The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the city of Portland are working together in southeast Portland to restore a portion of Crystal Springs Creek to improve fish habitat and passage. This reflects the Corps’ commitment to environmental stewardship by restoring ecosystems and improving watershed health. This partnership between the Corps and the city of Portland is authorized under Section 206 of the Water Resources Development Act of 1996, which allows the Corps to partner with non-federal agencies to restore degraded aquatic habitats. Project costs are shared between the Corps (65%) and the city (35%).
Westmoreland Park restoration
Crystal Springs Creek, a tributary of Johnson Creek that flows through Westmoreland Park, has a steady, year-round flow and provides ideal fish habitat. Endangered salmon and trout species, including coho, Chinook and steelhead migrate through the creek to the ocean and back again to spawn. This summer, the Corps will partner with the Portland Parks and Recreation and Environmental Services to transform the existing concrete-lined duck pond into a wetland area through which Crystal Springs Creek will flow. This will reduce water temperatures, improve habitat for threatened native salmon, and restore habitat for native waterfowl, amphibians and mammals. The finished project will provide a healthier park for people and native wildlife. All in-water work will be done from July 15 to August 31, to minimize impacts to migrating fish.
Tacoma Street culvert replacement
The Corps, together with the Bureau of Environmental Services, is replacing several culverts to improve fish passage. Culvert replacement is a key element of recovery of endangered juvenile salmon and trout species. Preparations are underway to replace the culvert at S.E. Tacoma Street and S.E. 21st Avenue. The new 14-foot-wide, natural-bottomed culvert will replace the existing 4-foot-diameter pipe culvert, improving fish passage and hydrology. Early preparation for summer construction included removing branches from some trees to avoid impacts to nesting migratory birds. Those same trees will later be removed from the site before construction begins. Work on Tacoma Street requires removing four trees, some of which are already in poor health. All in-water work will be done from July 15 to August 31, to minimize impacts to migrating fish.