Wapato View Stream Channel Restoration
The Tualatin River Watershed was an important early farming region in the settlement of Oregon. Today, land use remains largely agricultural, with a rapid shift toward suburban. In March 2013, Metro purchased 147 acres of mostly rural land near Gaston, Oregon. The purchase connects existing Metro properties previously purchased for habitat restoration. According to Metro, “This as a critical connection…giving plants and animals the ability to migrate up and down the hillside along a creek corridor.” The Wapato View project site, located within this corridor, receives runoff from lands whose hydrology has been long influenced by drain tiles, minimal and non-native riparian vegetation, steep slopes, and highly erodible soils. As a result, erosive processes are exacerbated at this site and many others like it throughout the region, incising drainages and transporting large amounts of sediment into the Tualatin River.
Due to the daunting challenge of stabilizing such hyper-erosive conditions, the large woody debris installations at Wapato View and similar, nearby sites will help Metro and Clean Water Services to clarify what types of measures can be most effective in immediately limiting sediment transport, and eventually raising the profile of these channels. The completed work includes a handful of installation types that each combine large wood of varying lengths and diameters driven into the bed and embankments at carefully selected orientations. The team installed nearly 600 members of wood over the 4,000-foot reach that were sustainably sourced from the thinning of a nearby Metro-owned woodland.