North Unit Ecosystem Restoration
PC Trask and its partner CREST recently completed Phase III of a multiphase restoration project in the Sauvie Island Wildlife Area. The project, referred to as the North Unit, is approximately 1600 acres in size and one of the largest restoration efforts in the Columbia River estuary to-date. Restoration planning was technically complex because the site lies near the confluence of the Columbia and Willamette Rivers, exhibited complex geomorphology, and required multispecies considerations.
All three phases entailed water control structure removal to improve hydrology and soil scrape-downs to help native plants out-compete reed canary grass. Initial results have been positive and project design criteria are being met. The North Unit project includes an innovative adaptive management framework that accounts for uncertainties related to climate change and other evolving conditions.
The North Unit project recently won a 2015 State Land Board award! See details and other winners here:
FCRPS BiOp Estuary Project Support
PC Trask staff provides on-going support for estuary restoration implementation of the 2008 Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS) BiOp. PC Trask pioneered the development of unique project concept maps to characterize and shape restoration with project sponsors for potential 2008 BiOp mitigation. PC Trask has created and evaluated concept maps for hundreds of estuary sites over the past eight years. Specific products typically include maps, draft mitigation credit assessments, and cost estimates. PC Trask staff work closely with CREST, Columbia Land Trust, Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership, Cowlitz Indian Tribe, and the Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife, as well as private interests to craft these products.
Landscape Planning Framework
In collaboration with the University of Washington, PC Trask has been developing the Landscape Planning Framework (LPF) over the past decade. LPF is a landscape ecology-based, geospatial approach to strategic planning for restoration and conservation of juvenile Pacific salmon (Oncorhynchus spp.) habitat in the 233-rkm Columbia River estuary. This Action Agency supported project adapts the structure of the hierarchical Columbia River Estuary Ecosystem Classification (Simenstad et al. 2011, USGS 2012) to identify and compare spatially-explicit sites that would most likely benefit unique, at-risk genetic stocks of Columbia River salmon. LPF's fish habitat catena is the most detailed spatial database for juvenile Pacific salmon habitat in the lower Columbia River, providing a powerful tool for habitat restoration and research.
Vancouver Lake Watershed Partnership
From 2007-2013, PC Trask led the 20-member Vancouver Lake Watershed Partnership in the creation of a restoration vision and sustainable management strategy with the goal of improving Vancouver Lake water quality conditions to support swimming, fishing, boating, and fish & wildlife habitat. PC Trask worked with scientists from the US Geological Survey, Army Corps of Engineers, Washington State University, and Herrera Environmental Consultants to understand how the lake functions biologically, chemically, and hydrologically. PC Trask led the development of a Technical Foundation, which identified and prioritized studies necessary to understand the forces driving lake function, from which the Partnership could develop technical, research, and management strategies. PC Trask’s work culminated in a Recommendations Report that provided a roadmap forward to prevent further degradation of this precious resource and improve conditions for current and future users.