If you live in the Scappoose Bay Watershed, you are part of a unique location where the end of the Willamette River, via the Multnomah Channel, converges with the Lower Columbia River. It’s a diverse landscape that includes steep forest to lowland waterways, and has significant salmonid and native wildlife habitat.
There are things you can do at home to improve the health of this vital watershed and the Scappoose Bay Watershed Council (SBWC) can help with do-it-yourself ideas and restoration project resources.
Do-it-Yourself Tips & Ideas
As a landowner living in or near the watershed, there are things you can do.
Plant more native species
- Consider planting native plant species first. Wildlife prefer them to non-native
- Native plants thrive in their natural environment.
- Plant a variety of vegetative types and heights.
- Select plants that flower and bear fruit at different times of the year.
- Find natives at the SBWC Native Plant Nursery sales the second Saturday in April and October.
- Anyone in our our community can play a role. See our local 4th graders planting natives at Veteran’s Park in the pictures below.
Eliminate weeds and invasive species
- Learn how to identify invasive species
- Prevent and/or remove weeds and other invasive plants
- Stay vigilant – invasive plants are aggressive growers
- In Columbia County, be on the lookout for:
- Riparian Areas: Himalayan blackberries, Reed canary grass, English ivy, Knotweed, Garlic mustard, Yellow archangel, Giant Hogweed
- Wetland Areas: Purple loosestrife, Yellowflag iris, Reed canary grass
- Newer invaders: Spurge laurel, Yellow archangel, Lesser celandine, and Spotted/Meadow knapweeds
- NOTIFY the Columbia Soil & Water Conservation District immediately if you find:
- Garlic Mustard
- Giant Hogweed
- Resource links:
- About Weeds – Oregon Department of Agriculture
- Columbia County Field Guide for Noxious Weeds – Columbia Soil & Water Conservation District
- Invasive Species – Oregon Native Invasive Species Council
- Invasive Species & Weeds – Top 15 to watch out for in Columbia County
- Invasive Weed ID & Mgmt – Oregon State University
- Rural Living Handbook – Columbia Soil & Water Conservation District
- Water Weeds – Benton County Soil & Water Conservation District
Create an inviting habitat for wildlife
- Wildlife habitat = Food + Water + Cover
- Encourage bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, and other beneficial insects.
- Leave snags and some downed, woody materials for perching, hiding, and nesting.
- Plant small grains or large-seeded grasses as food for wildlife.
- Develop ponds, stock water tanks or other watering facilities.
- Add bat boxes and bird houses to encourage species that feed on insects.
- Trees and shrubs supply habitat and travel corridors for wildlife.
Improve water quality
Trees, shrubs, and grasses along streams remove sediment, nutrients, pesticides, pathogens, and other potential pollutants before they enter the ground water.
- Conserve water
- Minimize the release of chemical in waterways
- Maintain septic systems
- Landscape and build wisely
Support salmon recovery efforts
- Plant stream banks with healthy native plants
- Increase ability for fish to access areas to spawn and reproduce
- Restore habitat in streams and rivers by leaving or placing large wood
- Reduce sediment and pollution by minimizing erosion
Restoration Project Resources
The SBWC is involved in restoration projects throughout the watershed. Removing invasive species and planting natives along riparian buffers are our highest priority.
Reach out to SBWC and start your own Restoration Project
- Contact Amber by phone at 503-397-7904 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Schedule a site visit.
- Be prepared to describe your property concerns and your goals.
- Together, we can determine the best options for your situation.
- Depending on the options, grant opportunities could be available.
- Keep in mind, proper planning and restoration takes time.
Together, we can all do our part to create healthy communities and creeks from the headwaters to the Scappoose Bay.