Healthy Watersheds Make
Healthy Neighborhoods

We are creating Tacoma’s first urban Watershed Management Plan to help us take actions that will protect our streams, wetlands, lakes, and shorelines from pollutants carried in stormwater. 

Our Goals:

Healthy Neighborhoods
Clean Water and Healthy Ecosystems 
Resilient Community
Equity and Environmental Justice
Fiscal Responsibility
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Why do we need a watershed management plan in Tacoma?

Most of Tacoma’s stormwater flows into our waterways without being cleaned at a treatment plant first. Anything that hits the ground in Tacoma could end up in streams, lakes, or the Puget Sound.  

Tacoma's stormwater is managed by the Environmental Services Department whose main goal is to support healthy neighborhoods and a thriving Puget Sound.

PHASE 1​

April 2020 – October 2021

RESEARCH &​

WATERSHED​

CHARACTERIZATION

Review City plans and regulations, existing environmental conditions, & community needs and priorities in each watershed

PHASE 2

May 2020 – November 2022​

WATERSHED​

PRIORITIZATION

Build a prioritization tool using a GIS spatial model to rank key watershed locations​

and potential ​actions.​

PHASE 3

August 2022 – February 2023

ACTION PLAN

Identify priority actions, target outcomes, and timeframes. Collaborate with partners and stakeholders.​

PHASE 4

January 2024

BEGIN IMPLEMENTATION

Measure progress, review with partners and stakeholders, ​

and adjust ​priorities.

Working alongside other
City Plans

As Tacoma faces the challenges of responding to climate change and achieving equitable outcomes for all, what we do with stormwater can make a difference for our health, safety, quality of life, environment, and our future.

The urban Watershed Management Plan will work in concert with Tacoma’s other related environmental plans to achieve shared goals and community benefits.

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Climate Action

Plan

Reduce carbon emissions and prepare for climate impacts

Passive Open

Space Plan 

Planting to restore healthy habitat

Stormwater Management Program Plan

 

Prevent stormwater pollution

Tacoma Public Utilities Water System Plan 

Ensure clean drinking water supply for Tacoma now and in the future

Urban Watershed Management Plan

Prioritize stormwater actions and improve green spaces to protect our urban waters

Wastewater Comprehensive Plan

 

Protect clean water by planning for future wastewater system needs

Watershed Prioritization Tool

To inform the Watershed Management Plan, we are creating a watershed prioritization tool, which will use many sources of data to show which areas of Tacoma most need stormwater solutions. Input from the community will inform the prioritization tool. 

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What we already know in Tacoma

Based on prior community feedback from the 2019 Tacoma Tree Plan engagement, 2020 Tacoma Community Survey and Biennial Budget engagement, and 2021 Tacoma Climate Action Plan engagement, we know that the following factors are very important to many community members: ​

  1. Reducing pollution and litter

  2. Protecting green spaces 

  3. Street trees 

  4. Clean air 

  5. Clean water 

  6. Safe places to walk, roll, or bike

  7. Climate change

We hope to develop a plan that is representative and reflective of Tacoma’s community values, needs and priorities.