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SPU’s Ground-Breaking Work in Urban Creek Restoration and Engineering Featured at Seattle International Film Festival

Seattle Public Utilities is pleased to announce that its work to control flooding in one Seattle neighborhood is prominently featured in a full-length documentary film at the 45th Annual Seattle International Film Festival. The unique film focused on the collaborative, groundbreaking project was one of only about 400 selected out of more than 5,000 submissions.

Produced by Leaping Frog Films (LFF), Engineering with Nature – An Ode to Water, Wood, and Stone follows the birth of what began as a flood-control project in Northeast Seattle, initiated by Seattle Public Utilities.  Working with an assembled team of federal, state, and local partners, which included research scientists and engineers, the project results far exceeded expectations.

Today, adjacent neighborhoods no longer flood annually, and pollutants associated with urban runoff are being removed through natural processes, thanks to a cutting-edge engineered streambed.  Further validation of the project came when, for the first time in 20 years, Chinook salmon spawned in the project area, just a few feet from their human neighbors. 

Chinook Salmon spotted spawning in Thornton Creek, October 2018

“This visionary project shows what is possible when informed science, multidisciplinary design approaches, innovative engineering, creative construction techniques, and care for Mother Nature come together in search of solutions to climate change”, said Mami Hara, SPU General Manager. 

Engineering with Nature:  An Ode to Water, Wood and Stone will premiere on June 8th at 2 p.m. at the Seattle Downtown Library Auditorium.  Seating is limited on a first come, first served basis. Immediately following the screening, film attendees will be able question a panel of filmmakers, researchers, scientists and engineers involved with, or familiar with, the project.

Watch the trailer for Engineering with Nature: An Ode to Water, Wood and Stone.