A recent visit to the Errol Creek Confluence restoration site revealed nature at work for clean rivers and streams.
Environmental Services completed the Errol Creek Confluence project in 2009 to restore the natural stream channel and wetlands that supply Johnson Creek with cool, clean water. The project also improved passage and refuge habitat for native fish, including Endangered Species Act-listed salmon.
Here's the site (near SE 45th Ave and the Springwater Corridor) before the restoration. The creek had been straightened and lined with rock as part of old attempts to control flooding. The area was filled with invasive plants and part of the creek was in a pipe under SE 44th Avenue, which blocked fish from the rest of the stream.
Here's the site in 2011, after restoration was complete and native plants started to thrive. The new trees provide shade to keep the stream cool, which is good-- water quality in Johnson Creek is negatively impacted by too much heat.
And, here is the site this summer. A beaver dam has created more wetland area, which is great habitat for salmon and other native species. Wetlands also filter pollutants to keep rivers and streams healthy. That's a native spiraea bush blooming in the foreground.
Learn more about the Errol Creek Confluence project and the Johnson Creek Watershed at www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/johnsoncreek