9th Street Wetland to help mitigate flooding in Warrenton

October 26, 2020

North Coast Land Conservancy’s conservation of 42 acres of Sitka spruce wetland on either side of 9th Street in Warrenton will help prevent flooding and double the length of an existing wildlife corridor in the area.

The 9th Street Wetland, transferred from Clatsop County to NCLC on Oct. 19, encompasses 42 acres that are part of the Alder Creek watershed that spreads to the Columbia River alongside Sand Creek.

Along with NCLC’s Sand Creek Wetlands and Gardenia Wetland, the 9th Street Wetland helps preserve a wildlife corridor of more than 1 mile in the heart of Warrenton that is used by elk, small mammals, upland birds and invertebrates. Additionally, 9th Street Wetland contains several hundred meters of frontage along Alder Creek, which is downstream of a property with rearing habitat for Lower Columbia coho and other salmon.

The entire system stores large volumes of water, creating the potential to help mitigate the effects of flooding and storm surges, a critical ecosystem service in a low-lying community like Warrenton. The spruce forest and swamp habitat that characterize this property are considered globally rare. By the 1980s, about three-quarters of the forested and scrub/shrub tidal wetlands that existed in the lower Columbia River estuary in the 1800s were gone. Wetlands such as those found in this complex act as nature’s kidneys, filtering out sediments, excess nutrients and pollutants.

The spruce, hemlock and alder trees on this property offer the ecological benefits that come with a layered and mature forest structure, such as healthy and diverse understory; large downed wood for moisture retention and nutrient cycling; and large snags for cavity nesting.

Public access to the property is limited to guided use.

 

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