“To preserve and enhance the Dungeness River Watershed Planning Area through an ecosystem approach to restoring its physical and biological health.”
About the DRMT
The Dungeness River Management Team (DRMT) is a partnership of individuals and stakeholders who are working together to develop and pursue implementation of locally based, long-term solutions to Dungeness Watershed management issues. The Team has operated since the late 1980s, with active participation from residents and other partners and stakeholders in coordinating locally based, long-term solutions to water quantity, water quality, flood control, forest management, salmon recovery and other critical watershed issues.
Because the Dungeness basin represents the east side of Watershed Resources Area 18 (WRIA 18), one of 16 basins in the state listed as critical for low flows, the DRMT also serves as the East WRIA 18 watershed council, promoting flow restoration and wise water use.
The DRMT has been nationally recognized for cooperative resolution of these issues, and it functions as an important, ongoing forum for communication, coordination and information sharing. The Team meets openly each month to discuss these issues, listen to public concerns, and cooperatively exchange ideas about watershed management.
Check out our 30th Anniversary newsletter (published September 2018) for more information!
The DRMT’s adopted Geographic Focus Area includes the Dungeness Watershed and those waters influenced by it through the irrigation system. This includes the Bagley Creek sub-basin (on the west) to the west edge of Sequim Bay (on the east), and includes the Dungeness and Gray Wolf Rivers, Siebert, McDonald, Matriotti, Meadowbrook, Cooper, Cassalery, Gierin, Bell and Johnson Creeks and their tributaries. At the same time, the DRMT has also focused on restoration strategies for the Sequim Bay Watershed, and in 2001 the Team officially acknowledged Sequim Bay and its drainages as part of the DRMT’s Geographic Focus Area.
Over the years further discussion and planning by local residents about flood control, floodplain and riparian development, logging practices, preservation of agricultural lands, and related natural resource issues resulted in the Dungeness-Quilcene Water Resources Management Plan (1994), a regional water quantity plan known by the community as “the DQ Plan.” This key plan was part of a pilot project that used locally driven and consensus-based decision-making to provide recommendations about in-stream flow management, groundwater, water conservation, education and other issues.
One of the highlights for the Dungeness area during the DQ process included negotiations between the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe and the Dungeness River Agricultural Water Users Association that resulted in an agreement between the Water Users and Ecology that the Water Users would not take more than half of the flow in the Dungeness River during the irrigation season (half for the fish and half for the people). Other significant recommendations from the DQ Plan were implemented in the years that followed, including a trust water rights agreement, improvements to the efficiency of the irrigation system, the development of a habitat restoration plan by a technical team, and continuation of a watershed council to provide more coordinated and integrated natural resource planning for the Dungeness River Watershed area.
In response to the latter recommendation, the Dungeness River Management Team was reactivated in 1995 through a joint resolution between Clallam County and the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe. Its purpose as defined in the resolution was to: “exchange information on technical studies, issues, and projects occurring in the Dungeness Watershed; pursue implementation of the Dungeness River Comprehensive Flood Control Management Plan (1990), Dungeness River Area Watershed Management Plan (1993), and the DQ Water Resources Management Plan (1994); coordinate the use of staff, funding and other resources among agencies and representatives; and promote public education on watershed processes and activities.” The Team also functions as the watershed council for East Water Resources Area 18 (WRIA 18) and reviews project proposals for salmon restoration projects in WRIA 18 (and portions of WRIA 17).
Operating procedures were developed in 1996 (updated as needed), a mission statement and goals were revised and adopted in 2002 (updated in 2018), and an official DRMT logo was created in 2009.
Current Members (2018)
Voting Members (*2023 Executive Committee members in italics)
|City of Sequim
|Dungeness Beach Association
|Dungeness River Nature Center
|Olympic Peninsula Audubon Society
|Jamestown S'Klallam Tribe
|North Olympic Land Trust
|Protect the Peninsula's Future
|Riverside Property Owners / Estuary Tidelands
|Riverside Property Owners (RM 0-3.25)
|Sequim Dungeness Water Users Association
|Washington Department of Ecology
|Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife
The original 1988 resolution forming the DRMT requested representatives from the following organizations:
- Property Owners
- Irrigation Districts and Companies
- Dungeness Flood Control Advisory Board
- Sportsman’s Group
- Washington State Department of Fisheries
- U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service
- U.S. Soil Conservation Services
- Washington State Deptartment of Ecology
- Point-No-Point Treaty Council
- Clallam County
The May 1995 joint resolution between the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe and the Board of Clallam County Commissioners that revised and reactivated the DRMT requested representation on the Team as follows:
- Clallam County
- Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe
- Property Owners
- Dungeness River Agricultural Water Users Association
- Sports Fishers
- Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife
- Washington State Department of Ecology
- U.S. Fish & Wildlife
- U.S. Forest Service
- Clallam County Planning Commission
- Clallam County Critical Areas Committee
- Watershed / Dungeness-Quilcene Planning
The December 1995 MOU between the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe and the Board of Clallam County Commissioners added the City of Sequim to the member organizations, and incorporated alternates for each representative.