YAQUINA BAY WETLAND RESTORATION
Laura Brophy, Green
Point Consulting, has developed this series of projects
aimed at identifying, restoring and then monitoring estuarine
wetlands in the Yaquina Bay system. The Wetland & Watershed
Assessment Group at EDC is assisting in the monitoring of
macrobenthic invertebrates at these sites.
The goal of this project is
to restore tidal flow and salmonid habitat functions at three
diked, formerly-tidal wetland sites (92A total) in the Yaquina
basin. These sites comprise the first major estuarine wetland
restoration activity in the Yaquina basin. Both sites are owned
by large industrial timber companies (Georgia-Pacific West and
Simpson Timber). The sites were prioritized in the MCWC's Estuarine
Wetland Site Prioritization study, funded by OWEB and conducted
by Green Point Consulting in 1999.
Restoration work will include removal of man-made alterations
(dikes, ditches) which impair tidal flow and reduce salmonid
habitat functions. Public informational meetings and school/university
involvement will provide educational outreach.
The project includes extensive participation by MCWC stakeholders
including industrial timber landowners and resource agencies.
Georgia-Pacific West Inc. will fund site work and required permits.
Simpson Timber Company will provide funds for site work, monitoring
and required permits. Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission
will provide project management. ODFW will provide fish monitoring
before and after restoration. U.S. EPA will provide annual aerial
photography for monitoring of vegetation and tidal channel development,
and GIS support including digital orthophotography and ArcView
shapefiles. South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve,
Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, Oregon Division of State
Lands, Oregon State University's Dept. of Geosciences and College
of Oceanic and Atmospheric Sciences, University of Washington's
Wetland Ecosystem Team, and USFWS will provide technical input
on monitoring, implementation and adaptive management. Local
coordination will be provided by the Lincoln County Planning
Department. The Yaquina Basin Planning Team will provide communications
for education and public awareness of project goals. Toledo
Public Schools and Oregon State University will provide faculty
and student time and materials for student involvement in monitoring
activities & public education outreach.
& Assessment: In accordance with MCWC policy, all
restoration work will include monitoring to establish baseline
conditions, guide project implementation, and evaluate project
success. Baseline monitoring will document current conditions.
Monitoring will be duplicated at reference sites to allow accurate
interpretation. Effectiveness of restoration work will be determined
through baseline and follow-up monitoring of vegetation, macroinvertebrates
and channel morphology.
Invertebrates were collected
in fallout traps and by benthic coring using protocols used at
other major tidal wetland restoration projects in Oregon, including
the Salmon River estuary and South Slough National Estuarine Research
Reserve. Exchange of monitoring data with the scientific community
involved in those projects will help to advance the state of the
art of estuarine restoration in Oregon. A key component of the
monitoring protocol is the use of reference sites. Reference sites
will make it possible to determine whether habitat changes in
the restoration sites are due to the restoration activity itself,
or due to larger-scale changes in the estuary.
Wetland & Watershed Assessment Group
Earth Design Consultants, Inc.
230 SW Third St., Suite 212
Corvallis, OR 97330
(541 757-7991 FAX