INNOVATIONS IN ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP
The Districts and individual landowners face an important challenge: to integrate the critical needs of flood control, storm water drainage and property uses with each person's desire to improve the environmental quality of the slough and adjacent lands.
The Drainage Districts and their partners have embraced this challenge fully. Today, the Districts are noted nationally for their innovative approach to environmental protection. Here are some of the ways the District Staff, property owners, government agencies and other organizations work together to enhance the environment inside the Columbia Slough watershed.
PIONEERING NEW WORK METHODS:
|The Districts have developed new Techniques to improve storm water flow channels without disturbing vegetation on the banks. The goal is to help return the banks of the Columbia Slough to a more natural condition and create emerging wetlands. || |
| Photo Courtesy of the|
Western Pond Turtle Project
Restoring Natural Channels:
The Drainage Districts are experimenting with a new technique called "Meandering Channels" to enhance the natural environment of sloughs and man-made drainage ways. They have already transformed several channels into deeper, wandering streams, shaded by vegetation to keep water temperatures cool and improve
A technique called "benching" widens the steep ditches to create wetland next to water channels. Both approaches create new land for native plants.
The Districts are especially careful of the habitat and seasonal needs of all animals Columbia Slough Watershed. During the nesting season, crews avoid the favorite bank areas used by the Watershed's turtles - The Western Pond Turtle, the Painted Turtle and the Red Eared Slider.
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| Islands created for wildlife || Typical benching method|
Partnering with Landowners and Public Agencies:
Because drainage channels are on land owned by private and public Landowners, Drainage District staff work with property owners to create benches, meandering channels and other drainage system improvements.
The Port of Portland and the City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Service have partnered with the Drainage Districts to revegetate parts of the Columbia Slough's banks. Native vegetation will enhance wildlife, provide natural water filtration, shade the slough for water quality and create an attractive waterway for all.
| Meandering Channel|