The second meeting of the Technical Advisory Group (TAG) for the Farming in the Floodplain Project (FFP) was held on June 6, 2016 at the Puyallup Library. About 25 people participated, including Clear Creek area farmers and residents, a Drainage District 10 commissioner, Pierce County staff, Farming in the Floodplain Project staff, and regional technical experts.
Topics discussed at the meeting included flood modeling done for the proposed Clear Creek Floodplain Reconnection Project; the definition of agricultural viability; and potential work plan elements for future phases of technical work on the FFP.
Northwest Hydraulics Consultants (NHC) presented information on the Clear Creek floodplain reconnection modeling NHC performed for Pierce County Surface Water Management in 2014. NHC’s role was to investigate the flooding impacts of the proposed Clear Creek Floodplain Reconnection Project at a feasibility level, focusing on large flood events. Following NHC’s presentation, TAG members discussed and asked questions about the model. See our Meeting Report for a description of the presentation, model, and discussion.
ESA staff presented a draft definition of agricultural viability. Agricultural viability can be defined as the ability of a farmer or group of farmers to:
- productively farm on a given piece of land or in a specific area,
- maintain an economically viable farm business,
- keep the land in agriculture long-term, and
- steward the land so it will remain productive into the future.
TAG members commented that regulations, access to farmland, and affordability of farmland are important factors of agricultural viability.
ESA staff presented a list of potential future work plan elements for the FFP. This work could be done in Phase 2 of the FFP or in the future. The potential future work plan elements can be found in the Second TAG Meeting Report. For several meeting participants, technical work that would help Drainage District 10 was the highest priority.
Full notes from the meeting are available here: Second TAG Meeting Report