South Scappoose Creek Restoration

Streamside restoration activities along the South Scappoose Creek through the City of Scappoose, have been approved. The creek has historically provided habitat for Coho salmon and Steelhead, but over time, changing conditions of the creek have had a negative impact on the health of the stream. This restoration project will restore and improve this critical fish and wildlife habitat, while addressing erosion and flooding concerns.

Over time, conditions of the South Scappoose Creek have changed due to a number of natural factors. Some of these factors include erosion, stream channels being confined or cut off from the creek, changes to the stream bed itself, and an increase of invasive plant species along the creek. As a result, stream water temperatures have increased, banks have become less stable, and it is difficult to access the creek. All of these changes have had a negative impact on the health of the stream.

The South Scappoose Creek Restoration project will be beneficial in several ways. It will enhance fish habitat by improving conditions and creating a healthy environment to sustain fish and wildlife diversity, including significant Coho salmon and Steelhead numbers. In addition, it will make the creek more accessible to the public, as well as create a larger floodway that will help reduce impacts to adjoining properties during flood events.

Working with the City of Scappoose the Scappoose Bay Watershed Council (SBWC) has been awarded a Bonneville Power Grant (BPA) of $265,865, to implement stream restoration activities. The funding is part of a Willamette Mainstem Anchor Habitat Investments Program grant that includes $95,813 for a restoration project on the lower North Scappoose Creek.

Two previous studies of South Scappoose Creek, done in 2009 and 2013, developed restoration designs to address stream conditions. Proposed actions include bank laybacks to minimize active bank erosion and provide channel capacity during high flows, floodplain benches to increase floodplain interaction during seasonal flood flows, and side channel reconnections to access historic off-channel areas.

This project will do additional hydrologic surveys and modeling, final engineering designs, and construction of restoration activities. Following restoration construction, any remaining invasive plants will be removed, and the area will be planted with up to 9,000 native trees and shrubs along the riparian corridor.

The project area spans two parcels – the creek through Veteran’s Park, as well as the parcel immediately upstream of the park, south of SW JP West Road. All work is being done on the west side of the creek.

The project is scheduled to complete designs and permitting in winter 2017-18, with construction in mid-to-late summer 2018. Vegetation planting will occur between November 2018 and March 2019.

The city is contributing over $75,000 to the project. The SBWC will be working on outreach and education and expects to have volunteer opportunities for community members interested in the restoration – particularly with the native vegetation planting activities. Additional project partners include the Columbia Soil and Water Conservation District, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, and the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board.

Continued restoration activities will occur as funding is available over the next several years, and initially be focused on Zones G & H (middle areas of photo below). Funding is also being sought for designs and construction on Zone F (north), and potentially on Zone I (south).

Initial plans for the project include creating a shallower slope along much of the western bank, creating floodplain benches at critical locations along the project area, and reconnecting with historical side channels. All areas will be re-vegetated with native vegetation as the project progresses.

More Information:
For more information contact Pat at the Scappoose Bay Watershed Council at 503-397-7904 or email: pat@scappoosebay-wc.org.

Partners: cityscap_logo columbia soil and water conservation

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