Coos Watershed Association



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Matson Preserve

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Restoration of the Coos Watershed

Coos Watershed Restoration Explorer

Why do we need to restore the Coos watershed?

The cumulative impacts of land use practices have, over time, altered natural conditions in the Coos watershed. These impacts have affected salmon and other wildlife habitat, water quality, and hydrology in the local area.  Healthy, functioning stream systems are a highly-valued feature of living in the Coos Bay area for many reasons. The following economic resources are intrinsically linked to the health of the watershed:

  • wild coho salmon population viability
  • commercial salmon and shellfish harvest
  • sport fishing and birding
  • water quality and quantity
  • flood and ground -water retention
  • recreation and tourism
  • aesthetics

Salmon are known to be very sensitive to the quality of their habitat. For this reason, they are used as an indicator of watershed health.

What types of restoration methods are used in the Coos watershed?

There are several types of watershed project “tools” depending on what the current and potential conditions are at your site(s), and what you would like to see in the future.

Watershed Project Tools:

Fish passage upgrade and maintenance of culverts to provide adequate passage for migrating salmon, both upstream and downstream. Fish passage may also be blocked by other artificial barriers. A simple passage issue could block an entire local population of anadromous fish from accessing their habitat, interrupting the life cycle. 

Riparian areas are the land surrounding a body of water such as a steam or wetland. It is extremely important to keep riparian areas covered with native vegetation. Healthy riparian areas serve to stabilize stream banks, filter sediment from runoff, shade the water, and provide essential habitat for many species dependant on riparian areas.

In-stream habitat structure, such as large wood debris, root wads and boulders benefit streams and salmon habitat by creating or enhancing features such as pools, refuge from high flow velocity,  and creates spawning gravel beds.

Road-related erosion control includes the maintenance of stream crossings as well as maintaining proper ditch lengths and other road drainage features. Roads are a significant source of erosion and sediment runoff, and abandoned roads should be decommissioned.

Coos Watershed Association. 2016