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200701700 - Lower Columbia Slough Off-Channel and Floodplain Habitat Restoration Project - Phase Two

Sponsor: Columbia Slough Watershed Council

Budgets: FY07: $97,000 | FY08: $36,000 | FY09: $20,000

Short description: The Project seeks to restore 5 acres of historic tidal floodplain wetland habitat in the Ramsey Wetland Complex while principally restoring hydrologic connectivity and ecological function in the lower Willamette River benefiting native fish and wildlife.

view full proposal

Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Expense

Recommended budgets: FY07: $0 | FY08: $0 | FY09: $0


ISRP final recommendation: Fundable


The proposal provides a very clear description of the nature of the problem and the role of floodplain habitat in providing rearing areas for juvenile salmon. Limiting factors identified in the Willamette Subbasin Plan are lack of key habitats and lack of habitat diversity that have affected the availability of habitat as refugia and rearing areas for juvenile salmon. The proposed project is a priority for the Columbia Slough Watershed Council and the City of Portland. It is related to three other habitat connectivity projects described in this section, including phase one of this project in the Ramsey Wetland Complex, which included evaluation and assessment of the potential for reconnectivity projects, now being proposed. The restoration of 5 acres will add about 12% to the existing 42 acres of natural wetlands that exist. These restoration actions are expected to provide multiple ecological benefits including benefits to listed salmon, and other native fish and wildlife. A wide range of amphibians, birds, and bats will benefit from the improved habitat. Results from this work could be informative elsewhere. Acknowledging perhaps the high price tag of $600,000 for this small area, the proposers claim some benefits that stretch the imagination; the increase in flood storage for the Willamette is trivial, and for the Columbia is microscopic. Monitoring work elements are built into each objective. Fish response to the construction of backwater slough channels will be monitored by collaborations of the City of Portland, Ducks Unlimited, and ODFW. Effect of placement of large wood (Task 2.2) will also be monitored by the City of Portland. Specific criteria for vegetation success (Task 3.5.1) will be monitored. Frequency of data collection is also described. Wildlife response will be monitored by surveys as well as in coordination with volunteer groups.

State/province recommendation: Not fundable due to budget constraints

Review group: OSPIT - Estuary

Recommended budgets: FY07: $0 | FY08: $0 | FY09: $0

Comment: Though OSPIT believes this is important work, the budget will not accommodate this project.