The King County Flood Control District on Tuesday, Sept, 14, 2021 approved $840,000 in funding for three projects in Des Moines.

The largest portion of the funding – $450,000 – will fund the final design and permitting of the McSorley Creek Shoreline and Estuary Restoration Project at Saltwater State Park, making the creek more accessible for fish and the beach more accessible to people. It will also help reduce the flooding that has impacted the Saltwater Café.

“As Chair of the Flood Control District, I have made it a priority for us to use our grant programs to solve flooding issues while also being a good steward of the environment,” said King County Councilmember Dave Upthegrove. “As these three projects move forward, we will not only meet our public safety goal of protecting residents from flooding, but we will also create a safer, more hospitable environment for our chinook salmon and other fish species.”

The City of Des Moines will also receive $365,000 for the Massey Creek Pocket Estuary Restoration project which ultimately will increase fish passage and create a pocket estuary at the new mouth of the creek. Located where streams and rivers meet the ocean, estuaries have natural, slow-moving channels that provide salmon refuge from predators, rest during migration, opportunities for feeding and allow them to adjust to saltwater environments. Once completed, the Massey Creek Pocket Estuary is expected to offer this refuge to juvenile chinook salmon.

An additional $25,000 was granted to the city to reduce flood impacts on Redondo Way South during major storm events. As part of this project, 50 feet of stream bed in the ravine areas to the east will be restored.

The Flood Reduction Grants are funded by the King County Flood Control District (KCFCD). In 2020, Councilmember Upthegrove became Chair of the KCFCD and led the effort to reaffirm the District’s commitment to a countywide multi-benefit approach to flood risk reduction by creating three new grant programs in addition to the original Flood Reduction Grant program.

The three new programs address the countywide flood issues associated with urban streams, coastal erosion/coastal flooding, and culvert replacement/fish passage restoration.

The three Des Moines projects were all funded from the new programs – McSorley Creek (Coastal Erosion/Coastal Flooding), Massey Creek (Culvert Replacement/Fish Passage) and Redondo Way (Urban Streams).