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2009-2011 Biennial Report - Monitoring
Oregon Plan Monitoring
Monitoring programs allow Oregonians to learn about key watershed functions and to evaluate the  benefits of conservation and restoration efforts in our watersheds.  Monitoring programs established to support the Oregon Plan for Salmon and Watersheds are designed to do the following: describe the health of Oregon’s watersheds; track important water quality, fish, wildlife, and habitat through time; evaluate the effectiveness of conservation and restoration efforts; and provide information used for setting priorities and making strategic decisions about  resource investments.  During the 2009-2011 biennium, the State of Oregon made significant strides under the three main components of the Oregon Plan Monitoring Strategy; 1) status and trends monitoring, 2) effectiveness monitoring, and 3) sharing data and monitoring results.

General Observations
  • Budgetary constraints continued to influence the available resources to conduct Oregon Plan monitoring.  State agencies’ capacity to conduct large scale monitoring efforts has been reduced from past biennia, especially for watershed water quality monitoring.  Potential federal funding has been identified that may increase monitoring capability in the next biennium, particular for salmon monitoring.
  • Despite budgetary limitations dedicated individuals made significant progress on several important monitoring and data distribution related efforts (see below).
  • Climate change is increasingly a major watershed condition driver and requires more and different types of monitoring in new geographies.  Future successes in restoration will be dependent upon a stronger understanding of climate change through strategic monitoring efforts.

Monitoring Accomplishments
  • Watershed Councils and Soil and Water Conservation Districts continue to implement more than 40 environmental monitoring programs, particularly those focused on water quality and fish monitoring.  These projects are conducted at the local level and involve citizens in key watershed management and restoration decisions.
  • OWEB, in partnership with Oregon State University, the University of Oregon and the Department of Administrative Services created new web based tools for the public to gain easy access to more information about grants and restoration projects. www.oregon.gov/OWEB/biennialreport2011.shtml 
  • OWEB continued to make strong investments in its budding effectiveness monitoring program that is designed to gather results about outcomes from watershed restoration efforts.  www.oregon.gov/OWEB/MONITOR/monitoringreports_linked.shtml
  • A Willamette Basin water quality assessment report was completed by the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality that combined 10 years of data collected through 15 different surveys by municipalities, local groups, agencies, and universities. http://www.deq.state.or.us/lab/wqm/docs/WillametteBasinAssessment2009.pdf
  • The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife maintained the high intensity coastal Coho monitoring program and expanded the work into the Middle Columbia River Recovery Domain, expanded surveys and plans for additional Lower Columbia River monitoring including those important for chum salmon reintroduction, and influenced regional adaptation of Oregon Plan monitoring methods.
  • OWEB hired the University of Oregon’s Ecosystem Workforce Program to research and evaluate the economic and employment stimulus that results from watershed restoration conducted by local organizations and businesses. http://ewp.uoregon.edu/sites/ewp.uoregon.edu/files/
  • The OWEB Board invested nearly $2.4 million in grants to monitoring projects throughout Oregon.
  • The Legislature allocated over $6.5 million in funds to state agencies for monitoring fish populations, water quality, and habitat.
For more information: http://www.oregon.gov/OWEB/MONITOR/

2009-2011 Biennial Report Sections
2009-2011 Online Report Main Page
Executive Summary [PDF]
Agency Actions
Voluntary Restoration
Science Oversight
Basin Reports
Data Sources, Acronyms, and Credits [PDF]