The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District, has just released a story on the Trestle Bay Ecosystem Restoration project near Warrenton, Oregon.
The wetlands inside historic Trestle Bay offer ideal habitat for juvenile salmonids. Ideal, but mostly out of reach for more than 125 years due to what makes the Bay “historic” — the relic stone and pilings placed there from 1885 to 1895, when the South Jetty was built.
That’s changing in 2016, as the Corps partners with the Columbia River Estuary Study Taskforce and Bonneville Power Administration to reconnect the bay with the Columbia River.
The Trestle Bay Ecosystem Restoration is a relatively small project: removing wood pilings and moving 900 feet of jetty stone from seven locations along the 8,800 foot structure.
“It’s a small, simple project, but the benefits are enormous,” said Gail Saldana, Corps project manager. “Creating new openings and restoring hydraulic connections from Trestle Bay to the river will go a long way to improving the ecology there.”
The Corps completed a similar project in 1995, breaching a 500-foot section in Trestle Bay. Studies followed, evaluating the impact on migrating fish and other species that rely on the estuary. The studies showed that creating more openings would support efforts to increase survival of salmonids and other endangered species.
“Reconnecting the bay with the Columbia River provides additional access to quality wetland habitat for juvenile salmonids and other fish species,” said Justin Saydell, CREST Habitat Restoration Project manager. “Additional openings will also provide opportunities for an increase in organic inputs into the river, which provide great benefits like food sources and nutrients to species utilizing the river.”
The low technical complexity and short schedule of the project sparked the engagement of the Portland District’s Small Projects Team. Under its management, the project now has streamlined processes that allow for a quick turn-around in the design, pre-award and acquisition phases.
LKE Corporation of Washougal, Washington, was awarded the $920,471 Trestle Bay Ecosystem Restoration Project contract, which will be completed by the end of February.