Northwest NEWS

October 2, 2000

Editorial

Taxpayers are funding projects that don't help the fish but do cause flooding

An article on Kenmore's pond dredging to prevent Swamp Creek flooding is a great illustration of the inappropriateness of King County's telling East King County rural residents that the surface water management drainage fees historically have been used in west King County to control surface water runoff and flooding.
   When King County reworked Swamp Creek a few years ago, the end result was more fish habitat enhancement than flood control, as happens with most of the county's surface water management projects.
   If Kenmore is asked to "slow down and cool the stream by adding large logs to the stream to create shade," it will be proof that flood control is still taking a far back seat to fish.
   Several years ago, in order to obtain a permit to re-rock a Swamp Creek bank washed out in a flood, the homeowner was required to install a couple of logs midstream. Came the next storm, the water washed around the logs and re-washed out the bank. Permission was given to remove the logs and there have been no further problems.
   On Hollywood Hill, stream bank erosion occurred due to round-the-end water action from a county-installed in-stream log. In that area the channel filled with eroded rocks and widened, resulting in a much wider and shallower surface to be heated by the sun.
   It's obvious that an inordinate amount of taxpayers' money is being spent on projects that don't help the fish even as they cause flooding due to channel-filling and debris-jams.
   Maxine Keesling, Woodinville