Westport Slough Habitat Restoration Project

HENDERSON partnered with the Columbia River Estuary Study Taskforce (CREST), and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) on the Westport Slough Habitat Enhancement Project.

Westport Slough pano_closerHistoric logging and agricultural practices have negatively affected the hydrology and landscape of this location.  Remnant levees and ditches blocked site access, influencing drainage patterns, and altering naturally occurring tidal cycles.  Channels were simplified and straightened, adversely affecting aquatic habitat, and organic material is limited throughout the site.  Marsh plain forests have been replaced by native shrub-scrub communities, and Invasive species now dominate the remaining levees.

HENDERSON’s team restored the access of off-channel tidal marsh plain habitat to Westport Slough through seven levee breaches and the redistribution of approximately 15,940 CY of material.  Equipment at this site was transported via barge.  Our professionals strategically breached the existing levee during falling tides, allowing access and limiting negative effects to water quality.  HENDERSON also utilized excavated materials onsite to improve habitat complexity.  Salvageable materials were re-incorporated into the site, including the use of downed wood in large wood structures, and the replanting of vegetation saved during site clearing.  Additional native plants were installed and invasive species removed to re-establishing more historic vegetation conditions.

One month after the successful completion of this project, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service reclassified the Columbian white-tailed deer’s status from ‘endangered’ to ‘threatened’.  Since their Endanger Species Act listing in 1967, population numbers have doubled. Federal officials credit the Julia Butler Hansen Refuge as a large contributor to the Columbian white-tails recovery!

Website Design by BOING