Streams & Wetlands


What we do

We conserve and restore riparian areasRiparian areas The land alongside a creek, river, pond, or other body of water to improve water quality, wildlife habitat, and the condition of the land. We help land managers understand what their site needs and access appropriate resources. In priority areas, we help implement and fund riparianRiparian areas The land alongside a creek, river, pond, or other body of water habitat restoration projects. And, we help neighborhood groups develop streamside enhancement plans.

What does a typical riparian restoration project involve?

  • 1 Identify and control invasive weeds and do other needed site preparation.
  • 2 Select native trees, shrubs, and grasses or wildflowers appropriate to the site.
  • 3 Develop a scope of work, timeline, and budget, and secure plant materials.
  • 4 Plant and seed selected species.
  • 5 Add plant protection, livestock fencing, or erosion control as needed.
  • 6 Monitor and maintain planted areas for 2-5 years.
  • 7 Plan for long-term care.
On this page:

    Riparian buffer benefits

    Riparian buffers and streamside vegetation provide many benefits for wildlife and people.

    • Healthy native riparian vegetation provides essential habitat for fish and other aquatic life and corridorsCorridors Wildlife corridor: a stretch of habitat that connects natural areas separated by human activity for wildlife movement

    • Plants filter pollutants and lessen sediment in streams, providing cleaner water

    • Riparian areas provide critical access to water, food, protection from predators, and nest sites for birds, amphibians, mammals, pollinators, and more

    • Plants sequester carbon for long-term benefit, helping mitigate the impacts of climate change

    • Streamside forests provide cool, shaded water for native fish and “nature’s air-conditioning” for people and wildlife

    What you can do

    We can help:


    Find a specialist

    Consider a conservation project along your stream.

    • Plant

      Trees and shrubs help block noise and provide privacy and visual beauty.

    • Manage weeds

      Self-maintaining native plants decrease the need to manage weeds.

    • Reduce erosion

      Riparian vegetation helps keep stream or canal banks stable and reduces erosion. (A network of diverse tree and shrub roots knit into the soil to hold it in place.)

    • Reduce flooding

      Flooding may be reduced with more native vegetation. Plants help with water infiltrationInfiltration Water absorbs into the ground instead of running over the surface

    • Save money & add value

      Properties with native riparian buffers are eligible for reduced property taxes when enrolled with Multnomah County and typically have increased land values.

    Current priority areas

    Current priority areas and goals for Streams & Wetlands project funding include:

    creek flowing through grassy meadow with trees

    Lower McCarthy Creek stream, wetland, and oak habitat

    • Gilbert River and other Sauvie Island waterways

      Projects improve water quality and replace invasive plants with self-sustaining diverse native plants. They also reduce tillage and livestock use adjacent to canals to minimize erosion and keep animals safe.

    Staff contact

    Kammy Kern-Korot

    Senior Conservationist

    Contact me about:

    Oregon oak, savanna, wetlands and riparian habitats; Emerald ash borer; conservation planning and native plantings for pollinators and other wildlife on rural lands.
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    Scott Gall

    Farms & Soil Conservationist

    Contact me about:

    Soil health, farms and livestock
    x 105

    Laura Taylor

    Forest Conservationist

    Contact me about:

    Forest and woodland health; Wildfire risk in rural forests; Plants; Pollinators; Equity and inclusion.
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    Mary Logalbo

    Urban Conservationist

    Contact me about:

    Urban services; Stormwater & erosion; Partner funding; School & community gardens; Plants; Equity efforts; Wildfire risk on urban forests; our Long Range Business Plan.
    x 103