In mid-July, the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership, U.S. Forest Service, and partners begin construction of fish passage and salmon habitat improvements within the historic Columbia River floodplain. Travelers in the Columbia River Gorge may notice construction crews, heavy equipment, and helicopters working in the vicinity of Horsetail and Oneonta Creeks, five miles west of the Bonneville Dam, for up to two months.
The Horsetail Creek Floodplain Restoration Project improves connectivity between the Columbia River and a 180 acre tract of its floodplain, as well as improving habitat and water quality within this off-channel area. Historically this site was a dynamic part of the Columbia River floodplain with an ash forest, willow bottoms, and five creeks and sloughs connecting to the river. The area had critical feeding and resting habitat for salmon and other fish and wildlife. The construction of Interstate-84 (I-84), the railroad and the clearing of the site’s forest to make room for grazing cattle diminished its connection to the river and degraded habitat for salmon and other species. Without this critical habitat the ecosystem suffers; 32 plants, fish and wildlife that use the lower Columbia River are threatened or endangered.
Read the Media Release for more details.