Nisqually Delta Restoration Update

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This is the presentation give by Jesse Barham at the November 2010 Nisqually River Council Meeting.

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  • Estuary Restoration USFWS/Refuge partnership with NIT and DU (USGS?) Du – Engineering, grant management / NIT-technical support and funding assistance
  • Preferred alternative as implemented. 760 acres of estuary restored to tides. 250 acres of FW wetland habitat protected by setback levee, enhanced FW habitats with smaller levees/WCS and borrow areas. 25+ acres of new tidal riparian forest, reconnection of 8 significant tidal slough systems, ELJ to protect dike jct, Rock armor removal to allow river to migrate. Increased sanctuary areas. Improved FW wetlands in smaller area. New trail and boardwalk. Also NIT projects on E side of river – Pilot, Phase I, Phase II and Riparian Planting.
  • Clearing vegetation to facilitate earth work in spring 2009. Nesting bird surveys avoidance and deterrent implemented as well as reuse of woody mulch in riparian area.
  • Stage I dike removal – removing the top of the dike.
  • Stage II dike removal – Removal of 80% of the material while leaving a temporary wedge intact to keep out puget sound until lower than average high tides in September. Most material placed into borrow ditch where it came from originally.
  • Final berm removed in late Sept 2009 allowing tides to flood the site. Working around the tides and reconnecting channels as they moved around.
  • Rock armor removal to allow river to migrate and form distributary channels. Significant armor placed in mid 1970s due to dike breach and 1996/2002 after flood damage.
  • Barrier to fish, salinity, nutrient exchange, seeds. Subsidence due to farming drainage/tillage and loss of sediment from puget sound/river- Lots of new mudflats, Lots of sediment built up out side old dike.
  • Reconnected channels, no longer a barrier to water, fish, nutrients, sediments.
  • Channel reconnection
  • Channel reconnection – sediment accumulated outside the dike. Used clearing debris to access mudflats
  • Durring last phase of dike removal. Crews chased outgoing tides and incoming tide allowed to wash away last wedge to allow for full tidal cycle before evacuation to maximize dilution minimize water quality impacts.
  • Before/after photo of channel reconnection
  • Riparian habitats/ tidal influenced forest – important for out migrating salmon and nesting songbirds.
  • Riparian area
  • Mulch used to improve woody plant establishment. Very highest tides of the year inundate, but freshwater lens from river keeps very fresh. Pilot distributary channel to increase mixing zone fresh water input to site at high tide.
  • Pilot planting in riparian area. 500 local school children planted over 3000 willow cuttings. Additional planting planned for this winter over 20 acres. snags installed for raptor perches with logs cleared during the spring.
  • ELJ to protect Jct of new/old dike more habitat friendly bank protection in lieu of large rock wall
  • Challenging construction on tidal zone, 60’ pilings, racked logs 20’ below ground surface, salvage rip rap ballast to prevent undermining. Windfall logs donated by Ft. Lewis Forestry.
  • Willow rootwads installed for quick erosion control and heavy willow staking. Pilot structure meant to accumulate wood in the future and become more natural over time.
  • During construction
  • After construction, high tide inundates are with brackish river water.
  • Removal of culvert missed during construction in 2009. With hand crew and removal by boat
  • Boardwalk 5500 feet to replace trail along old dike. partial seasonal closure for waterfowl hunting.
  • AARA funding 2.7 million – Five Rivers Construction out of Longview. Employing 10 carpenters for 6 months. Many had not worked in months. Pin foundations in lieu of pile driving
  • Nisqually Delta Restoration Update

    1. 1. Nisqually NWR Estuary Restoration Update Nisqually River Council – November 19, 2010 Restoration Biologist Jesse Barham Key Partners
    2. 3. Vegetation Clearing May 2009 Photo: Mark Gamba
    3. 4. Stage 1 Dike Removal June 2009
    4. 5. Stage 2 Dike Removal July 2009
    5. 6. Removing the Berm Late September 2009
    6. 7. Rock Armor Removal Along the River July 2009
    7. 8. Saltwater Freshwater Dike Pre-Restoration Condition
    8. 9. November 2009 Photo: Steve Liske
    9. 11. Excavating Pilot Channels July 2009 Reconnecting a Historic Tidal Channel
    10. 12. August 2009
    11. 13. Late September 2009
    12. 14. April 2010
    13. 16. August 2009
    14. 17. March 2010
    15. 18. @David S. Pitkin Riparian Habitat
    16. 20. New Riparian Surge Plain November 2009 Photo: Steve Liske
    17. 21. June 2010
    18. 23. Engineered Logjam October 2009
    19. 24. July 2010
    20. 26. June 2009 Along River - Near Old Ring Dike
    21. 27. November 2009
    22. 29. June 2009 Along Nisqually River
    23. 30. October 2009
    24. 31. Adaptive Management
    25. 32. Clearing a pilot channel in Leschi Slough (September 2010)
    26. 33. August 2009
    27. 34. April 2010
    28. 35. Summer 2006 Source: NAIP
    29. 36. July 2009 Source: USGS
    30. 37. December 2009 Source: USGS
    31. 38. March 2010 Source: USGS
    32. 39. July 2010 Source: USGS
    33. 40. Post Restoration Fish Monitoring
    34. 41. Sediment Erosion Tables
    35. 42. Vegetation Monitoring
    36. 43. August 2010
    37. 44. September 2010
    38. 46. Boardwalk Construction

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