Healthy Streams Program

Program area map

Program area map

We provide technical assistance, project planning, and full funding – for priority sites – for streamside restoration, with the goal of improving water quality, wildlife habitat, and the condition of the land. Current target areas include McCarthy, Abbey, and Rock creeks in the West Hills, and canals and ditches on Sauvie Island.  The objective along McCarthy, Abbey and Rock creeks is to restore habitat for salmonid fish, enhance wildlife corridors, and improve water quality for all.

Riparian buffers provide many services:

  • Migration sites, cover, reproduction, nesting and forage for many wildlife species, including birds, amphibians, mammals, and pollinators
  • Cool, shaded water for salmon, other native fish and the aquatic invertebrates that feed them
  • Their diverse network of plant roots help minimize soil erosion
  • Noise buffering, privacy and visual beauty
  • Increased land values and landowner enjoyment
  • Reduced property taxes when enrolled with Multnomah County
  • Livestock exclusion from streams, which can include wildlife-friendly fencing

The objective of the Healthy Streams Program on Sauvie Island agricultural land is to improve water quality and reduce invasive plant species, tillage, and livestock use that occur directly adjacent to waterways, which contributes to erosion and sedimentation. Beyond the Healthy Streams program, we provide technical assistance managing riparian areas.

Quick-to-establish native plants, such as willow and red osier dogwood, are installed along the stream's edge to stabilize the bank and minimize erosion.

Quick-to-establish native plants, such as willow and red osier dogwood, are installed along the stream’s edge to stabilize the bank and minimize erosion.

At priority sites where we’ve developed a plan, we will pay to install and establish self-sustaining native woody and/or herbaceous plant “buffers” – depending on landowner and wildlife objectives.

Benefits include:

  • Stemming the loss of land and canal widening caused by erosion
  • Taking up excess nutrients before they enter surface of groundwater
  • Creating or enhancing important wildlife corridors
  • Fencing to protect livestock from falling into canals

Other Resources

Here are some great publications for managing streams and riparian areas:

For more information on the Healthy Streams Program, contact Senior Conservationist Kammy Kern-Korot at or 503.238.4775, ext. 108.


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