In addition to providing sewer services and managing stormwater in the city, the Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) also works to protect – and even restore – our local wetlands and watersheds.
In southwest Portland, wetland habitat had been lost to development along the lower Willamette River. The Stephens Creek Enhancement Project is working to restore a 3.5-acre area.
BES crews recently installed new plants at the mouth of Stephens Creek and the Willamette River. Since new plants often have a hard time surviving the strong currents of the Willamette, crews used an innovative product to restore vegetation.
They rolled out wetland sod mats – woven mats that already have plants with strong root systems incorporated into them! They were grown hydroponically in Idaho, delivered by boat to the shore, and staked down in place.
We expect these heartier plants to survive river currents, prevent erosion, and enhance the natural habitat around Stephens Creek. If successful, this method could be used in future restoration projects!
Visit BES's website to learn more about the City's watershed services.