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Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge
Pacific Region
Ni-les'tun Tidal Marsh Restoration
Ni-les'tun Unit of Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge
Viewing category: Ni-les'tun Tidal Marsh Restoration Project
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July 17, 2010
West Bore Completed
Technical difficulties continued through the week slowing progress on the west bore under the Coquille River. On Friday the bore was finally completed and today the three conduits that will eventually carry the electrical transmission lines were pulled through the bore from the top of the hill on the south side of the river to the bore location on the north bank of the Coquille River. On Monday, the drilling rig will be repositioned to the east and construction of the east bore will begin.

During the week we prepared for the start of tidal channel excavation that will begin next week by intensifying fish salvage operations in the agricultural ditches that will receive the channel spoils. Due to the wet spring and other complications, there are coho salmon, coastal cutthroat trout and a variety of small non-game fish and salamanders in some of these ditches that connect with streams. We seined and set hoop net traps in these ditches to capture and relocate these fish and amphibians out of harm's way. We will continue to remove fish and amphibians as necessary until these ditches are filled.

Meanwhile, ecological monitoring proceeded this week with regular bird surveys, and measurements were taken on the Surface Elevation Tables (SET) installed last year by USGS. These devices are designed to detect millimeter scale changes in the elevation of the marsh surface, and will yield valuable information about the response of the marsh to sea-level rise, as well as short-term responses to restoration activities. We expect the sediment that will be carried in from the Coquille River on daily tides to settle in the marsh and gradually raise the surface elevation. We also have SET stations in the Bandon Marsh unit that will allow us to compare surface changes at Ni-les'tun restoration site with an undisturbed marsh.
Posted by the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex Staff at 8:05 PM
July 12, 2010
Boring Continues
Work continued this week on boring under the Coquille River and up the hillside on the south side of the the river. Progress on the west bore slowed, as unanticipated rock formations were encountered necessitating switching to a rock drill head. Precision drilling with the larger rock bit was difficult so work was suspended while a smaller rock drill was retrieved from southern California. With the smaller rock drill the west bore successfully emerged from the ground at the planned south vault area on Saturday morning. Today, they will begin cleaning and enlarging the bore in preparation for installation of the conduits.

During the past week Ducks Unlimited staff continued with GPS surveying and staking the 5 miles of tidal channels to be constructed. On Thursday, the pre-construction meeting with Knife River, Ducks Unlimited and Refuge staff was held at the Refuge office in preparation for Knife River beginning construction activities associated with the marsh restoration. On Saturday, the Coos County Road Department began vegetation mowing on the shoulders of North Bank Lane through the project area to facilitate construction activities.
Posted by the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex Staff at 1:47 PM
July 7, 2010
More contractors scheduled to arrive this week
Following a preconstruction meeting held last week for the North Bank Lane road improvement project, Tidewater Contractors are expected to arrive on site today to begin preliminary work such as placing road signs and conducting construction surveying and staking. Knife River Corporation, responsible for the restoration construction, will also begin mobilizing on site today.

Last week, work began on undergrounding the Coos-Curry Electric Cooperative powerline. The conduit was placed across the former pastures of the floodplain by trenching and the first of two bores under the river was initiated. The west bore was completed under the river and south bank and is now going up the hillside. This bore should be completed by Thursday and the conduit installed. When the west bore is complete the drilling rig will be shifted to the east and the east bore will begin. The large underground vaults have been installed on the north end of the project.

Posted by the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex Staff at 12:02 AM
June 25, 2010
Week 2 - Powerline Work Continues
This week contractor Doyon Project Services and sub-contractor Michels Directional Crossings worked at getting the powerline burial access road in shape to handle the very heavy equipment needed for the directional bore under the river. Many truckloads of steel plates, wooden mats, and coarse wood chips were delivered and placed over the soft soils that make up the former pastures. Several Marukas (dump truck on tracks) joined the fleet of vehicles on site. The road will be ready late on Friday June 25 and construction of the bore pits should begin the following Monday.

Meanwhile, Pat Schulte, land surveyor with Ducks Unlimited, pounded hundreds of stakes with colors flags in the ground to mark the locations of the new tidal channels in preparation for their excavation in several weeks. Additional stakes and flagging were installed by Refuge staff to mark sensitive areas such as vegetation sampling transects, marsh surface elevation measuring apparatus, and water monitoring wells, to warn the equipment operators to avoid those areas. Refuge staff also continued conducting bird surveys on the Ni-les'tun Unit and began preparations for fish salvage operations that will need to take place as drainage ditches are filled later this summer. Logs with root wads still attached continue to be delivered and stockpiled for later use. The logs will be placed in tidal channels where they will serve as valuable habitat for juvenile anadromous fish.
Posted by the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex Staff at 3:54 PM
June 16, 2010
Work Begins on Undergrounding Powerline
Doyon Project Services began mobilizing personnel, equipment and supplies on site on June 7th. They are currently setting up their staging area and working on the access road the site where boring under the Coquille River will occur. Tidewater Contractors will begin road improvement work on July 2nd and the Knife River Corporation will be on location to begin the restoration construction on July 7th.
Posted by the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex Staff at 3:47 PM

Ni-les'tun Marsh To Be Restored
After more than 10 years of land acquisition, planning, design and preparation the Ni-les'tun Tidal Marsh Restoration Project at Bandon Marsh National Wildlife Refuge is now under construction and will be completed late this summer. Preliminary restoration work began during the summer of 2009 and included obliteration of some of the smaller agricultural drainage ditches. Some of the new tidal channels that will deliver tidal flows to the upper marsh were dug. In 2010 the majority of the tidal channels will be dug, larger drainage ditches will be filled, the dike along the river will be lowered, and tide gates will be removed. This will allow the unimpeded return of the daily tides on this area for the first time in more than a century and plants and animals will start adjusting to the newly restored conditions.

The restoration project will be constructed by the Knife River Corporation of Coos Bay, Oregon who is under contract with Ducks Unlimited to complete this work. The restoration project also involves two other major construction projects. North Bank Lane will be raised approximately 7 feet along two extended locations within the refuge to prevent this area from flooding due to tidal inundation and improve safety on north Bank Lane. Tidewater Contractors Inc. of Brookings, Oregon are under contract with the Federal Highway Administration to perform the road improvements. The third related project involves undergrounding a large electrical transmission line that crosses the Refuge and Coquille River. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has contracted with Doyon Project Services of Federal Way, Washington to underground the transmission line and this project is funded by Federal Stimulus (ARRA) Funds.

Posted by the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex Staff at 3:45 PM
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Site last updated June 2, 2010