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Juanita Creek Watershed

Juanita CreekThe Juanita Creek Watershed (map) includes portions of Kirkland and unincorporated King County, and encompasses an area of approximately 4224 acres. The mainstem of the creek flows approximately 5 miles west and south from its origin east of Interstate 405 to its mouth at Lake Washington on the west side of Juanita Beach Park.
Current Conditions What You Can Do Juanita Creek Watershed Report Card (PDF-1.1MB)
What the City is Doing Resources for Streamside

Current Conditions

Rapid land use changes over the past 20 years have drastically changed the landscape surrounding Juanita Creek and the area is now considered “highly developed.” This development and associated impervious surfaces (covering almost half the watershed) has affected the ecological health of the creek and the surrounding land.

Drainage Area

Approximately 6.6 square miles (4224 acres)
Municipalities Kirkland, Unincorporated King County
Population Approximately 28,400 people
Land Use Single-family & multifamily residential, commercial & offices
Impervious Surface 48% of surface area is covered in impervious surfaces, including roads, parking lots & rooftops
Soils Indianola series. Soil type A - deep, well- to excessively-drained sands & gravels having high infiltration potential

Anadromous & resident fish
Cutthroat trout, coho salmon, sockeye salmon


112 acres of wetlands, including Totem Lake Wetlands & Heronfield Wetlands
  • Stormwater flow has increased in frequency, volume and duration leading to streambank erosion.
  • Poor water quality has affected beneficial uses such as swimming, wading and fishing in Lake Washington and has contributed to degraded habitat for aquatic organisms, including salmon and trout.
  • Poor quality and quantity of vegetation adjacent to Juanita Creek have contributed to increased water temperatures.
  • Ordinary urban activities such as driving, washing cars, and applying garden chemicals have contributed pollutants to surface water.
What the City is Doing

Creek Restoration Projects Completed by the City
Presented by location along stream - from Lake Washington and moving upstream.
See map of project site locations.

Juanita Creek Channel Enhancements in Juanita Beach Park (SD-0057)
Completed in 2007

This restoration project provided for stabilized stream banks, improved water quality, and enhanced stream habitat. Elements were accomplished by re-grading the channel and removing garbage, installing log structures and other measures, and replacing non-native, invasive vegetation with native plants along approximately 400 feet of Juanita Creek.

Channel Enhancement_Juanita Beach Park 1
Channel Enhancement_Juanita Beach Park 2

NE 120th Place Culvert Replacement (SD-0018)
Completed in 1999

Undersized double-culverts were replaced with a bottomless arch culvert. Project also included planting of native vegetation, installation of streambed gravels, and placement of rock to turn flows and provide fish habitat.

NE 120th Culvert Replacement_before
NE 120th Culvert Replacement_after

NE 122nd Street Bank Stabilization (SD-0060)
Completed in 2008

This project included the stabilization of a severely eroded stream bank and failing storm drain outfall along Juanita Creek, located downstream of NE 122nd Street. The improvements include: installation of a structural earth wall, rock and log grade control structures, and removal of invasive plants and installation of native vegetation within the work area.

NE 122nd Street Bank stabilization_before
NE 122nd Street Bank Stablization_after

NE 122nd/NE 124th Culvert Replacements (SD-0017 and SD-0028)
Completed in 2003

This project replaced two undersized culverts at NE 124th Street and one undersized culvert at NE 122nd Street with pre-cast concrete box culverts. These improvements reduced roadway flooding, improved fish passage, and provided fish habitat features includes logs and woody debris, and gravel rocks and weirs placed to create pools. Native vegetation was planted to provide shade which helps to keep stream water cooler in the summer.

Channel Stabilization at 94th Place NE/NE 126th Place (SD-0039)
Completed in 2008

This project is located on a tributary to Juanita Creek commonly known as Billy Creek. This section of the tributary was identified as a location where poor riparian vegetation and eroded (down cut) channel sections exist, adding to downstream sedimentation problems. The project reduces erosion and sediment transport by adding in-stream rock and log structures, removing invasive plant species and replanting with native vegetation.

NE 94th Place Channel Stabilization_before
94th Place NE Channel Stabilization_after

NE 129th Place/100th Ave NE Habitat Enhancement (SD-0030)
Completed in 2002

Woody debris and rock were installed along approximately 200 feet of the stream to create habitat features and to turn flow away from an eroding bridge abutment. Invasive blackberry and Japanese knotweed were removed and replaced with native vegetation.

Other City Projects & Programs

Juanita Creek Walk
An assessment of the physical health of Juanita Creek was conducted in 2008. This assessment included walking sections of the creek that fall within the city limits of Kirkland and noting features including the conditions of the creek bank, litter present in the creek and along its banks, and overall creek characterization.

Fecal Coliform Study
A combined effort between The City of Kirkland and King County to sample fecal coliform throughout the entire Juanita Creek stream network began in July 2008. This study is designed to locate and preliminarily quantify sources of bacteria throughout the watershed at a sampling density sufficient to locate bacterial sources so the sources can be corrected.

Other Programs
All of the programs noted on the City's Storm & Surface Water page are conducted in the Juanita Creek watershed, as well as in other parts of the city.

What You Can Do

The water that goes into the storm drains in our neighborhoods is not treated before it enters Juanita Creek. We need your help to keep Juanita Creek clean! Let's break it down by issue...

Bacteria (Fecal Coliform)

Clean up after your dog, even when in your own backyard. If pet waste is not cleaned up in our neighborhoods, we may come in contact with it when enjoying Juanita Beach Park. Scoop your dog’s poop & throw it in the trash!

Keep your dog on leash when in Juanita Beach on leash That way you know where & when your pet is going.

Don’t feed wildlife, including squirrels, ducks, geese, raccoons, crows, or gulls! Feeding wild animals unnatural food overloads the natural system with waste & contaminates the creek.



Leave natural streamside vegetation along Juanita Creek & its tributaries. A lack of vegetation along the creek makes the stream more vulnerable to solar heating.

streamside vegetation

Plant native trees & bushes along
Juanita Creek & its tributaries.
Streamside shade reduces stream temperature by as much as 18°F.

Infiltrate runoff from your roof, driveway, & yard into the ground. This runoff soaks into the soil & feeds cool water to the creek during the summer.

Runoff Volume

Build a rain garden on your property. Rain gardens are landscaped shallow depressions that allow storm runoff from roofs, driveways, patios, etc.

Rain garden plants

Build your soil with compost. Dig in compost when planting gardens, beds, or lawns.

Mulch beds annually with wood chips, leaves, or compost. Mulch increases the water retention of soil, helping to slow the flow of runoff.

Get Involved!

Mark storm drains or adopt a neighborhood drain. Help your Storm drain markingcommunity learn about watersheds & where stormwater goes. Call 425-587-3858 for more info.

Watch for salmon. Participate in the King County Salmon Watcher Program, occurring every fall. Email for more information.

Host a watershed-friendly charity car wash. Sell car wash tickets or use a car wash kit for your next fundraiser. Call 425-587-3858 for more info.

Form a Friends of Juanita Creek group. Help educate & involve your neighbors in Juanita Creeks health. The City is available to provide assistance.


Public Works
Mon-Fri, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
123 5th Avenue, Kirkland WA 98033
Operations & Maintenance
Mon-Fri, 6:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
915 8th St, Kirkland WA 98033

General Inquiries

Engineering: T. 425.587.3800 | F. 425.587.3807
Operations & Maintenance: T. 425.587.3900 | F. 425.587.3902