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200709700 - Restoring connectivity to a floodplain wetland on Multnomah Channel

Sponsor: Ducks Unlimited, Inc.

Budgets: FY07: $30,000 | FY08: $160,000 | FY09: $5,000

Short description: A creek will be realigned into its historic channel to maintain water in a wetland and run a fish ladder. A fish ladder will be installed adjacent to an existing water-control structure to increase connectivity between Multnomah Channel and the floodplain

view full proposal

Final Council recommendation (Nov 2006)

Funding category: Expense

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

Comment:

ISRP final recommendation: Fundable

Comment:

This project will restore 100 acres of tidal wetland. Restoration of such areas in the Lower Willamette River is identified as a priority in the Willamette Subbasin Plan with significance for the restoration of Upper Willamette River spring Chinook, a listed species. CREP identified loss of wetlands and habitat as a key limiting factor. The US Army Corps of Engineers report on ecosystem approaches to habitat restoration also identifies a need to restore wetland habitat in the estuary, which is also tied to the ODFW Comprehensive Wildlife Conservation Strategy. A creek will be realigned into its historic channel to maintain water in the wetland. A fish ladder will be installed adjacent to an existing water-control structure to increase connectivity between Multnomah Channel and the floodplain. The proposal contains excellent photos and maps and a very persuasive description of the present conditions and need for resolution. The proposal does a good job referencing priorities in the Willamette Subbasin Plan. This is a collaborative project with Metro, who owns the land. In addition, collaboration and coordination with ODFW and City of Portland Environmental Services is also described. The project seems to fit well with ongoing wetlands restoration projects in this area. Information on wildlife population response to similar wetlands enhancement projects is effectively described. Good links to previous work that led to this project are given. The cost:benefit match is appropriate. Objectives are clearly linked to restoration actions in the subbasin plan, but the proposal could do a better job of being more specific (e.g. Objective 1 states the project will "Increase water supply to the north wetland..." How much? How will they measure potential benefit?). Work elements for the four objectives are clear quantitative descriptions, with work allocation among partners clearly described. Techniques are described generally. Monitoring of restoration effectiveness is one of the project's objectives. Monitoring of hydrologic and fish passage effects is well described in the four work elements. Specific details and timelines are given. Facilities are adequate. Existing collaborative relationships between Ducks Unlimited and other groups indicate they are an appropriate entity to conduct this project. Results from the last phase of this project will be used as a case study in a project to write best management practices for use of water-control structures in floodplain wetlands where salmon are present. As part of an ongoing monitoring program, results from the restoration activities at this site will be reported in annual reports distributed to agencies and presented at professional meetings. A final report will include a summary of best management practices for this type of restoration. Focal species are only generally stated as “all wildlife” but this type of restoration should have quite a significant benefit in restoring a relatively large acreage of lowland riparian and floodplain habitat and most native fish and wildlife associated with those habitats. Other species, not listed as focal species, are likely to benefit in the long-term from improved and expanded wetland habitat.

State/province recommendation: Fundable

Review group: OSPIT - Estuary

Recommended budgets: FY07: $30,000 | FY08: $80,000 | FY09: $5,000

Comment: The Nature Conservancy believes that it will be able to fund half the cost of FY08 implementation, so OSPIT recommends the projects with the reduced FY08 level.