The first meeting of the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) for the Farming in the Floodplain Project (FFP) was held on April 5, 2016 at the Puyallup Library. About 25 people participated, including Clear Creek area farmers, Pierce County staff, Farming in the Floodplain Project staff, and regional technical experts. The meeting was led by PCC Farmland Trust and by ESA, the technical contractors working on the project.
Topics discussed at the meeting included the purpose and structure of the FFP; agriculture in the Clear Creek area; agricultural viability; concerns, opportunities, and information needs in the Clear Creek area; and observed trends and projections in the Puget Sound area and the Puyallup Watershed.
Members of the newly-formed Clear Creek Farmers Collective (CCFC) presented information on their collective and its position on the Farming in the Floodplain Project and on Pierce County’s proposed Clear Creek levee project. The CCFC represents 21 farmers and residents who own approximately 212 acres of land and who do not want to sell their property to the County. CCFC members presented a list of requests for the technical work in the FFP, including:
- a redesign of the proposed Clear Creek levee project that would not include any of the farmland owned by members of the CCFC;
- an evaluation of drainage patterns and ditches in the Clear Creek area;
- an analysis of the tidegates at the mouth of Clear Creek;
- preliminary research needed to establish water rights for farms in the area; and
- assistance in reaching a compromise allowing for the construction of agriculturally-specific and flood-conscious structures in the Clear Creek area.
Information, questions, and conversations at the TAG meeting will be used by ESA to inform an Existing Conditions Report. Ideas for future technical work, including those presented by the Clear Creek Farmers Collective, will be used to develop the scope of work for the next phase of technical analysis scheduled to begin in August 2016.
To read the full notes from this meeting, click here: TAG Meeting Report