to restore 1300 acres recognized for collaboration, aquatic stewardship
The Department of
State Lands was among 13 federal, state, local and private organizations that
were recently recognized by the U.S. Forest Service for restoring the Salmon River
Estuary near Lincoln City.
The restoration partnership included the Salmon-Drift Creek Watershed
Council; Siuslaw National Forest; Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board; Oregon
Department of Transportation; Oregon Department of State Lands; Oregon
Department of Fish and Wildlife; U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Greenpoint
Consulting; “Hire the Fish Crew” Program; Sitka Center for Art and Ecology;
Westwind Stewardship Group; and the OSU Institute for Natural Resources.
Collaborative/Integrated Aquatic Stewardship Award honored the partner agencies
tidal influence to 130 acres, and restoring more than 2.5 miles of stream
channel and floodplain since 2006. Over 40 years, the project decommissioned
and removed an aging theme park and a trailer park; and removed over two miles
of dikes and ten tide gates, ditches and invasive species. The work will
benefit endangered coho salmon, as well as Chinook salmon, steelhead, coastal
cutthroat trout, waterfowl and elk habitat.
DSL’s involvement in the project primarily involved funding for two tidal
reconnection projects. The first, Tamara Quays, involved restoration of a 40-acre
site, developed originally in the 1970s as a mobile home park. The second restored
a 50-acre site that was developed as the Pixieland amusement park in 1969.
Both projects were partially funded from the state’s In-Lieu Fee Program
for wetland mitigation. When a development project impacts wetlands, developers
may purchase wetland “credits” from DSL to satisfy their mitigation
requirements. Revenue from selling credits is deposited into a fund earmarked
for future wetland restoration. Both sites are being monitored over a ten-year
period and include funding for maintenance of the restored wetlands.
“Tidal habitats are some of our most productive and disproportionately lost
wetland types,” said Mary Abrams, DSL director. “Our agency, and the many
others who’ve worked within the Salmon River Estuary for decades, are returning
the area to a place where natural species and systems can again flourish. We thank
the U.S. Forest Service for recognizing this important project.”
Salmon River Estuary slide show