Evaluating Stormwater Retrofit and Restoration Opportunities in the Lower-Middle Deschutes River
Understanding that stormwater influences the condition of its water resources, Thurston County will assess all its priority watersheds, looking for ways to restore ecological function through stormwater treatment or restoration projects. Herrera and the County are starting with a pilot study in the Deschutes River watershed to develop and evaluate a methodology that could be applied to other watersheds. Through workshops and desktop and field assessments, we identified and evaluated many restoration and retrofit opportunities—and found only a few that were worth advancing to conceptual design. The pilot project was successful because it revealed some of the inherent problems with a watershed-based approach for selecting study areas. In Herrera’s final recommendations to the County, we advised developing an entirely different method for ranking study areas, and we are now developing one.