Seattle Public Utilities Mami Hara, General Manager/CEO

Managing the Watershed

Habitat Research & Monitoring - Aquatic & Riparian

red decommissioning slide show

We have a number of research and monitoring projects located near Webster Creek, in the lower municipal watershed.

Watershed aquatic and riparian habitat research and monitoring is designed to assess the impact of the management activities and conservation strategies implemented by the HCP and to track long-term changes in aquatic and riparian habitat conditions.

Aquatic Habitat Research and Monitoring

In order to assess current aquatic conditions as well as track changes in conditions through time, SPU is monitoring key physical habitat characteristics associated with sensitive and biologically important stream habitats. Having identified a specific suite of quantifiable channel attributes that are sensitive to traditional forest management activities, we are able to track meaningful changes in aquatic habitat and periodically assess the overall effectiveness of our watershed restoration strategies. The aquatic habitat monitoring program includes five main elements:

Riparian Habitat Research and Monitoring

As interfaces between aquatic and upland habitat, riparian areas have unique characteristics that are monitored in the watershed for both long-term trends and response to restoration treatments. A network of permanent sampling plots was established in riparian areas throughout the watershed to quantify current riparian conditions and to serve as a basis for evaluating long-term trends. We conduct research and monitoring of riparian restoration to develop appropriate treatment designs and evaluate the effectiveness of implemented projects.