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Tetra Tech is helping to restore Umatilla River Vision physical and ecological processes and fish habitat on Meacham Creek for the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation (CTUIR) in Oregon after decades of disruption from human activities.

In partnership with the CTUIR, Tetra Tech surveyed, designed, permitted, provided construction oversight, and conducted monitoring for floodplain restoration and in-stream enhancements on Meacham Creek (Phases I and II and Bonifer Reach), part of the Umatilla River Subbasin. The Meacham Creek project areas are located on CTUIR and United States Forest Service (USFS) lands and along the Union Pacific Railroad (UPRR) in Umatilla County, Oregon. In the late 1800s, livestock grazing, timber harvest, and rail service, including installation of levees and spur dikes, greatly impacted the floodplain and disrupted the natural flow of Meacham Creek and severely compromised or destroyed fish and wildlife habitat.

I know how much work you have all put into getting us to this point. I also know (and very much appreciate) how much Tetra Tech has gone above and beyond what could be reasonably expected to make this project what it is now. I truly believe that with the experience of this partnership and the direction we are headed, this project will become the example of how to do these types of large-scale floodplain reconnection projects into the future. I truly appreciate the experience and dedication of you all for making this happen.

Rick Christian, Umatilla Basin Project Leader, CTUIR

Tetra Tech designed solutions that removed levees and spur dikes, restored floodplain connectivity and natural meandering conditions, created wetlands and fish habitat to assist in salmon recovery, while adhering to the CTUIR First Foods mission, which emphasizes restoration of traditional foods such as salmon, deer, and huckleberry. Our team completed the work in multiple phases to reduce environmental impacts.

The three projects restored nearly 11 miles of river and side channels and aided in salmon recovery. Tetra Tech’s expertise in data analysis, incorporation of existing data in the alternatives evaluation, and permitting experience created significant cost savings for the client.

The Phase I and II projects are complete; the Bonifer Reach project is currently in construction. Collectively, the three projects remove 3 miles of levees and spur dikes, realign 2 miles of channel, reconnect 3 miles of side channels, place 5,000 pieces of wood, plant 87 acres, and enhance 5 acres of wetlands.

Tetra Tech supported the CTUIR’s Umatilla River Vision of “an ecologically functional and healthy river system that supports the continued natural production of First Foods and their utilization by the CTUIR community.” This work was done through partnership with the CTUIR and USFS, and cooperation with the UPRR.

Learn more about the project in Tetra Tech’s Phase I and Phase II reports.

Highlights

The Meacham Creek project received the Rise to the Future award from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service (USFS) for Collaborative/Integrated Aquatic Stewardship.

View the NorthWest Indian News video about the restoration of Meacham Creek.