Client: Clackamas County, Water Environment Services
Clackamas County Water Environment Services (WES) is one of the agencies responsible for wastewater and stormwater management in the greater Portland metro area. To better understand the effects of management activities on watershed health and the status of aquatic resources in the district, WES contracted with Waterways to develop monitoring methods and carry out monitoring of aquatic resource and physical habitat conditions in its management region, which consists of small and medium sized tributaries in the lower Willamette, Clackamas, and Tualatin Rivers, in northern Clackamas County, OR. In close cooperation with WES, Waterways led the development of geomorphic monitoring approaches, site selection, establishment of monumented cross sections and initial monitoring of 25 to 30 stream reaches in 2009. Each monitoring event includes long profile and cross section surveys, bulk bed material sampling, pebble counts, large wood inventory, measurements of pool size and frequency, documentation of active bank erosion, and general geomorphic observations. These data are complimented with macroinvertebrate population analysis of the same reaches by Mike Cole (Cole Ecological), a regional expert in stream macroinvertebrates. WES retained Waterways to lead monitoring events in 2009, 2011, 2014, and 2017.
In 2018 WES hired Waterways to develop an initial “Stream Health Index” for the streams in its jurisdictions, which integrates a wide variety of data on geomorphology, streamflow, water quality, macroinvertebrates, and fish populations, to provide a simple tool for WES to monitor stream health and recovery and communicate this with the public. The monitoring and Stream Health Index help WES prioritize actions and monitor stream health and recovery from management actions. Waterways has also been retained but the City of Portland and Clean Water Services to develop and carry out stream health grading and monitoring programs.