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September E-news

From our Executive Director

Hello loyal Wetlands Conservancy donors, volunteers and partners: 

Wetland at dusk

As I write this, smoke fills the skies, communities in Oregon have lost everything, and some of our most precious forests have burned in the recent wildfires impacting our state. After the sadness settles, and the shock has worn off some, I find myself asking what can I do to help? We know fire is a natural part of the landscape, yet in recent years we have seen fire behavior reach entirely new levels. How do we help mitigate this climate crisis? How do we preserve and restore this landscape that means so much to so many of us?

We know wetlands can play a huge role in climate change mitigation by providing carbon sinks, shoreline stability, clean water, and flood control. Wetlands can provide a refuge from fires for many species of wildlife, are less likely to burn, and when they do burn, they burn less severely than other areas.

We know wetlands are an important piece of the landscape in Oregon, and with your support, we will continue to be the voice of wetlands as we work with our partners to ensure Oregon’s landscape remains for generations.

Yours,

Oregon’s Greatest Wetlands:  Jackson-Frazier Wetland/Corvallis, Oregon

Sparks Lake, Oregon

Our Oregon’s Greatest Wetland of the month for September, the Jackson-Frazier Wetland, is a complex area that supports several types of wetlands, including wet prairie, ponds, and shrub-scrub. The wetland, established as a Benton County Park in 1992, is a 147-acre parcel of protected land. A short barrier-free  boardwalk takes you on a loop through marshes dominated by willow, Oregon ash, spiraea, and marsh grasses, including tall fescue, slough grass, and meadow foxtail. An area in the center of the property contains a large cattail marsh.
 

Nelson's Checkermallow

Rare wetland plant species, including the federally listed Bradshaw’s lomatium, Willamette daisy, and Nelson’s checkermallow, find a home here in the heart of the Willamette Valley, along with numerous wetland-loving birds, like red-winged blackbirds, great blue herons, and sparrows. Birds heard, but unlikely to be easily spotted, are Virginia rails and marsh wrens. Raptors, such as harriers and Cooper’s hawks, hunt in open areas, and tanagers, warblers, towhees, and waxwings may be found in the foliage.

Much of the area was previously used for agriculture, and a major phase two restoration in August 2020, smoothed out ditches and ruts and removed a berm, creating more of the historic, natural pools that would have existed there. Jackson-Frazier Wetland can be a great family outing with young children or a quick stop after completing a longer hike in the area.

Become a Wetlands Champion

Power of Wetlands Masthead
As a member of The Wetlands Conservancy you are part of a community that conserves and restores Oregon’s Greatest Wetlands. Your support has helped us protect more than 1,500 acres of wetlands, and build innovative programs and community partnerships that have conserved and restored wetlands across Oregon.  We invite you to join us as we grow and evolve!
 
With our 40th Anniversary on the horizon, wetland protection is becoming even more urgent.  Wetlands have the power to help mitigate climate change, but development pressures and weaker federal protections are quickly eroding unprotected wetland areas. Wetland protection has the potential to affect our quality of life and long-term economic viability. Expanding and enhancing wetlands is crucial to Oregon’s  water quality, flood control and fire safety.

The Wetlands Conservancy is reaching out to grow support for our mission – to partner with communities across our state in conserving, enhancing and restoring the physical and ecological values of Oregon’s greatest wetlands for current and future generations. While we consider all donors to be members, we want your membership to be a pathway to deeper involvement. By joining The Wetlands Conservancy, you will have  opportunities to participate in events and tours, or volunteer for  restoration and community science projects in-the-field.
Power of Wetlands Video
The Wetlands Conservancy recognizes that we have long-time members who have supported the organization for many years. Renewing your membership provides an opportunity to reconnect and celebrate the Power of Wetlands. If you have never been a member of the Wetlands Conservancy, join now as a monthly sustainer or an annual donor. Become a Wetlands Champion today!

Boots in the Wetlands

A major tidal marsh restoration project along the Yaquina River on The Wetlands Conservancy Y27 Preserve was completed in August. 

Y27 restoration

This summer, the MidCoast Watersheds Council and partners worked to restore a 55-acre Wetlands Conservancy site on the Yaquina River, called Y27, to enhance habitat for juvenile salmon and other important estuary species.

Improving fish habitat was the primary reason for the restoration work. However, grading and soil removal was done to lower man made dikes and create new tidal channels so the site can store more water during floods, accumulate more sediment to keep up with sea level rise, and restore forested tidal wetland habitat.  

Salt marsh restoration

Other work included the placement of large wood and tree root balls in strategic areas across the site. This will increase cover for rearing fish, create habitat structure, and will act as nurse logs for the growth of Sitka spruce trees and other plant species. Additionally, some spruce swamp habitat will be restored on the site to control invasive weeds.

Project partners included the MidCoast Watersheds Council, the City of Toledo, the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, Pacific States Marine Fisheries Commission, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and US Fish and Wildlife Service Partners for Fish and Wildlife. Funding for the project was received from the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service Fish Passage Program. Additional support provided by the Pacific Marine and Estuarine Fish Habitat Partnership and the Oregon Wildlife Foundation.

Photos courtesy of MidCoast Watersheds Council. See more photos on our Facebook Album.
 

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