Ducks Unlimited and partners recently completed a series of conservation projects in Northwest Oregon and Southwest Washington funded under a three-phase, six-year-long programmatic NAWCA grant. Titled the “Living Floodplains,” this partnership with federal, state, private, and municipal sponsors completed 21 projects for more than 2,007 acres of protected, restored and enhanced habitats within the Willamette and Lower Columbia River watersheds.
DU was the grant applicant, and secured more than $2.7 million in funding from NAWCA. In order to secure these funds, more than $5.7 million in non-federal funding was leveraged as match to the NAWCA grant. The majority of the matching funds are from acquisitions and restoration projects funded by METRO’S Parks and Nature conservation program, which uses voter approved taxes and revenues to purchase and improve natural areas within the Portland, Oregon metropolitan region.
The Living Floodplains NAWCA and match projects specifically delivered 720 acres of acquisition and protection, 567 acres of restoration, and 720 acres of enhancement. These projects were located throughout the Willamette and Lower Columbia River watersheds, including projects at Wapato Lake National Wildlife Refuge, Sauvie Island Wildlife Area, Jackson Bottom Wildlife Preserve, Oak Island Wildlife Area, and Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge, as well as several area parks. Activities on these properties not only improved wintering and breeding conditions for waterfowl and other waterbirds, but also created benefits for endangered salmon species including Coho, steelhead, and Chinook. Many of the project sites are open to public use, and offer opportunities for hunting, fishing, wildlife viewing and environmental appreciation.