The Nature conservancy, Oregon
Climate Change Challenge: less water, worse droughts
Grant Award: $249,975; Year Awarded: 2015
The Willamette River and its tributaries once supported robust populations of salmon and steelhead, as well as numerous floodplain-dependent fish and wildlife species. The Willamette Basin is especially vulnerable to climate change impacts including decreased snowpack, increased peak flows and decreased low summer flows, as it sits within the transient rain-snow region of the western Cascades. Floodplain restoration and reconnection, if carefully planned and executed, is a strategy that can address existing degraded conditions as well as provide resilience to future climate change. The location of the project is at a dynamic confluence area relatively high in the watershed and provides a key location for mitigating future changes in peak flows, summer low flows and water quality.