TCA Meeting in the News

Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) talks about their floodplain maps for Thornton Creek

The following letter came from Seattle Public Utilities to introduce some discussion by the Federal Emergency Management Agency concerning floodplain mapping in the Thornton Creek watershed.  A meeting took place; whether or not you attended, you can find more information in the links the letter contains.



I want to share the details of a public meeting coming up with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on October 2nd, 2013 to talk about their floodplain maps for Thornton Creek.

As you may recall, the City of Seattle conducted a “flood insurance study” in the Thornton Creek watershed on behalf of FEMA in 2009, which FEMA has been reviewing and editing per its technical standards.

FEMA published the “preliminary” maps this month.  Once finalized, the new “Flood Insurance Rate Maps” will replace the maps currently in use by insurance agents and mortgage companies (effective since 1996).

According to protocol, FEMA requested that Seattle Public Utilities assist in getting the word out and providing introductory comments in an Open House format.   The event will be held on Wednesday, October 2nd, from 6:30 to 9 p.m., in the College Center Building at the North Seattle Community College (9600 College Way N., Seattle, 98103).  Seattle Public Utilities informed affected property owners via mail this week. 

The meeting will focus on: how the maps are developed, what the process is for appealing and/or finalizing the maps, and how they are used.  Attendees can request FEMA to look up their addresses in real time, see what the flood risk is to their homes, and learn more about flood insurance.

If you are unable to attend, the draft FEMA maps can be viewed at: Regarding any questions on the technical mapping process, please contact FEMA’s Map Service Center at (877) 336-2627 or  If you have specific comments or would like to submit an appeal, please e-mail or write to Timothy Lowry c/o SPU, Suite 4900, P.O. Box 34018, Seattle, WA, 98124.  Comments must be received in writing by the end of the appeal period, 90 days after the maps are announced in the Seattle Times (likely November 2013-February 2014). 

If you have further questions, please contact Timothy Lowry at (206) 684-4150 or

Take care, Holly

Holly McCracken

Drainage & Wastewater Planning, Policy, and Regulations

Seattle Public Utilities

700 5th Avenue, Suite 4900, Bx. 34018

Seattle, WA 98124-4018

Volunteering for environment is good for your body

Follow this link to a great article in the Seattle Times about pulling ivy with EarthCorps


Fit for Life columnist Nicole Tsong is all in for working hard and doing good for the planet by volunteering with EarthCorps, the nonprofit Seattle-based organization dedicated to environmental restoration and developing community leaders.

Trees for Neighborhoods

The Trees for Neighborhoods Program is starting up again!

Plant Wonder T4N tagline

The Trees for Neighborhoods program helps Seattle residents plant trees around their homes.

Participants in the program receive:

  • Free trees (up to 4 per household)
  • Watering bags
  • Training on proper planting and care
  • Ongoing care reminders and workshop opportunities


Applications for the 2013 Trees for Neighborhoods program will open on July 31.

Applications will be available at 

You must live in Seattle to be eligible.
Apply early! Trees go quickly.
Street trees are also available.
See our Upcoming Events  for important application dates.

In either October or November (you choose), pick up your trees and attend a planting workshop so you know how to introduce your tree to its new home.

Download the flyer here: T4N_2013 Website Flyer
Questions? Contact Seattle reLeaf at or (206)615-1668

Updating the City’s Stormwater Regulations

Our stormwater code protects people, property, and the environment by controlling how rain water runs off of streets, buildings, and parking lots. This stormwater runoff can cause flooding, landslides, and erosion that can damage our homes, businesses, and property. Stormwater is also the main source for pollutants in our creeks, lakes, bays, and other waterways.

The Department of Ecology is requiring Seattle to update current codes with additional stormwater control regulations as a condition of our NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) permit. They are accepting comments on the current codes as they work to revise them. TCA  has commented on the current codes. Do you have additional comments? According to their timeline, comments are being welcomed via email this Summer and Fall of 2013. You can submit comments and join the Stormwater Code listserv by sending an email to

For more information, a survey, and frequently asked questions, visit the Stormwater Code website at:

Seattle Stormwater Code 
Stormwater Code & Rules Update


Water Quality: Report Suspected Pollution in the Creek

The water quality of Thornton Creek continues to be in the news. Last week, TCA’s meeting was attended by Q13 television news — you can watch their report on human fecal bacteria in Thornton Creek here:

Source of contamination in smelly Thornton Creek a mystery

Author of the study, Dr. Jonathan Frodge, was the featured speaker at the meeting. He has asked the public to help in the continuing investigation of the sources of pollution by reporting strong odors and/or discharges in and around the creek. To aid in that effort we have added a button on the right hand side of the page linking to the SPU report form.

View the complete report by Dr. Frodge: Investigation of Bacteria Sources in the Thornton Creek Watershed


TCA Facebook: 200 ‘Likes’

TCA has reached 200 ‘Likes’ here on Facebook! Join us for our next meeting, Thursday, June 27th, 7:15pm at Meadowbrook Community Center. SPU stormwater scientist Jonathan Frodge will discuss his study’s most recent results regarding human fecal waste bacteria found in Thornton Creek. TCA meetings are always free & open to the public. For background info, read

Video about Thornton Creek Watershed

Ruth Williams worked with students from Nathan High School at Beaver Pond Natural Area this Spring. Check out this great video made by one of the students.


Thornton Creek Water Quality in the News

E.coli warning issued for Seattle’s Thornton Creek


As reported in the news media, the public is being warned to stay out of Thornton Creek due to high concentrations of human E.coli. The news is in response to the recent report “Investigation of Bacteria Sources in the Thornton Creek Watershed” by SPU stormwater scientist Dr. Jonathan Frodge.

Dr. Frodge spoke to a general membership meeting of TCA on June 27th, 2013.

Check out the news links below, some of which include commentary from Dr. Frodge, our TCA president Ruth Williams, and longtime member and supporter John Lombard.

KOMO 4: Dangerous levels of human waste found in Seattle creek
King 5: E.coli warning issued for Seattle’s Thornton Creek
The Seattle Times: Public warned to stay away from smelly Thornton Creek
KPLU: Human fecal bacteria confirmed in Seattle’s Thornton Creek
KIRO TV: Human waste confirmed in Seattle’s Thornton Creek




Upcoming Bike Master Plan Open Houses

June 13

North Seattle at Roosevelt

High School Lunchroom,

1410 NE 66th St

OPEN HOUSES 6:00 to 7:30PM

Presentation at 6:30PM



or contact or (206) 733-9973