Dedication Ceremony for Ni-les'tun Tidal Marsh Restoration
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and Ducks Unlimited (DU) will host a dedication ceremony on Saturday, October 1, 2011 at Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge to celebrate the restoration of the Ni-lesâ€™tun Tidal Marsh. This free event is open to the public and will occur rain or shine. The one-hour ceremony will begin at 3:00 p.m. and will include an invocation and ceremonial dance by members of the Coquille Indian Tribe; presentations by Congressman Peter DeFazio, the U.S. Representative for Oregonâ€™s 4th Congressional District; Rowan Gould, Deputy Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and others.
Due to the large number of expected visitors, parking will not be available at the refuge. A shuttle will transport visitors from Bullards Beach State Park to the refuge. Bullards Beach State Park is located approximately three miles north of the city of Bandon on the west side of Highway 101. From Highway 101, turn west into Bullards Beach State Park, then follow Bandon Marsh Event signs to the Beach Parking Lot located 1.3 miles from the park entrance. Visitors should arrive at the parking lot no later than 2:30 p.m. to catch the shuttle and be on time for the dedication ceremony.
Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge was established in 1983 to protect the largest remaining tidal salt marsh within the Coquille River estuary. The Ni-lesâ€™tun Unit of the marsh was established in 2000 to acquire, protect, and restore intertidal marsh, freshwater marsh and riparian areas that are habitat for migratory birds and anadromous fish including salmon, steelhead and cutthroat trout. This land was once a thriving tidal wetland, but as has occurred at most estuaries around the country, early settlers looked upon this habitat as fertile farmland if diked and drained, suitable for grazing livestock. Restoration of the tidal marsh allows the unimpeded return of daily tides to the lands for the first time in nearly a century.
â€œThis is the most important restoration project in Oregon that Ducks Unlimited has been a partner to and we are already thrilled with the results,â€� said Tom Dwyer, DUâ€™s Conservation Director, Pacific Northwest Office. â€œFlocks of dabbling ducks, Canada geese and shorebirds began foraging and roosting almost as soon as we let the seawater in, and knowing trout and salmon are returning to what was once an incredibly fertile fishing ground is even more reason to celebrate.â€�
â€œAfter more than 10 years of land acquisition, planning, design and construction by a host of partners, the largest restoration of a tidal marsh, 418 acres, in Oregon is now complete,â€� said Roy W. Lowe, Project Leader, of the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex. â€œTime and the tides will slowly and surely change the land form and vegetation to a fully functioning tidal estuary.â€�
As part of the celebration of National Wildlife Refuge Week, Lowe added, â€œthe USFWS and DU invite you to join us by going outside to enjoy the day at Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge.â€�
Posted by the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex Staff at 2:43 PM in Category: Bandon Marsh NWR