Services for Landowners

Beginning in January 2015, KCD launched an expansion of its aquatic area protection and enhancement programs to offer technical assistance and project implementation services to urban landowners with freshwater shoreline and riparian habitat on their property.

KCD offers aquatic area enhancement services to help urban landowners protect and improve the health of creeks, streams, rivers and wetlands by enhancing and restoring vegetated riparian buffers. Buffers along water bodies can improve water quality, stabilize shorelines and create fish/wildlife habitat. This program provides free educational tours and workshops, as well as site visits and site-specific vegetation management recommendations, to empower landowners with the knowledge and skills needed to better steward their aquatic areas. KCD also offers financial incentives, as well as project design and implementation services to qualified property owners.

Who is eligible for financial assistance and implementation services?

Landowners who have aquatic areas on their properties and are within the city limits of a KCD Member Jurisdiction. (* Member Jurisdications include 34 cities in King County except Enumclaw, Federal Way, Milton, Pacific and Skykomish.)

What are the requirements?

  • A minimum plantable buffer width of 15 to 35 feet, depending on stream width
  • A 15-year project agreement with KCD

What is cost-share?

  • Landowners pay 10% of labor and materials required for installation, not to exceed $3,000
  • KCD provides free project design, management and maintenance for 3 years

What are the benefits?

  • Cleaner, cooler water
  • Improved shoreline stability
  • Attractive native plants
  • Enjoyment of fish and wildlife
  • Improved land stewardship

Many homeowners do not have the money or expertise to plant buffers on their own, but KCD is available to make enhancement of these areas possible by designing and installing buffer projects. KCD services include free project design and management, as well as sharing the cost of labor (removing invasive species and planting native species), and project materials (plants, mulch, plant protectors). KCD will also cover most of the cost of three years of maintenance and monitoring to ensure a high rate of plant survival.

KCD Urban Aquatic Areas Enhancement Services Fact Sheet

Services for Member Jurisdictions

As part of its newly launched Urban Shorelines and Riparian Habitat Improvement Services program, KCD is developing resources in the form of a toolkit to help city staff work with homeowners within their cities or refer them to KCD. The restoration of urban aquatic areas has been identified as an essential component of salmon recovery efforts. The goal of the toolkit is to help city staff answer questions and provide help to homeowners regarding aquatic areas and riparian habitat.  These tools will help jurisdiction staff and homeowners better understand how to address natural resource protection and enhancement issues (e.g., managing erosion, improving bank stability, controlling invasive plants, and improving fish and wildlife habitat) within aquatic areas. KCD staff will also work with city staff to identify targeted areas within their jurisdiction to focus program resources.

Tools and Resource Links


Washington State Department of Ecology Maps

Interactive online maps allow users to see nearly real-time streamflow and water quality data for streams and rivers throughout the state.

  • King County Go Natives!King County Go Natives!

    Go Natives is an online native plant guide and database. This online tool allows you to search for native plant species, provides plant plan templates, how-to articles and other information regarding native plants.

    Invasive plants species have a negative impact on our local shorelines. Invasive species crowd out beneficial native vegetation, hinder natural regeneration of native species, reduces habitat for fish and other animals and can cause erosion of shorelines. Invasive species should be controlled immediately and replaced with native trees and shrubs.

  • King County iMapKing County iMap

    King County offers a free online mapping tool where you can get information on mapped natural resource features such as streams, lakes wetlands and other spatial information. The tool allows you search for a location, look up property information and explore different map layers. Additionally, the program allows to you draw and insert text over basemaps.

  • SalmonScapeSalmonScape

    SalmonScape is an online tool developed by the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. The tool is an interactive, computer mapping application that provides scientific information on fish distribution, fish barriers and other data regarding fish species in our state. The tool merges fish and habitat data collected by state, federal, tribal and local biologists.

  • Priority Habitat and SpeciesPriority Habitat and Species

    The Priority Habitat and Species map is an online, interactive map for citizens, landowners and cities that provides basic spatial information about Priority Habitats and Species in Washington State.  The website provides best available science to help with land use planning.

  • Web Soil SurveyWeb Soil Survey

    Web Soil Survey provides soil data and information for King County and Washington State. Soil data can help in planning restoration projects, by providing information on what plant species would do best in current soil conditions. The online tool allows you to navigate to an area and get soil information specific to that area.

  • National Wetland InventoryNational Wetland Inventory

    The National Wetlands Inventory is an online mapping tool that shows the location and type of wetlands. The maps can provide information to help determine wetland boundaries and buffer widths.

2015 Urban Shorelines and Riparian Habitat Working Group Recommendations (Adobe Acrobat PDF)

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