Skagit County, positioned between Seattle and Vancouver (B.C.), split by Interstate 5, is also arguably the most productive agricultural County in Western Washington. Much of the acreage in agricultural production can be found west of I-5; approximately 60,000 acres of sub-tidal farmland. These Class 1 soils, with high concentrations of clays and sands, can only remain fertile for the many different crops locally grown if they are 1) protected by many miles of dikes from the tidal salt water of Skagit, Padilla, and Samish Bays, 2) adequately drained by many miles of constructed ditches and modified sloughs during periods of high rainfall, and 3) seasonally irrigated utilizing water captured in that same network of watercourses.
More and more, environmental concerns and regulations both need to be countered and accounted for by the Districts. The purpose and intent of WWAA Contracts with districts- Support of the districts in carrying out their duties, responsibilities and activities necessary for repairing and maintaining drainage infrastructure, while in large part addressing those concerns and regulations. WWAA participates in meetings, provides consultation and technical advice, and prepares and reviews written materials and documents for the districts in the following areas:
Diking and drainage district facilities land use, regulatory, permitting and environmental documents development and coordination activities;
Federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) and Clean Water Act (CWA) compliance assistance activities;
Salmon recovery, habitat protection and restoration project planning, flood control, stormwater and drainage projects coordination and implementation activities;
Irrigation activities and agricultural water rights issues