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Connecting flood management and salmon habitat improvement, Johnson Creek Schweitzer Natural Area, Portland, Oregon

Information presented is factual at the time of creation.
If no transcript and/or closed-caption is available, please notify us.
[Music playing]

Faith: We're here at Schweitzer Natural


Area along Johnson Creek in a


rehabilitated area that was done just a


few years ago. You can still see some


of little trees in front of us that


were planted not so long ago and things.


Janine, this site, we have a pretty


wide flood plain area here. What were


some of the things about flood control


and habitat that were important for


this site, as well as in the Portland area?


Janine: Well, Johnson Creek floods very


regularly and it's been a problem in


Portland for a number of years. And, we


also have concerns about the salmon and


returning salmon. So, this was a really


good opportunity. We had enough space


where we could create both aquatic


habitat and have some flood management.


So, we were able to open this area up,


allow more flooding, some backwater


areas that provide habitat, and really


being able to achieve both goals of


providing flood management, and


increasing and improving aquatic habitat.


Faith: So, instead of having them be


separate, it really was the connection


of the two that make this even that


much more important and more beneficial


in the long run too?


Janine: Absolutely.


Faith: Gardner, you know, what are some


of the specifics in the design of this


site and it's got a lot of innovative


techniques that were used here?


Gardner: Yeah, well, this is, you know


as are the challenges of designing for


urban areas, we have to consider a


whole new suite of things that affect


urban channels. It's very different


than working in a natural system.


So, one of those is the altered


hydrology, we have higher peak flows


and more frequent peak flows than we


had historically. So, as Janine said,


trying to control for that increased


flooding, nuisance flooding that would


occur here, the entire floodplain here


was excavated down about five or six


feet. And, every cubic yard of material


that was put out of here is an extra


cubic yard of flood storage the City


has to decrease downstream flooding.


We also looked at the new hydrology and


the potential future hydrology as a


means to design the channel. And so,


the channel geometry, whether it be the


cross section or the pattern in the


landscape, was designed based on the


current hydrology and the potential


future hydrology.


Faith: So, it had enough space in here


to also get in some side channel


habitat, which is very important for


different species, not only the fish,


but also other species that like


standing water during certain time


periods, or to get that refuge factor


out too in this again, this channel


that's taking flows that it wouldn't


have had before. Higher than what it


would've had prior to urbanization.


Gardner: Exactly.


Faith: The other interesting thing


here, we don't see any rock lined banks


on the outside of the bends, which


usually take a lot of the erosive


flows. So, how are you able to avoid


using that in this case?


Gardner: Yeah, we didn't want to end up


with a channel like we had before that


has the armored banks, that don't have


any ability for lateral adjustment. So,


in this case, we used large logs to


provide bank stability as well as habitat for fish.


We also used what's called an


encapsulated soil lift, which is a


fabric, piece of fabric that's filled


with soil to construct the banks. And


so, those banks will provide interim


stability until the vegetation that's


planted here grows up and can provide


that long-term stability; and


eventually, allow the stream to move


around as streams do naturally.


Faith: So, even though we have the


Johnson Creek that still gets a lot of


flooding, we're able to include some of


the more natural features that are


beneficial both to the in-stream and


the floodplain species.


[Music playing]


[End of Audio]

Details

Title: Connecting flood management and salmon habitat improvement, Johnson Creek Schweitzer Natural Area, Portland, Oregon

Description:

Faith Fitzpatrick (U.S. Geological Survey), Gardner Johnston (Interfluve, Inc.), and Janine Castro (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) describe techniques for designing salmon habitat with flood management in Portland's urban streams.

Location: Portland, OR, Johnson Creek Schweitzer Natural Area, USA

Date Taken: 12/13/2010

Length: 4:05

Video Producer: Douglas A. Harned , National Water-Quality Assessment Program (NAWQA), USGS, North Carolina Water Science Center, Raleigh, NC


Note: This video has been released into the public domain by the U.S. Geological Survey for use in its entirety. Some videos may contain pieces of copyrighted material. If you wish to use a portion of the video for any purpose, other than for resharing/reposting the video in its entirety, please contact the Video Producer/Videographer listed with this video. Please refer to the USGS Copyright section for how to credit this video.

Additional Video Credits:

Faith Fitzpatrick: Scriptwriter, Narrator, Scientist Consultant

Gerard McMahon: Producer

Douglas Harned: Producer, Video, Editor

Alan Cressler: Video

Luke McMahon: Video

Gardner Johnston (Interfluve, Inc.)

Janine Castro (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

File Details:

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In: Water collection

Tags: AquaticEcology DouglasHarned EUSE Ecosystems FaithFitzpatrick Habitat Hydrology Interfluve JohnsonCreek NAWQA Oregon Salmon StreamRehabilitation StreamRestoration USFishAndWildlifeService USGS Urbanization WaterQuality WaterResourceManagement

 

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