Sky Valley Community Floodplain Solutions (CFS) Project
The Snohomish County Community Floodplain Map is now live! This interactive map highlights projects and community engagement opportunities of the CFS program. Your feedback is needed to help prioritize and develop projects that benefit farms, fish, and flood-impacted residents. These potential projects and engagement opportunities are not possible without the help of willing landowners.
The Skykomish River runs through the heart of the North Cascades along rich farm land before it joins the Snohomish River, flowing west to Puget Sound. The project area is focused on the upper reaches of the Skykomish River in the Sky Valley region near the City of Sultan. The area is a busy agricultural center and popular destination for fishing and outdoor recreation. It also attracts new homeowners seeking affordable housing and a rural lifestyle.
The Skykomish River has a long history of flooding and river migration. Flooding and erosion regularly impact farms, businesses and residential properties and force the closure of local roads. This ongoing flood risk is complicated by the continued loss of critical salmon habitat, essential for the recovery of Chinook and the Southern Resident Orca.
Community Floodplain Solutions (CFS) – Sky Valley seeks ways to allow the Skykomish River and its tributaries room to migrate while preserving land for multiple uses.
The CFS - Sky Valley (Phase I) project began in 2019 with plans to:
- Reduce flood-related risk to people and public infrastructure
- Remove three fish passage barriers and culverts, which will improve access to 2.6 miles of stream habitat
- Restore up to 30 acres of habitat along the Skykomish river banks
- Protect up to 200 acres of floodplain land for future restoration and long-term agriculture uses
- Model, assess, and map river conditions to inform future projects
- Complete design for an integrated floodway project and three agriculture resilience projects
- Educate and learn from residents about living in a dynamic floodplain to better understand future river migration risks
• Provide permanent flood risk reduction and improved protection for up to 1200 acres
• Reconnect and enhance about 200 acres of floodplain habitat
• Protect and enhance 554 acres of agriculture land
• Provide opportunities for other land use types, such as passive recreation
The Community Floodplain Solutions–Sky Valley project covers approximately 2550 acres within the FEMA 100-year Floodplain Boundary of the Skykomish River near the Sultan city limits.
Click on the interactive Flood Map below to see the project area during high and low levels of flooding.
The CFS-Sky Valley project began in July 2019 and extends through June 2023. CFS Phase II funding was awarded in 2021 and extends projects through 2025. While Snohomish County and partners have focused efforts in the Sky Valley, this is a pilot program that will eventually be applied to the larger Snohomish Basin.
In 2019, this project received funding through a $4.8 million award from the Washington State Department of Ecology’s Floodplains by Design (FbD) grant program. Surface Water Management and partners will provided an additional $1.93 million in local and federal matching funds to the grant. In 2021, CFS received a second $8.5 million FbD grant to further the integrated floodplain management efforts underway along the Skykomish River near Sultan and Monroe while expanding work further downstream in the Snohomish Watershed through 2025.