Blowers Ranch Morton Creek Restoration Receives FY23 PMEP Funding

The Curry Soil and Water Conservation District will restore channel processes, floodplain connectivity, instream and off-channel habitat, and 19 acres of native riparian forest on 2,500 feet of Morton Creek, which at present, is deeply incised and severely impacted by grazing. Restoration will enhance rearing, spawning, and migration habitat for coho salmon and steelhead; as well as Pacific lamprey. Restoration will improve water quality and reduce sedimentation in ~470 acres of freshwater wetland adjacent to the New River estuary. Project will also install riparian fencing and off-channel water to facilitate livestock grazing outside the stream corridor. The project goals are to improve water quality and instream habitat; restore floodplain connectivity and dynamic fluvial processes; enhance fish migration between upstream spawning and downstream rearing habitat; stabilize chronic bank erosion; and prevent pollutant loading to downstream fresh water wetlands and the New River estuary. The project involves construction of 2,500 feet of stream channel, 5.4 acres of floodplain topography, 800 feet of off-channel aquatic habitat, 20-30 instream log structures, 2 vehicle bridges, 2,500 feet of livestock exclusion fence, and an off-stream livestock water system; and the project will plant and maintain 21,000 seedlings, to restore 19 acres of native riparian forest.


Clayton Beach Nearshore Restoration Project Receives FY23 PMEP Funding

The Clayton Beach Nearshore Restoration Project project will remove 1,200LF of shore armor and pilings to improve sediment transport processes and allow for landward translation of eelgrass beds and nearshore habitats to adapt to sea level rise. The project will restore over 9 acres of beach, backwater, and riparian habitat to improve spawning habitat for surf smelt and Pacific sand lance, improve public access to Clayton Beach, and provide interpretation of cultural and historical uses and ecosystem dynamics. Sponsor Northwest Straits Marine Conservation Foundation seeks to address prey species availability through restoration of coastal processes and forage fish spawning habitats. Failed and unnecessary armor is burying spawning habitat of surf smelt and sand lance, two critical prey species for salmonids and marine birds. Estimates of sea-level rise suggest that on beaches with armored shoreline, substantial forage fish spawning habitat could be lost in the next few decades and most might be lost by 2100.

Neskowin Fish Passage Improvement Project named 2022 Waters to Watch

The Pacific Marine & Estuarine Fish Habitat Partnership (PMEP) and the Nestucca, Neskowin & Sand Lake Watersheds Council are pleased to announce that the Neskowin Fish Passage Improvement Project has been named to the National Fish Habitat Partnership 2022 Waters to Watch list. The Waters to Watch Program annually highlights ten outstanding fish habitat restoration projects nationwide to focus attention on rivers, streams and shores that will be cleaner and healthier habitats for the many fish and wildlife species and people who call these areas home.

The Neskowin Fish Passage Improvement Project project included a strong partnership with the Tillamook County Public Works Department and restored fish passage within the Neskowin Estuary-Wetland complex benefiting multiple species including ESA listed Coho salmon at the same time providing emergency egress to the local community during flooding events. The project increased access to 250 acres of riverine estuary, tidal scrub/shrub and tidal forest wetland rearing habitat and 5 miles of spawning habitat for Coho salmon, Chinook salmon, Chum salmon, Steelhead trout, Pacific lamprey, and Cutthroat trout. The project replaced three undersized culverts and two tidegates with two 32’ bridges sized to meet federal and state fish passage requirements.