Thornton Creek

Thornton Creek is made up of 18 miles of urban waterways flowing from Shoreline through northeast Seattle into Lake Washington.

It is the largest watershed in Seattle and home to more than 200,000 people and a diversity of plants and animals. Specifically, Thornton Creek provides habitat for many species of fish, including endangered salmon and trout.

The Thornton Creek Confluence is a flat area just upstream from Meadowbrook Pond where the north and south branches of Thornton Creek combine.

In recent years, frequent flooding has affected a number of nearby homes, Nathan Hale High School and the Meadowbrook Community Center, and has occasionally closed 35th Ave. N.E. Restoring the flood plain surrounding Thornton Creek will increase the area where flood waters can safely be held during storms.

Seattle Public Utilities is improving the Thornton Creek Confluence to reduce upstream flooding and downstream flows. As a result, the confluence area will benefit from:

  • A new 2-acre floodplain and meandering channel for the existing creek
  • A new larger culvert under 35th Ave. NE
  • Improved wildlife habitat with native riparian plantings including over 600 new trees and 3,800 new shrubs
  • Removal of invasive plants on the stream bank and floodplain

Overall, this project will help restore water quality, improve fish and wildlife habitat, reduce local flooding, and prepare for other flood reduction projects in the future.

Thornton Creek Alliance Stewardship Program

Thornton Creek Alliance (TCA) is a grassroots, nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and restoring an ecological balance in the Thornton Creek watershed, a drainage of approximately 11.6 square miles in northeast Seattle and Shoreline.

 To learn more about its projects and accomplishments visit it’s website.

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