Residents, including students and people planning home or yard improvements, now have access to essential information about their property -- background about the drainage basin they occupy.
Bellevue is divided into 26 drainage basins -- small watersheds in which all runoff drains to a particular stream, lake or wetland. The city has collected comprehensive data about those drainage basins and posted that data online.
While the city has provided drainage basin information before, people can now click on an interactive map to see what drainage basin they live in, then check a fact sheet that tells what salmon are present in streams, the size and boundaries of the basin, how many people live in the basin and other data.
"The fact sheets have a lot more information, and new graphics that will help residents and school children," said Kit Paulsen, the city's stream scientist. "The site also links to other data, such as critical areas and more information about salmon use and flow."
Developers applying for permits can learn if the basin in which they are working has critical areas and/or salmon, what lake the basin drains to and the stream number, which is needed to access state information. Of Bellevue's 26 basins, 17 drain eventually to Lake Washington, the other nine to Lake Sammamish.
"Each drainage basin is affected by the activities that take place there," said Paulsen. "For example, fertilizing a lawn can impact a stream or lake even if it isn't nearby because of runoff. People, animals, birds and fish are all part of the drainage basin community. The new information will help people understand more about how they fit into their own basin."
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