OWEB Awards SWC over $500,000 to Support Restoration Projects

The Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board has approved $556,628 for the Siuslaw Watershed Council to conduct three projects including two significant restoration efforts that will restore 11.5 miles of habitat for salmon.

The watershed council was awarded funds for three projects including:

• Restoration of Cleveland Creek, a salmon-bearing tributary to the Siuslaw River. The creek passes through a culvert under Highway 36 in Tide, but it is undersized, which makes it difficult for coho salmon, steelhead, cutthroat trout and Pacific lamprey to pass through it. The council will work with the Oregon Department of Transportation and OBEC Consulting Engineers to replace the culvert with a 70-foot bridge, restoring about 1.5 miles of high-quality spawning and rearing habitat for salmon. $295,483.

• Restoration of Upper Indian Creek and tributaries by adding large logs in streams. Placing large logs in streams helps provides pools where salmon can rest, feed, and stay cool. It also helps retain soil and other sediments in the streambed. This project will partner with Siuslaw National Forest to place 540 logs by helicopter in up to 10 miles of stream to mimic natural log jams. $236,455.

• A creative project with Siuslaw Coho Partnership to create a story map that illustrates past restoration projects; explains how restoration benefits the local community, local economies, and a healthy environment; and encourages more local landowners and stakeholders to partner with the council to do more restoration projects. $24,690.

“With this critical investment by the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board we’ll be investing in our local economy by hiring local contractors, improving our rivers for salmon and water quality, and helping ensure future generations can enjoy the resources we’re so lucky to have here in the Siuslaw,” said Eli Tome, executive director of the Siuslaw Watershed Council.

“These funds are matched with funds from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Oregon Department of Transportation, the National Forest Foundation and the Siuslaw National Forest. All our partners are critical to restoring our watersheds, and with this investment from the state of Oregon, we’ll be able to restore local rivers for wildlife and for future generations,” Tome added.