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Water and land

Wetlands in King County, Washington

Find comprehensive information related to wetlands in King County, Washington.

To offer a suggestion or report an error on the King County wetlands website, please contact Fred Bentler, webmaster.

Wetlands in King County, Washington State

King County wetlands

Introduction to wetlands
Cattails and Sitka spruce, salamanders and great blue herons, white-tailed deer and juvenile salmon - wetlands are overflowing with life. In all, some 212 species of wildlife and many species of plant life depend on western Washington's wetlands for survival.

Wetland mapping and information

Hydrography of King County- interactive map
View and query info about geographic features including wetlands. Click the wetland checkbox to display the wetland layer, click its label so it's the active layer, and query individual wetlands in this dataset using the Arc IMS Query tool tool.   Identify wetland size and wetland rating referred to in sections 21A.24.320 to 21A.24.350 of the King County code referenced below.

1990 King County Wetlands Inventory Notebooks
King County's largest wetland survey includes known wetlands in 1990 unincorporated area with aerial photos showing estimated wetland edge, measurements and animal and plant survey data. Scanned notebooks are provided in Adobe Acrobat format.

Wetland permits, guidelines and regulations

Wetland and Stream Reporting Guidelines
Guidelines to help residents prepare wetland and stream reports that are sometimes required for development permits. Includes Wetland Delineation Report Criteria (Acrobat PDF format), field procedures and standards used to map individual wetlands in King County. Provided by the Department of Development and Environmental Services. Contacts: Wetland and stream reporting guidelines.

King county code >> Critical areas (Acrobat PDF format)
County rules on development standards, restrictions, and requirements as well as permitted uses in and around King County wetlands and other sensitive areas. Codes pertaining specifically to wetlands can be found under sections 21A.24.320 to 21A.24.350 of this document. Contacts: DPER Critical (Sensitive) Areas Review.

Washington State Dept of Ecology - wetlands (external link)
This site provides considerable information about wetlands including Washington regulations, permitting, and mitigation, references for landowners interested in stewardship, educational materials, and sources for beautiful wetlands artwork.

Code violations
See a wetland getting filled, drained, or cleared? Here are emergency phone numbers and an online form to notify the Dept. of Development and Environmental Services code enforcement 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Wetland programs and projects

Mitigation Credit Program
King County's Mitigation Credit Program is an "in-lieu fee" compensatory mitigation program which provides some permit applicants the option of satisfying their wetland and other aquatic resource mitigation needs by paying a fee to King County in-lieu of completing mitigation on their own. King County assumes the mitigation obligation and implements mitigation projects using fees collected.

Wetland mitigation banking
A mitigation bank site is a property purchased and converted to a wetland by a public agency or utility to earn credits to compensate for wetland damage at another site, usually from development by other agencies, utilities, or private developers. See a summary of Mitigation Banking Rules.

Go to the Small Habitat Restoration ProgramSmall Habitat Restoration Program (SHRP)
A King County group that restores and enhances streams and wetlands in small projects throughout the county. The program seeks your suggestions for good projects.

Fish and wildlife enhancement project- Cedar River wetland 79
A capital improvement project to improve fish and wildlife habitat in Cedar River Wetland 79 near Maple Valley.

Wetland plant cooperative (external link)
A King Conservation District program providing wetland plants to organizations and community groups for habitat restoration projects.

Wetland biodiversity

Biodiversity in King County
Learn why biodiversity is important and what threatens it, and read the latest assessment report for King County.

King County wildlife: beavers
Describes beaver problems, how they develop and their solutions and includes natural history information.

Wetland publications

Characteristics of the low-elevation Sphagnum-dominated peatlands of western Washington: a community profile
Also known as "the bog book", this publication provides a compilation of data and findings about Sphagnum-dominated peatlands from existing local sources, most of which are unpublished as of November, 2001.

Wetlands and Urbanization: Implications for the Future
The Puget Sound Wetlands and Stormwater Management Research Program (PSWSMRP) was a ten-year regional research effort documenting how urbanization affects wetlands. The studies examined the impacts of stormwater on the five major structural components of wetlands: (1) hydrology, (2) water quality, (3) soils, (4) plants, and (5) animals. The fourteen papers in this monograph are divided into four sections: Program Overview, Descriptive Ecology, Assessment of Stormwater Effects, and Management Guidelines.

CRC Press - wetland publications (external link)
Major studies and technical publications related to wetlands, including the final version of King County's Wetlands and Urbanization Report - Implications for the Future.

Related information

Related agencies

Customer Service Guide

"Prompt, Fair, Results-Oriented Service for All"

The Customer Service Guide (pdf) is designed to help you quickly locate the service you need.

Guía de Servicio al Cliente

News and announcements

Feb. 10, 2014
External article, Seattle Times
Bog a battlefield for developer, neighbor in Snohomish County

When in Doubt Stay Out: Protect your pooch from harmful algal blooms video (external)

Dec. 28, 2012
External opinion, Vancouver Sun
Wetlands have value beyond their natural beauty

Conservation FuturesConservation Futures: forests, farms and fun... forever video
30th anniversary video celebrating conservation of King County's precious open space, parks, farms and forests.

Jun. 14, 2012
External article, Seattle Times
Take a walk, or a canoe tour, in Lake Washington's largest wetland

Mar. 13, 2012
External article, Auburn Reporter
Boardwalk at Auburn's Environmental Park to open early April

Jan. 23, 2012
Executive praises passage of market-based tool for protecting wetlands
County Council unanimously approves creating mitigation credit program

Oct. 27, 2011
First mitigation credit program of its kind in the state would streamline permitting and draws support from both builders and environmental groups

Sept. 20, 2011
External article, Sammamish Review
Skyline students study duck boxes at Hazel Wolf wetlands

Jan. 26, 2011
External article, Federal Way News
Free wetlands class in Tukwila

July 27, 2010
External article, Sightline Daily
The Real Worth: Puget Sound

Jan. 30, 2010
External article, Seattle Times
Bellevue considers light rail through treasured wetland

Jun. 20, 2009
External article, Seattle P-I
Renton wetland opens to wondrous reception

Jun. 20, 2009
External article, Seattle Times
Renton's 130-acre wetland project unveiled

Green Globe Award

Green Globe Award
Leader in Beneficial use of Reclaimed Water
Ducks Unlimited

Mar. 19, 2009
External article, King 5 News
Reclaimed water adds life to Carnation wetland video

Mar. 18, 2009
Reclaimed water adds life to Chinook Bend wetland

Jan 21, 2009
External article, Seattle Times
Sprawl flattens frogs, other amphibians struggling to survive

May 12, 2008
External articles, Seattle Times
Saving wetlands: a broken promise

May 2, 2008
External article, Seattle Times
Fungus threatens state's frogs, salamanders

» Wetland news archive