State Water Resources Research Institute Program

Project ID: 2007OR80B
Title: Campus and Community Monitoring and Restoration of Mill Creek/Shelton Ditch
Project Type: information transfer
Start Date: 3/01/2007
End Date: 2/29/2008
Congressional District: 5th
Focus Categories: Education, Ecology, Law, Institutions, and Policy
Keywords: water quality, monitoring, ecological restoration, community service
Principal Investigator: Bowersox, Joe
Federal Funds: $ 26,200
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 55.544
Abstract: Mill Creek flows westward from the forested foothills of the Cascade Mountains in central Oregon to the Willamette River in Salem. The 55-square mile watershed drains surface and ground waters from lands used for intensive agriculture, light industry as well as urban development. Like much of Oregon's Willamette Valley, the Mill Creek watershed has experienced reduced water quality conditions. The loss of wetlands, reduced native upland vegetation, compromised riparian buffers and polluted runoff and sedimentation in the Mill Creek watershed have contributed to declining water quality. Additionally, historical diversions and channelization projects for energy generation and timely transportation of peak winter flows to receiving streams have significantly diminished the ecosystem services provided by Mill Creek, and also reduced its aesthetic and recreational value. Despite its size and significance, Mill Creek remains the only watershed in the Salem metropolitan area lacking a state-sanctioned watershed council - perhaps reflecting its historical neglect.

By emphasizing water quality monitoring and community-based ecological restoration of Mill Creek within the Salem Urban Growth Boundary (UGB), the current project has four main objectives:

These objectives will be attained through this grant by

Progress/Completion Report, PDF

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