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Yaquina Estuary Restoration Project

This summer through early September, those who travel Elk City Road upriver from Toledo will notice equipment in the tidal marsh across the Yaquina River. MCWC and partners will be working to restore a 55-acre site owned by The Wetlands Conservancy, called Y27, so that juvenile salmon and other important estuary species can thrive here.

The basis of this work surrounds research undergone in the Salmon River estuary near Lincoln City that showed that after most of the marshes were restored, coho that spent extended periods of time in those habitats as juveniles accounted for 20–35% of the adults returning to spawn a few years later. To an even greater degree, more than 50% of the returning adult Chinook salmon had also spent more time as young salmon in the nutrient rich

and protected waters of the estuary. 

While fish habitat is the main reason we’re expanding the restoration work that was done in 2001, we’re also removing more of the dikes and creating new tidal channels so the site can store more water during floods, accumulate more sediment to keep up with sea level rise, and restore forested tidal wetland habitat.

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