Shorebirds, Herons, and Geese Starting to Return
Ducks Unlimited spent the last week and a half finishing the details of the marsh restoration work. All of the 80 large logs were anchored in the tidal channels to enhance fish habitat; the last segments of channel were connected; and soil that was damaged by heavy equipment was repaired. The marsh feels quite different as large machines are leaving the site, and wildlife begins to reclaim it. Migrating shorebirds have been flying low over the new channels attracted to the bare soils; raccoons and great blue herons are foraging along the channels; mallards are hiding behind the channel logs; deer tracks are everywhere; and Canada geese have been feeding on seedlings and root sprouts that are popping up in disturbed sites after the first of the fall rains came down.
Activity has shifted to the Smith Tract where forested wetland that was long ago converted to cranberry bogs along Fahys Creek will be restored. Thousands of yards of sandy soils are currently being moved to shape a new stream corridor through the old agricultural site. Top soils have been salvaged along with native wetland plants that reclaimed the bog since the USFWS acquisition and abandonment 9 years ago. These soils and plants will be redistributed and planted after the site is contoured. The USFWS is counting on beavers to play their role as ecological engineers and enhance habitat after the site has been revegetated.
North Bank Lane near Fahys Creek continues to be elevated under the direction of the Federal Highways Administration, and is nearly to its design height. The large culvert for Fahys Creek under the road received more than three feet of river stone in the bottom to create a natural stream bed, and a joint effort of Tidewater, Knife River, FWS and ODFW built a rock-lined slope to transition the stream down about four feet from the upstream channel bottom to the culvert bottom. This structure will control the erosion of the stream bed while maintaining fish passage.
The effort by Doyon Project Services to underground the Coos Curry Electric Cooperative overhead line continued with one set of three power cables being pulled through the underground conduits. Crews started the removal of the marsh mats and steel plates used to construct a road through the marsh.
Posted by the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex Staff at 12:57 PM in Category: Ni-les'tun Tidal Marsh Restoration Project