The Sandy River Basin is a key watershed west of the Portland metropolitan area, supporting popular sport fisheries, water recreation, dams, and water storage facilities. Native salmon and steelhead populations of the Sandy River have declined to 10-25 percent of historic levels in the past century due to multiple factors, but especially due to the increase in human population and degradation of habitat
As part of their ongoing commitment to improve fish habitat in the Sandy River, Metro Parks and Greenspaces hired W2r to restore stream, floodplain, and riparian habitats at three sites located within Oxbow Regional Park. The project reach is located roughly 10 miles upstream from its confluence with the Columbia River, in a reach that is susceptible to sediment deposition and lateral migration. This reach is also designated as a Wild and Scenic River. Restoration actions include enhancing two side channels; placement of large wood for habitat enhancement and flow redirection; creating an emulated landslide to enhance habitat; and restoration of riparian areas. The project included anthropomorphic debris removal to reduce erosion and improve access and safety: the project removed an old car body embedded into the river at a channel inlet, and a concrete sand bag wall at the alcove. The construction work for the Oxbow Stream Restoration Project was broken into two phases, the summer of 2017 and 2018 to minimize impacts to recreational use.