It’s another busy summer for restoration work in Crystal Springs Creek. Last year, three culverts were replaced and one was removed. This year, two culverts are being replaced and the long-awaited restoration at Westmoreland Park is now underway. After this summer, seven of the nine culverts that block fish and impact water quality will be replaced! The final two culverts are on track to be replaced in the summer of 2014. Here is a quick update on this summer’s projects:
Westmoreland Duck Pond Restoration
We posted about this project back in March and are happy to report that construction is now underway. On July 7 and 8, volunteers with the Xerces Society and Crystal Spring Partnership rescued native freshwater mussels from the pond, relocating them to other parts of the creek in preparation for construction. The crew rescued over 600 mussels! In the long run, restoration of the creek will benefit native mussels, salmon and other fish.
See the mussel rescue in action in this short video by our project partner, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
In-water construction begins this week. The pond will be drained and the creek will be diverted into a temporary channel in the northern section and into a pipe in the southern section so crews can reconstruct the stream channel, remove accumulated sediment, and sculpt the new wetland. New park features, such as boardwalks and paths, benches, picnic tables, and lighting will be installed later in the fall. The project will be complete in December 2013. (Photo credit: Celeste Mazzacano)
Tacoma Culvert Replacement
The City is also partnering with the U.S Army Corps of Engineers to replace the culvert under SE Tacoma Street. A 14-foot-wide, natural-bottom culvert will replace the existing 4-foot-wide pipe culvert, improving fish passage and water flow. Two lanes of traffic on SE Tacoma are open, but travel lane widths are reduced and shifted to one side of the street, while half of the culvert is constructed on the other. This project will be completed in October 2013.
Eastmoreland Golf Course Culvert
This project is now underway to remove three small culverts under a maintenance road in the golf course and replace them with a fish-friendly bridge. Last week, Environmental Services staff conducted a fish salvage operation before the stream was temporarily re-routed at the construction site.
Fish salvage means that native fish are removed from the area and relocated to nearby parts of the stream so they will not be harmed by construction. It is also a good opportunity to learn what species and ages of fish are currently using that area, which we can compare to monitoring after the restoration. While Crystal Springs has many barriers and challenges for salmon migration, it currently does provide habitat for some native fish, including steelhead trout and Pacific lamprey rescued last week. Learn more about some of the species in Crystal Springs Creek here.
To learn more about Crystal Springs, the restoration work, and future opportunities to volunteer or attend an event, visit:
Crystal Springs Partnership Website www.crystalspringspdx.org
Environmental Services Crystal Springs Projects Website www.portlandonline.com/bes/crystalsprings