The Sandy River Basin Watershed Council, in partnership with the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, East Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District, Oregon Zoo, and The Intertwine Alliance, is offering the first ever Sandy River Delta Eco-Blitz on Saturday, April 23rd from 9:30am to 3:00pm.
The Eco-Blitz engages community members and pairs them with species identification specialists to inventory the biota of the Sandy River Delta, a focus of regional conservation efforts. Teams of identification specialists, families, students, teachers, and other local community members will work together to find and identify as many species of plants, birds, amphibians, insects, mammals, and other organisms as possible, using the iNaturalist smartphone app to record observations.
We will host morning and afternoon outings, with morning groups meeting at the Delta at 9:30am to receive training and survey from 10:15am–noon. The afternoon groups will gather at 12:30pm for training and inventory from 1:15–3:00pm. To register as a community volunteer for the day, visit our online registration.
The Sandy River Delta is a 1,500-acre natural preserve enjoyed by 100,000 visitors annually. A former deciduous forest, timber harvesting converted the site to open pasture until 15 years ago when the US Forest Service purchased the Delta and started the restoration process with a goal of establishing native oak woodland habitat. Since then, 900 acres of blackberry thickets have been removed and over 200,000 native trees and shrubs planted, making the Delta one of the largest deciduous forest restoration projects in the region.
In 2013, the US Army Corps of Engineers, and Portland Water Bureau removed a dam that had blocked the Sandy River’s East Channel since the 1930s, re-establishing the Delta’s braided channel system for the first time in 80 years and reconnecting over one mile of main-stem channel with the Columbia River. The Delta supports an extraordinary diversity of birds, over 180 sighted in recent years, as well as rare, threatened and endangered amphibians and a full range of native wildlife and vegetation species.
Volunteers working to restore oak woodland habitat at the Delta
In addition to the April 23rd Eco-Blitz, the Sandy River Basin Watershed Council and Friends of Trees, Confluence, and Friends of the Sandy River Delta sponsor community planting days, twice yearly events where families and friends plant hundreds of native trees and shrubs. Interpretive walks to the Maya Lin Bird Blind are also part of the festivities. Mark your calendar for Saturday, November 5th to participate in the next planting event.