The King County Flood Control District recently approved an additional $1.4 million grant for Kent’s Downey Farmstead through the Cooperative Watershed Management Grants program.

The funding will allow for construction of nearly 2,000 linear feet of side channel to the Green River to provide rearing and refuge habitat for threatened Chinook and other salmon species.

“The recent investment of $1.4 million increases our total contribution to this project to $3.34 million” said Flood Control District Chair Dave Upthegrove. “I am proud of this opportunity to work together with the City of Kent and our local watershed partners to provide habitat for our iconic chinook salmon.”

The project will also provide 130 acre-feet of flood storage to reduce flooding in nearby areas and plant hundreds of shade-producing native trees along a half-mile stretch of river where temperature loading is a critical issue.

“We are extremely appreciative of the continued support by the Flood Control District for the funding to be able to continue work on this critical salmon habitat project at the Downey Farmstead site,” said Kent Mayor Dana Ralph. “The project will provide important habitat for salmon to escape from high winter flows and grow to a larger size before moving out to Elliott Bay and the Puget Sound. The project will also aid in flood protection for residents, businesses, and agriculture in the Kent Valley by creating additional flood water storage that will provide benefits all the way to Auburn.”

The Downey Farmstead is a historic homestead site that was previously used as a tree nursery and is located between the Green River and SR 516. This 22-acre site is now being reshaped into a network of side channels which will enhance habitat for juvenile salmon and increase flood storage in the Green River.

The King County Flood Control District is a special purpose government created to provide funding and policy oversight for flood protection projects and programs in King County. The Flood Control District’s Board is composed of the members of the King County Council. The Water and Land Resources Division of the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks carries out the approved flood protection projects and programs under an interlocal agreement.

Scott Schaefer

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