Streams

Streamside Living

 
If you are a streamside landowner, you are one of the luckiest people on earth. To live along a stream in the Pacific Northwest is a privilege few people get to experience. Streamside landowners have a little bit of nature in their own backyards.

With this great privilege comes the responsibility to protect and steward this unique and special natural resource. However, living with nature may bring unique challenges such as flooding, bank erosion, beaver damage, and weed infestations.

Your stewardship can have a positive impact on clean water, abundant salmon, wildlife habitat, drainage, flood control and erosion control – leaving a lasting legacy for future generations.

Landowner Technical Assistance


Snohomish County provides a variety of resources to streamside landowners in unincorporated areas including technical assistance, restoration guidance, educational workshops, print materials, and site visits customized to the needs of your property. All resources are designed to help improve water quality and aquatic habitat, and to reduce downstream impacts such as flooding, erosion and pollution.

The process to get your questions addressed is easy! Start by emailing, calling, or by signing up online to schedule a free site visit with a Watershed Steward (see "Contact Us").

How to Be A Stream Friendly Landowner


Retain and Protect Existing Native Vegetation 
Native vegetation along streams is very important to the health of your stream. Established trees, shrubs and groundcovers not only help protect and improve water quality, these plants help protect your streambank from erosion and loss of property. 
  • Protect existing native vegetation 
  • Further enhance by planting native species
  • Monitor and control invasive species
  • Work with your neighbors to control invasive species. Vegetation removal may require a “Land Disturbing” permit. View more information  
Control Invasive Species 
Non-native or invasive plant species can have a negative effect on water quality and overall stream health. View more information on identification, control, and proper disposal. Issues with invasive species include:
  • Displacing native vegetation
  • Reducing wildlife habitat 
  • Negative impacts to water quality
  • Increased soil and bank erosion 
  • Vegetation removal may require a “Land Disturbing” permit. View more information.
View Streamside Landowner Invasive Plant information.  

(back to list: How to be a Stream Friendly Landowner)

Plant Native Vegetation 
If your property doesn’t have much or any established native vegetation, then planting native trees and shrubs is highly recommended. Native plants help provide many functions that helps protect water quality including:
  • Helping shade water to reduce temperatures
  • Filtering stormwater 
  • Protecting streambanks from erosion 
  • Providing habitat for both aquatic and terrestrial species
View Streamside Landowner Native Plant information.  

Practice Natural Yard Care 

There are many steps that we can take to reduce the impact that our yards and gardens have on water quality. 
View information on Natural Yard Care.  

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Managing Pets and Livestock 
Living with pets and livestock is an important part of life for many residents of Snohomish County. Unfortunately, they can have negative impacts on water quality and streamside vegetation. 
Living With Beavers
Beavers play a very important role in the health and function of our streams and wetlands. There are steps you can take to reduce their impact on your property.
(back to list: How to be a Stream Friendly Landowner)