Last Blog Post for 2010
Last week the USFWS spread seed on the disturbed areas associated with agricultural ditch filling and in areas where watershed divides are being established. The seed will germinate this year and provide ground cover and root mass prior to next years tidal flooding. In addition to the seeding, natural sprouting has occurred over much of the disturbed areas attracting hundreds of western Canada geese to the restoration area to feed on the newly sprouting grasses. The effort to reconstruct and raise North Bank Lane, under the direction of the Federal Highways Administration, continued this week with the placement of a temporary layer of asphalt over the fill areas at Fahys and Redd creeks. The blacktop was installed to enhance road safety for motorists this winter/spring, reduce sediment runoff, and to reduce maintenance related to leaving the road graveled. Doyon Project Services continued work this week on the south vault location to remediate the area of the bores and where the Coos-Curry Electric Cooperative powerline was connected from overhead to underground. The boreholes were filled with grout to reduce water transport along the bores.
Only minor work remains to be done this fall associated with the restoration, powerline undergrounding, and North Bank Lane road improvements. Work will be suspended for the winter and early spring before resuming again next year. This update constitutes the final blog post this year. Please check back next year, as the blog will begin again when construction resumes on the project.
Posted by the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex Staff at 3:44 PM / Category: Ni-les'tun Tidal Marsh Restoration Project
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As winter approaches all aspects of the restoration project are rapidly winding down and will soon be concluded for 2010. The following is a summary of the work completed over the past 10 days.
Doyon Project Services and sub-contractor Michels Power continued site cleanup on the underground transmission line on the south side of the Coquille River . The H-poles near the south vault were removed as well as the overhead transmission lines from this location down to the south bank of the Coquille River. The remaining poles and overhead transmission lines will be removed next summer during the final phase of the project. Cleanup at the north vault was completed and erosion control mulch and seeding has been placed on disturbed areas.
The Federal Highways Administration and Tidewater Contractors completed the grade raises of North Bank Lane near Fahys Creek and Redd Creek. The side slopes of the grade raises have been cleaned and smoothed and additional erosion control wattles placed at the base of the fills. Erosion control mulch and seeding is currently being placed on side slopes and disturbed areas. The old Redd Creek culvert under North Bank Lane was removed and backfilled and an old cattle underpass near at Riverview Kennel entrance was also removed and backfilled. Tidewater Contractors is currently working to install the final gravel lift on the grade raise portions of North Bank Lane that will serve as the temporary road surface until the road is paved next summer.
The USFWS acquired 500 lbs of annual rye grass seed to place on unvegetated disturbed areas within the marsh restoration project site for erosion control. Many of the disturbed areas have already begun to naturally revegetate in response to fall rains. . Teresa Molino, a PhD candidate, has begun her research on archeological aspects of past Coquille Indian use of the restoration area. The USFWS and Ducks Unlimited are currently developing plans to extend the restoration project up Fahys Creek west of U.S. Highway 101 in cooperation with Bandon Dunes Golf Resort. If this portion of the project is done it will provide anadromous fish passage at two location where it is currently blocked including the culvert under Highway 101 and a small dame feature further upstream.
The USFWS conducted an aerial photoreconnaissance of the project site on October 12, 2010. Some of the photos from that flight are included here.
Posted by the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex Staff at 10:36 AM / Category: Ni-les'tun Tidal Marsh Restoration Project
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Last Week of September
After rigorous testing of the continuity of the underground cables and termination connections at the vaults, construction on the underground electrical transmission system under the Coquille River and Floodplain was completed. Early Tuesday morning electrical power was disconnected from 1:30 am until 3:00 am to allow crews from Coos-Curry Electric Cooperative and Michels Power to perform the transfer from overhead to underground transmission lines. Lineman crews worked on both ends of the project site simultaneously to minimize the time of the power outage. At 3:00 am the underground transmission line was successfully energized by Doyon Project Services. Once the underground line was energized, efforts then focused on demobilizing and stabilization of the existing overhead line that is scheduled to be removed next summer.
During the week the USFWS continued to monitor bird use in the restoration area. Flocks of Canada geese are now using the area for loafing and feeding. In addition, raptors (e.g., white-tailed kites, northern harriers) are now using the area for foraging since the large equipment used in restoration have been removed. Short green grass is germinating in the disturbed areas and provides forage for both geese and the small rodents that the kites and harriers feed on. The hydro seeding of the former cranberry bog area is already sprouting and attracting Canada geese. Other wildlife observations in that area include killdeer and an uncommon blue-winged teal. Beaver have now begun to move up into the newly constructed Fahys Creek channel that was just completed the week before. We expect to see a series of beaver dams in the new channel in the future.
Tidewater Construction, under the guidance of Federal Highways Administration, continued bringing fill material this week for the raising of the Fahys Creek section of North Bank Lane. Tidewater smoothed the road edges and also installed erosion control wattles/berms along the road fill in preparation for fall and winter rains.
Posted by the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex Staff at 4:34 PM / Category: Ni-les'tun Tidal Marsh Restoration Project
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