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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
These are all of the Ni-les'tun Tidal Marsh Restoration Project news updates posted in July, 2010.
Saturday, 31
North Bank Lane Rises
Lower North Bank Lane was closed to traffic this week to facilitate rising of the road grade at Redd Creek. A continuous stream of double dump trucks and single belly-dump trucks delivered nearly 600 loads of fill material raising the road bed approximately 7’. On Thursday and Friday the 10’ culvert was placed in the road fill at the historic stream location of Redd Creek. The culvert is sized to allow 3’ of streambed material to be placed in the culvert providing a natural streambed for passage of anadromous fish such as coho salmon and cutthroat trout. Redd creek is currently channelized to the west side of the floodplain with a small culvert inhabiting fish passage. A new sinuous stream channel will be excavated to the culvert and the stream diverted into the new channel later in August. On Friday, Tidewater Contractors shifted their focus to begin the initial efforts to raise North Bank Lane near Fahys Creek.

Knife River Corporation continued digging new tidal channels and filling agricultural ditches. A second crew was brought in this week, but equipment breakdowns slowed the effort to a single crew much of the week. Technical issues with the transmission line boring brought this effort to a halt much of the week, but on Friday the issues were resolved and the boring continued. The east bore emerged on the hill above the south bank of the Coquille River on Friday and back reaming of the bore is underway.
Posted by the Oregon Coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex Staff at 12:09 PM / Category: Ni-les'tun Tidal Marsh Restoration Project
Saturday, 17
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 / Category: Ni-les'tun Tidal Marsh Restoration Project
Monday, 12
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 / Category: Ni-les'tun Tidal Marsh Restoration Project
Wednesday, 7
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 / Category: Ni-les'tun Tidal Marsh Restoration Project
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