With this restoration project, all five major rivers that enter Tillamook Bay estuary will have seen major progress in restoring wetland salmon rearing habitat.
Acquisition of this property in 2020 was the first step in a planned restoration of the Tillamook River’s tidal floodplain, in collaboration with Tillamook Estuaries Partnership. When completed, major progress will have been made in restoring salmon rearing habitat on all five major rivers entering Tillamook Bay.
In 2020 North Coast Land Conservancy purchased 73 acres of wetlands south of Tillamook, marking the first step in a planned restoration of the tidal floodplain along the Tillamook River. Restoration of Tillamook River Wetlands, a collaboration between NCLC and Tillamook Estuaries Partnership, will complement similar projects already under way on the Miami, Kilchis, Trask and Wilson rivers. Upon completion, all five major rivers entering Tillamook Bay estuary will have made major progress in restoring wetland salmon rearing habitat.
Many animals depend on the availability tidal wetlands to complete their life cycle. But much tidal wetland property on the Oregon Coast has been converted to agriculture and other development requiring flat land. Activities such as levee construction, diking, draining, and filling have altered or eliminated 85 percent of Tillamook Bay’s once-expansive tidal wetlands. This has led to a decline in the population of many species, including the federally threatened Oregon Coast coho salmon.
Together with TEP, NCLC plans to allow the Tillamook River to return to a large area of its historic floodplain. By reconnecting the wetland to the river, the project will restore habitat complexity critical to healthy salmon and trout populations and other wetlands-dependent species.