Columbia River–The Lower 80 - Columbia Land Trust

Columbia River–The Lower 80

Excavated channels on Kerry Island
  • Number of Projects:12
  • Acreage: 2177
  • Fact: In the 1880s, there were 39 canneries along the Columbia River; the last major cannery closed in 1980.
  • Experience: The Columbia River is the lifeline of the Northwest, a natural resource that supports our communities, our economies, our wildlife, and our way of life.
  • What We’re Doing: Restoring Columbia River islands, shores, and floodplain to provide healthy, complex habitat for birds, wildlife, and federally threatened runs of Columbia River salmon.
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The Big Picture

The Columbia River is one of the great rivers of America. Its islands, shores, tributaries, and floodplain support the habitat, the wildlife, and land-connected livelihoods that define the Northwest. Columbia Land Trust now cares for some 2,200 of land in and alongside its shores; these are places where we can reconnect the land with the tides, re-grow native trees and plants, and set the stage for nature to regenerate.

Why It Matters

The lower reaches of the river and its many tributaries provide essential habitat for 13 Columbia River salmon and steelhead listed under the Endangered Species Act, as well as the many Northwest mammals and birds that need well-functioning habitat to thrive. The last 150 years, however, have brought radical changes to our iconic northwestern river: With dams controlling its flow, the river has what “altered hydrologic regime.” Shoreline development, water-quality degradation, invasive species, and floodplain disconnection further affect the Columbia River’s health. One of our marquis projects? In 2012, we acquired 960 acres directly next to the river; one day, this floodplain-turned-cattle operation will become floodplain again—a land transformation that will have big benefits for the health of the river and the wildlife that depends on it.

Land Trust Conservation Director Dan Roix (left) with Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (right) at South Tongue Point
Featured Story

Living Lab to Come

Newly awarded grants will help the Land Trust purchase wetland habitat for salmon restoration, as well as a future living laboratory for environmental sciences at Clatsop Community College.

This summer, Columbia Land Trust secured critical federal and state funding to purchase 90 acres of wetland and salmon habitat at South Tongue Point in Astoria, Oregon. In late July, the Land Trust’s Conservation Director Dan Roix and Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici toured the site. The congresswoman expressed her support for local salmon recovery in the Columbia…

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Updates from the Field
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Return to Kerry Island
Partners Inter-fluve and Columbia Land Trust visit an estuary restoration site three years post construction, with an eye on the future.

In late October, a Land Trust crew of Columbia Land Trust stewards and staff from restoration design firm Inter-fluve returned to the site of a tidal estuary restoration project at Kerry Island, located near Clatskanie, Oregon. Donning their requisite chest-high waders, the group observed changes in the site that have taken place in the three years since…

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In the News: South Tongue Point Offers Opportunity
Recent coverage in the Astorian highlights how the Land Trust's partnership with Clatsop Community College will bring environmental, education, and in time, employment benefits to the North Coast.

The Astorian recently highlighted the ongoing collaboration between Columbia Land Trust and Clatsop Community College to conserve 82 acres at South Tongue Point in Astoria, Oregon. The article by Edward Stratton explains the Land Trust and the College held a day of boat tours around the property followed by a reception on the college campus…

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Coastal Conservation Roundup
Columbia Land Trust kicked off 2019 with some early conservation successes along the Columbia River Estuary.

By Jay Kosa Since the 1880s, more than half the floodplain of the lower Columbia River has been converted to agricultural, residential, or other human uses. Today, habitat loss threatens a number of fish and wildlife species. Columbia Land Trust, in response, is conserving key remaining strongholds of forest and wetland habitat and restoring the…

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