The Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB) selected Lower Nehalem WC to receive a Salmon License Plate grant at their March 9 and 10 virtual board meeting. The “Coal Creek Habitat Enhancement Phase 1 Project” involves native plants being installed adjacent to the creek and a fish passage barrier being removed. The project will improve habitat for salmon, including Oregon coast Coho, in Coal Creek, a tributary of the North Fork Nehalem River.
Salmon License Plate revenues are generated from the extra fee Oregonians pay when they purchase Salmon Plates for their vehicles.
“This project is a great investment of the state’s Salmon License Plate dollars,” said Meta Loftsgaarden, OWEB’s executive director. “This investment benefits salmon habitat, while also supporting local natural resource jobs.”
In addition to the Coal Creek Habitat Enhancement Phase 1 Project, the OWEB Board selected three other project(s) to be awarded Salmon License Plate funding:
• Seeley Creek Habitat ($177,936) Project (Benton County) - Large wood structures will be installed, and a historic log pond will be reconnected to Seeley Creek, a tributary to the Alsea River. Restoring the floodplain connection to the creek will provide habitat for salmon.
• Tenmile Lakes Watershed Beaver Analogue ($53,668) Project (Coos County) – Beaver dam analogues will be installed on Big Creek and Johnson Creek, tributaries of Tenmile Lakes to improve habitat complexity for salmon, including Oregon coast Coho.
• Sandy River Basin Aquatic Habitat Restoration ($213,582) Project (Clackamas County) – Stream channels and floodplain areas will be restored in Sandy River tributaries to increase the abundance and productivity of Sandy basin salmon and steelhead populations.
Salmon License Plate income totaled $253,655 for the grant cycle, which was apportioned equally between the identified projects. The rest comes from a combination of Lottery and federal funding.
In total, the OWEB Board awarded 85 grants totaling $10,095,684 to local organizations statewide to support fish and wildlife habitat and water quality projects using Lottery, Salmon License Plate, and federal Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery funding provided by the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration at their October meeting. Since 1999, the Oregon Lottery has provided over $684 million to OWEB’s grant program that helps restore, maintain and enhance Oregon’s watershed along with additional investments from Salmon License Plate revenues. Combined, the Lottery has earned over $9 billion for watershed enhancements, public education, state parks and economic development.
Information about the Oregon Lottery can be found on their website. A listing of all awarded grants is available at: Spring 2020 Open Solicitation Grant Offering report.