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 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.
Understand the health - five key indicators
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.
The amount and timing of flow can greatly impact people and aquatic life. We measure precipitation, flow in streams and rivers, and lake levels.
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
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:
|Practice natural yard care||Don't drip & drive - fix vehicle leaks|
|Scoop the poop, bag it and throw it in the trash||RainScape to solve drainage problems|
|Maintain your septic system||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: