Habitats & Biodiversity

Conservation Priorities

What is habitat?

Habitat is home for wildlife. Healthy habitat offers animals the food, water, shelter, and space they need to thrive. Often, this means clean waterways and natural areas with a large variety of native trees, shrubs, grasses, and other flowering plants. Suitable habitat for small wildlife, like birds and insects, can also be created by growing native plant hedgerows along farm fields or by naturescaping in a yard.

Large areas of habitat, and connectivityConnectivity the degree to which patches of landscape are connected, either helping or impeding animal movement and other ecological processes like the flow of water or dispersal of seeds between patches of habitat, are important for the long-term survival of most animals and plants. Animals of all sizes need to be able to move through a landscape.

What is biodiversity?

Biodiversity is the wide variety of all living things in an ecosystem or on Earth. Ecosystems are complex communities in which a diversity of species relies on each other to survive and reproduce. We all rely on a healthy ecosystem for the clean water, oxygen, and food that sustain us.

Learn how to keep our watersheds healthy.

On this page:

    Providing for wildlife

    Wildlife rely on having a rich diversity of native plants and healthy ecosystems that exist in healthy habitats. Did you know that more than 365 different native animal species call our area home? These animals depend on the diversity of native plants and natural features that occur in healthy habitats and ecosystems. There are many types of habitat in our area.

    With some planning and a little effort, you can enhance access to food, shelter, and nesting sites for a wide variety of native species.

    Enjoy watching and helping wildlife survive. Also benefit from the services they provide, like pest control or pollination of food crops.

    Learn how to create and maintain wildlife habitat.

    Improving habitat is at the core of our work.

    We help landowners plan and implement conservation projects that benefit wildlife and enrich our natural environment:

    It is our priority to protect, improve, and expand important habitats.

    These include riparian areas, wetlands and ponds, oak woodlands and savanna, forests, meadows, prairie, soil ecosystems on farms, areas that can absorb stormwater, and habitats at moorages and marinas along the Multnomah Channel.

    We can help you find ways to improve different types of habitat on your land.

    Contact us about a conservation plan or restoring habitat. We can also connect you to project resources.

    Featured projects

    creek flowing through grassy meadow with trees

    Lower McCarthy Creek stream, wetland, and oak habitat

    McCarthy Creek flows from NW Skyline Boulevard to Multnomah Channel across from Sauvie Island. This creek is unique to the area, providing essential salmonid habitat, especially for coho and Chinook salmon. At the bottom of the watershed is 121 acres of privately owned land. Most of this land is wetlands and within the 100-year floodplain…

    View of Dairy Creek on Sauvie Island, Oregon

    Sturgeon Lake Restoration Project

    Sturgeon Lake is reconnected to the Columbia River! After over a decade of partnership building, planning, fundraising, and engineering, and just over four months of construction, in November 2018, the Dairy Creek channel reopened to tidal flow between the Columbia River and Sturgeon Lake on Sauvie Island. The successful completion of the Sturgeon Lake Restoration…

    Want to create habitat on your land?

    Find out if you're in our service area.

    Habitats & Biodiversity resources

    Find more information and resources about habitat enhancement.

    Staff contact

    Kammy Kern-Korot


    Senior Conservationist

    Contact me about:

    Oregon oak, savanna, wetlands and riparianRiparian areas The land alongside a creek, river, pond, or other body of water habitats; Emerald Ash and Mediterranean Oak Borers; conservation planning and native plantings for pollinators and other wildlife on rural lands.
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    Scott Gall

    Farm & Soil Conservationist

    Contact me about:

    Soil health; Farms and livestock; Equity and inclusion
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    Laura Taylor

    Forest Conservationist

    Contact me about:

    Forest and woodland health; Wildfire risk in rural forests; Plants; Pollinators.
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