Willamette River Initiative

Willamette River Initiative

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Floodplain Restoration at Green Island

In 2003, the McKenzie River Trust acquired Green Island, a 1,000-acre farm located at the confluence of the McKenzie and Willamette Rivers. In 2010, with funding assistance from the Bonneville Power Administration, MRT acquired an adjacent 56-acre sand and gravel mining property. This area is one of the most dynamic and ecologically important areas in the Willamette system, providing critical habitat for many protected species of fish and wildlife. Since acquiring Green Island, the trust has been working actively with researchers, consultants and agencies to develop and implement restoration plans aimed at increasing channel complexity and reconnecting the river to the island's floodplain areas. Projects have included baseline data collection, invasive plant removal, levee removal and floodplain forest restoration.

MRT is working to restore farm fields with an appropriate mix of native floodplain vegetation, including forest, grassland and wetland plant communities. MRT has also contracted with River Design Group to create restoration designs for the gravel mining site, now called the Coburg Aggregate Reclamation Project (CARP). Design elements include creating linear stream-like features, increasing connectivity to the historical McKenzie channel, and improving native vegetation and natural flow patterns throughout the site. Construction to implement the restoration design was completed in October 2014.

Name of Organization: 
Story Type: 
WRI Funding Program: 
Project Type: 
Invasive Weed Control,
Floodplain Reconnection,
Floodplain Forest restoration
Size of project site in acres: 
Size of project site in stream miles: 
Project Partners: 
Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board
Bonneville Power Administration
US Environmental Protection Agency
University of Oregon
Oregon State University
Private Landowners
Other funding sources: 
Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, Bonneville Power Administration, Eugene Water and Electric Board, Oregon Dept. of Fish and Wildlife, North American Wetlands Conservation Act, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Natural Resource Conservation Service, Pacific Salmon Council, Bella Vista Foundation, and Trout Unlimited.
Project start date: 
July 1, 2003
Estimated complete date: 
December 31, 2018
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