, new reports on local rivers and streams will be added as additional data are collected. You can also visit our online database to view and download our data including: water quality, river stage and flow, lake level and precipitation. 

Streams & Rivers



 Puget Sound

Stillaguamish River North ForkLake photoStillaguamish Estuary Opens in new windowKayak Point Opens in new window

Understand the health - five key indicators

 Water quality Water Quality
Monitoring focuses on parameters that are important for aquatic life, like oxygen and temperature, harmful pollutants such as bacteria and heavy metals, and nutrients that are problematic in large concentrations.
 Hydrology Hydrology
The amount and timing of flow can greatly impact people and aquatic life. We measure precipitation, flow in streams and rivers, and lake levels.
 Aquatic life Aquatic Life
The numbers and types of insects living in streams and rivers are used to classify health. We also track the presence of threatened and endangered fish species, like Chinook salmon and steelhead, to assess the progress of recovery efforts.
The quantity and diversity of habitat features, such as gravel beds and large wood, are used to assess habitat needed for salmon and steelhead. Shorelines are also important for their ability to provide habitat and, if degraded, affect erosion and flooding.
 Land Use Changes Land Use Changes
Tracking changes in land use, such as decreases in forested areas, can help us understand changes in other key indicators. 

Take action to protect your local waterway

Together, we can help reduce pollution to protect our rivers, lakes, streams and Puget Sound. When each person makes small changes it adds up to make a big difference. Small but important changes you can make include:

Natural yard care
Practice natural yard care   Don't Drip & Drive Don't drip & drive - fix vehicle leaks
Scoop the poop
Scoop the poop, bag it and throw it in the trash   RainScape RainScape to solve drainage problems
Septic systems
Maintain your septic system   Car Wash Wash your car at a car wash

Do you live near water? We are here to help!

If your home is located near a local stream, river, lake or the Puget Sound, you have a special opportunity to make a difference. Living near water can also bring unique challenges such as flooding, bank erosion, beaver damage, and weed infestations. Snohomish County has resources to help you protect your property and improve the health of our local waterways through these programs:

Lakewise Program
Streamside Landowners

Streamside Landowner Program
Coastal Landowners

Marine Shoreline