Natural Systems Enhancement and Stewardship (NSES) is responsible for the planning, design, implementation, operations, maintenance, and stewardship of a vast network of natural systems, including streams, wetlands, and forests. The work NSES performs enables CWS to achieve watershed-scale ecological improvements by implementing collaborative conservation strategies and catalyzing transformative partnerships.
NSES staff members work on hundreds of sites throughout the county managing native vegetation enhancement, conducting design, obtaining environmental permits, and overseeing construction of enhancement projects. Staff manage plant materials, coordinate dozens of complex agreements with partners and other governmental agencies, conduct assessments in support of long-term natural system stewardship, and actively engage with the communities CWS serves. NSES provides stewardship for thousands of acres, which increases the value of CWS investments in streams, wetlands, riparian forests, and other natural areas.
This group includes senior management for the department and administrative support services for the operating programs. Staff provides general and fiscal management for the department.
Landscape Strategies catalyzes focused planning of integrated conservation strategies that assemble the resources and partnerships needed for a healthy and resilient watershed. Key elements of this work include integrating surface water regulations with natural systems, developing strategic partnerships to increase scale of CWS investments, building coalitions for subbasin management strategies, and improving effectiveness with design and deployment of innovative information technology tools.
Project Delivery brings together multidisciplinary partnerships to plan and execute urban and rural projects that support a healthy and resilient watershed. Key elements of this work include developing, designing, and implementing multi-objective projects in support of sanitary and storm system infrastructure, ecological enhancement of natural systems, and partner elements of transportation, trails, and integrated water resources management.
Stewardship creates the network of community partners needed to promote, support, and cost-effectively manage natural systems for a healthy and resilient watershed. Key elements of this work include building and strengthening community partnerships that engage the public, supporting growth of value of natural system investments, managing operational needs for large-scale (more than 1 million per year) native plant restoration, and developing programs to respond to emerging needs of the community within natural systems (e.g., climate adaptation and mitigation; equity, diversity, and inclusion; illegal camping and houselessness; beaver; flooding). Investments in these community-based programs return many times value in matching funds and in-kind services.