Local watershed projects get state funding

The Columbia Land Trust received $332,080 from the state Watershed Enhancement Board to help fund the purchase of 90 acres at South Tongue Point.

Several North Coast conservation projects have received funding from the state Watershed Enhancement Board.

The Columbia Land Trust received $332,080 as a local match to a federal grant the group is seeking to buy 90 acres at South Tongue Point. The Columbia River Estuary Study Taskforce would oversee the restoration of the land into off-channel salmon habitat. Clatsop Community College would eventually take ownership of the restored wetlands as a living laboratory.

The North Coast Land Conservancy received $347,900 to buy 100 acres of forest and wetlands upstream along the Necanicum River from the existing Shangrila Wetlands south of Seaside. The group acquired 70 acres of the intertidal Sitka spruce swamp in 2009 with funding from the watershed board and the Doris Duke Foundation.

The conservancy also received $404,665 for a feasibility study and purchase of 73 acres of tidal wetlands along the Tillamook River.

The North Coast Watershed Association received $177,167 to help restore 22 acres of tidal wetlands along a tributary of the John Day River.

The Watershed Enhancement Board provided $16 million in grants to 23 projects statewide. Funding for the grants comes from the Oregon Lottery, salmon-themed license plate sales and federal programs.

“Oregonians have chosen, time and time again, to invest in voluntary conservation projects like these because they know that voluntary conservation supports clean and abundant water, healthy wildlife habitat, places to get outdoors and enjoy nature, and a thriving outdoor economy,” Shawn Morford, executive director of the Network of Oregon Watershed Councils, said in a release.

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