Snohomish County Public Works Wins 2024 Project of the Year Award


Snohomish County Public Works’ project that created the Little Bear Creek Advance Mitigation Site (LBCAMS) was innovative, changing the way the county handles mitigation and saving millions of dollars in taxpayer funds. As a result, the project has been recognized as the 2024 Public Works Project of the Year from the American Public Works Association (APWA) Washington Chapter in the Environmental under $5 million category during a ceremony on April 11, 2024, in Vancouver, Wash.

“Snohomish County values its hard-working and innovative public works professionals, and others clearly agree, not only with this well-deserved award but also with the professionalism they bring to each project,” Snohomish County Executive Dave Somers said. “The Department of Public Works ensures Snohomish County has safe, maintained, and well-designed roads and waste disposal. I congratulate everyone at Public Works who had a hand in this forward-thinking project and the public for their continued support.”

“This award is a testament to our team’s innovation and proactive thinking to be strong environmental and fiscal stewards,” said Public Works Director Kelly Snyder. “This project wouldn’t have been possible or successful without the coordination between Public Works and design consultant ESA.”

The 17-acre project is now a protected mitigation site that allows the county to be proactive in addressing mitigation requirements by generating wetland credits for future unavoidable project impacts. Consolidating wetland restoration and enhancement efforts in advance is expected to save the county more than $30 million on 11 road projects, when compared to building concurrent wetland mitigation projects or purchasing wetland credits from a mitigation bank.

Developing LBCAMS started in 2017 when the county purchased a derelict property built on wetland fill in the densely populated southern part of the county. Returning the site to a high-functioning forested wetland involved removing 17 structures, 4.25 acres of wetland fill, 1,200 feet of drainpipe and electrical conduit, and more than 37,000 square feet of impervious surface, and adding 6,300 cubic yards of compost and wood chip mulch and more than 21,000 native plants. The total project cost $4.2 million.

“This was not your typical public works project, as it didn’t directly involve improvements to the county’s road network or solid waste infrastructure,” Public Works Deputy Director and County Engineer Doug McCormick said. “However, it’s critical to the ongoing environmental and fiscal health of the county and future road improvement projects.”