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 project includes 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
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. Due to the COVID-19 response, public engagement actions are postponed, which may cause some shifts in the project timeline.
This project is funded through a $4.8 million award from the Washington State Department of Ecology’s Floodplains by Design (FbD) grant program. SWM and partners will provide $1.93 million in local and federal matching funds to the grant.