The physical transformation of the Salmon River Estuary will be the subject of a naturalist presentation from US Forest Service Watershed Program Manager Kami Ellingson on Thursday, Nov. 21, in Newport.
Located just north of Lincoln City, the Salmon River watershed has a diverse ownership and management strategy involving the United Nations Biosphere Reserve, US Forest Service, Cascade Head Scenic Research Area, The Nature Conservancy-headlands, private industrial forest-uplands, Oregon State Parks and rural residential along the lower reaches of main-stem Salmon River.
Residential and commercial development in the mid 1900s impacted the intertidal portion of the estuary. For more than 40 years the Siuslaw National Forest, with a diverse range of partners, has been acquiring tidal marsh in the estuary in order to bring back the tides. The estuary was restored incrementally from 1978 through 2017. Nearly the entire estuary is now restored to a natural, historic tidal regime, resulting in significant fisheries response and native biodiversity.
Kami Ellingson is a hydrologist with 20 years of field experience, ranging from landslide studies following the 1996 storm event in western Oregon, to road, stream and estuary restoration. She has led the restoration of the Salmon River estuary since 2007 and has been recognized nationally and internationally for the success of the physical restoration and the collaborative partnerships. Ellingson received both her bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources Management and her master’s in Forest Engineering and Hydrology from Oregon State University.
The Nov. 21 presentation, hosted by Yaquina Birders and Naturalists, will start at 7 pm at the OSU Extension Lincoln County office, 1211 SE Bay Blvd, Newport.
• Yaquina Birders and Naturalists will also host a guided naturalist walk on Saturday, Nov. 23, leading participants through Beaver Creek Marsh and Ona Beach just south of Newport. Park Ranger Brian Fowler will lead this field trip in search of waterfowl, wintering songbirds and migrating birds of prey.
The two-hour excursion will start at 9 am in the parking lot for Beaver Creek State Natural Area, North Beaver Creek Road. For more information, call 706-296-2862.