Cougar Creek-Neevel Levee Improvement

CougarCreek location 500pxl

Contact Us

  1. Christina Schoenfelder

    Project Engineer 
    [email protected]

    322 N Commercial Street
    2nd Floor
    Bellingham, WA 98225


The Cougar Creek-Neevel Levee Improvement Project is an early action project identified through the Floodplain Integrated Planning (FLIP) process. The project will improve the Neevel Levee to reduce the potential for erosion, replace a flood gate to improve fish passage and drainage and improve habitat.

Project Benefits

  • Improve fish passage
  • Increase flood protection by removing levee deficiencies
  • Improve agricultural drainage
  • Improve riparian and stream habitat

Project Overview

  • Status: 90% design complete
  • Next Steps: final design and permitting
  • Schedule: construction anticipated 2024
  • Engineering Design Consultant: Reichhardt & Ebe Engineering
  • Construction Contractor: TBD
  • Construction Costs: TBD

Project Description

Whatcom County River and Flood Division is currently managing a multi-stakeholder Floodplain Integrated Planning (FLIP) process that brings together flood risk reduction, salmon recovery and agricultural interests to identify mutually beneficial strategies and projects in the Nooksack River basin. The Cougar Creek-Neevel Levee Improvement Project is one of the early action projects identified through that process. The project includes the following components:

  • Replacement of a fish-blocking culvert with a larger culvert with a proprietary flood gate that will improve fish passage and flood drainage off of agricultural fields.
  • Realignment and widening of the Neevel Levee to reduce potential erosion damage.
  • Removal of a second culvert that was identified as a levee deficiency.
  • Installation of large wood habitat features in Cougar Creek.
  • Enhancement of riparian vegetation along Cougar Creek and the Nooksack River. 

Nooksack River Floodplain Improvements Video

Episode 2- Collaborative Design Video
  1. Funding
  • National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) through The Nature Conservancy (initial design)
  • Washington State Department of Ecology (final design)
  • Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) (construction)