Essay on Watershed Management Plan for Portland, Oregon

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Watershed Management Plan: Portland, Oregon Portland, Oregon is one of the most sustainable cities in the U.S and is well-known for its urban appeal. Various bureaus within the city have consistently found ways to incorporate sustainability at a time when managing economic pressures and increased demands for natural resources have otherwise been challenging. It comes as no surprise then, that efforts in restoring watershed health play a large role in the city’s overall agenda. Every watershed within Portland’s jurisdiction serves an important purpose; and, while individual management plans do exist, a comprehensive plan has been created to give perspective of watershed health on a city-wide scale. Not only does this allow the city to …show more content…

Levees were built, wetlands were drained and filled, and waterways were channelized (City of Portland Environmental Services, 2005). As a result, the overall health of the watershed diminished. There is an urgent need to improve water quality of the Columbia Slough Watershed. Urban development has resulted in an extensive loss of vegetation and habitat which has resulted in increased water temperature and decreased capacity to filter pollutants and sediments from runoff (City of Portland Environmental Services, 2005). The watershed also serves as an important wildlife corridor, especially for migrating salmon. However, upstream passage of salmon is prevented due to levees. Johnson Creek Much like the Columbia Slough, the Johnson Creek Watershed has also been severely altered and urban development has contributed to its poor health. In the 1930s, a trapezoidal channel in 15 of the 25 stream miles was created to control flooding (City of Portland Environmental Services, 2005). However, this action did the complete opposite. Disconnected from its floodplain, stormwater runoff has overwhelmed the confined stream channel and has flooded 37 times since 1942 (City of Portland Environmental Services, 2005). Algae growth due to altered flow and growth of invasive species has severely degraded the Johnson Creek Watershed. Creek sediments are contaminated with pesticides and stream banks have eroded (City of Portland

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