A watershed is an area of land where all rainwater flows to the same place. Water flows through various creeks and streams before ending up in a larger water body. The two primary watersheds within Vancouver city limits are Burnt Bridge Creek and Columbia Slope, with Vancouver Lake basin at the western boundary and Lacamas Creek watershed to the east. All Vancouver watersheds ultimately drain into the Columbia River. As water flows across streets, parking areas and other hard surfaces, it picks up pollutants which can negatively affect the environment and even human health. Protecting our water resources requires pollution prevention efforts across all watersheds.
To better understand sources of pollution and its connection to groundwater, the City of Vancouver completed the Vancouver Watershed Health assessment in 2019. More detailed information can be found for the Burnt Bridge Creek, Columbia Slope and Vancouver Lake watersheds in this integrated scientific assessment report.
The complete Watershed Health Assessment can be found at the following links (coming soon):
- Watershed Health Assessment Final Report 2019
- Watershed Health Assessment – Appendix A
- Watershed Health Assessment – Appendix B
Vancouver Lake Watershed Partnership
In 2004, the Port of Vancouver, City of Vancouver Department of Public Works, Vancouver-Clark Parks and Recreation, Clark County Department of Public Works and the Fruit Valley Neighborhood Association formed the Vancouver Lake Watershed Partnership to bring together federal, state, local public agencies and citizen stakeholders concerned about water quality and lake closures resulting from toxic cyanobacteria blooms in the lake. Over the 10 years that followed, the Partnership efforts established a solid foundation for future planning and potential implementation.
Experience Vancouver Lake
In 2015, the Partnership’s funding Steering Committee agreed to contract with the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership to engage Vancouver area students and community members in a comprehensive watershed outreach program that builds community awareness and appreciation for Vancouver Lake. The Experience Vancouver Lake Program is also intended to build a constituency of people committed to ensuring Vancouver Lake remains a valued regional community treasure and environmental resource.