Stormwater Management Action Plan

The City of Vancouver is creating a Stormwater Management Action Plan or SMAP. This Action Plan will help the City address pollution from urban runoff (stormwater) into our rivers and streams. Stormwater is the leading cause of water pollution in Washington. There are many actions we can take to better manage stormwater pollution impacts.

The goal of Vancouver’s Stormwater Management Action Plan process is to protect and improve water quality for our community and enhance the natural environment while meeting future growth needs.

Why is this important?

The Stormwater Management Action Plan will allow the City of Vancouver to focus on stream health and improve livability in the areas of our City that are most impacted by urban runoff. The Action Plan focuses on actions the City can take such as improving water quality, reducing flooding, restoring native habitat, increasing access to open space areas and adding tree canopy to reduce runoff and protect habitat from increasing temperatures.

What is stormwater and how can it impact water quality?

When it rains or snows in urban areas, water often picks up pollutants as it flows toward creeks, rivers and lakes. This potentially polluted runoff is called stormwater. Click on the graphic at the bottom of this page to view some common sources of contamination include car washing (1), oil leaks (2), spills from activities conducted outdoors (3), pesticides and fertilizers (4), litter (5), pet waste (6), and leaves and yard waste (7). Click picture to enlarge. 

How does stormwater harm waterways?

Most storm drains lead directly from streets and urban areas to local waterways. If stormwater is not properly collected and treated, it can impact local water quality and wildlife habitat. Pollution in local waterways can harm fish and animals as well as people who swim and play in or near the water. Water quality issues can also impact the local economy.

How will the Action Plan benefit our community?

The Action Plan will help support our Vancouver community members by prioritizing investments in projects and solutions that:

Vancouver is working to keep waterways clean

The City of Vancouver is already working to improve our local waterways and prevent polluted stormwater from harming water quality and wildlife. Some of the City’s stormwater programs include:

Next steps

The City completed a Receiving Water Assessment and identified the Burnt Bridge Creek watershed to develop the Stormwater Management Action Plan. The Burnt Bridge Creek watershed will be the focus of the City’s Action Plan, and we’ve recently asked for input to help identify what is important to you. Responses submitted during December 2022 and January 2023 will help in the development of the Stormwater Management Action Plan. We appreciate all who completed the survey and shared your ideas regarding Burnt Bridge Creek.

Learn more about what the City of Vancouver is doing and how to get involved


Receiving Water Assessment – August 2022