Three years ago, our first Sandy River levee removal project took place on Columbia Land Trust (CLT) property near Brightwood. The 50 year old levee prevented the Sandy River from connecting with historic side channels during high water and salmon from utilizing habitat.
As you read this, two miles downriver from the CLT site, a second salmon habitat restoration project is underway. When completed, the Sandy River will have newly reconnected side-channels that will act as a relief valve during high water events. Instead of barreling downstream and threatening homes, the river will dissipate and spill over into an adjacent side channel reducing the severity of high water events.
New log jams (like the one pictured on the CLT project) will also be constructed to benefit salmon populations. Log jams are one of the most important building blocks for salmon habitat. They deepen pools, increase gravel bars ideal for spawning, trap nutrients, and increase food availability.
While the current construction involves a lot of land clearing, the site will be fully restored beginning in October, 2019; just like the CLT project site upstream. As part of the big picture restoration, volunteers will plant thousands of native trees and shrubs. This effort combined with nature’s healing powers can quickly restore a landscape.
We’d like to thank our wonderful contractors: