Columbia Land Trust acquired this 50 acre floodplain habitat parcel on the Walluski River for conservation in 2006. The site was diked until December 2006 when a high water storm event caused the existing levee to fail. Since then, the site has been open to tidal influence and the wetland habitat has begun a natural process of restoration. Following the breach, site hydrology and channel access was still limited by the presence of a levee surrounding a majority of the site, and the interior channels lacked structural complexity commonly found in un-degraded tidal wetlands. The restoration component of this project assists the natural processes already underway and enhances intertidal wetland and juvenile rearing habitat through woody debris placement and channel reconnection (dike removal). Placement of large wood material within the tidal floodplain and within channels will increase habitat complexity for rearing juvenile salmonids. Additionally, removal of a portion of the remnant levee will enhance the hydrologic connection of the site to the Walluski River.
In total, Columbia Land Trust has placed 52 logs within the floodplain and existing channels and has removed a 100 foot section of levee that was disconnecting the historic channel from the Walluski River. Logs were placed using a helicopter and anchored in place using Manta Anchors and rope/cable. Dike removal was accomplished from the existing levee prism using a combination of small equipment and hand crews. All disturbed areas were seeded with a native grass mix and planted with willows and Sitka spruce, as appropriate.
The Estuary Partnership contributed funds to the Large Wood Debris Installation portion of this project. Funds for the levee removal were procured from other sources.
Acquisition and Restoration is also occuring on 2 parcels of land immediately to the south of this project area: the Kerr property was acquired in 2003. Efforts to acquire the Elliot property, immediately south of the Kerr property, were unsuccessful.