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John Day Crossing Tidal Restoration Project (DOE/EA  - 2006/SA - 09)
Clatsop County, Oregon

PROJECT DESCRIPTION:
Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) has decided to fund the Columbia River Estuary Study Taskforce (CREST) to remove two 60-inch culverts beneath John Day River Road and replace them with a 61-foot by 16-foot single span bridge. Replacing the undersized culverts with a single span bridge would restore historical tidal connectivity between 22 acres of tidal wetlands upstream of John Day River Road with the Lower Columbia River Estuary. The removal of the fish passage barrier would improve access to the tidal wetlands for Endangered Species Act-listed salmonids and other fish species. Improving access and enhancing the naturally functioning, dynamic wetland system would help to address the key limiting factors for habitat needs of juvenile salmonids and wildlife species in the region. A naturally functioning wetland system would have immediate habitat benefits for a variety of aquatic species, as well as provide habitat areas resilient to a changing climate and a rising sea level. The goal also involves reestablishing native plant communities and protecting existing coastal grassland/prairie habitat on the island.

The proposed project has three overarching objectives, which are shown below. The bullets below each objective demonstrate what actions would be taken to ensure each objective is met. 

Objective 1: Re-establish hydrologic connectivity between 22-acre wetland complex and the Columbia River

  • Increase access and restore natural tidal processes by removing undersized culverts at the John Day River Road crossing.
  • Recontour channel geometry to facilitate channel development and improve sediment transport regimes.

Objective 2: Improve fish access to foraging and rearing habitat

  • Increase fish ingress/ egress to off-channel tidal wetland habitat through the removal of 2 artificial fish passage barriers.
  • Expand total acreage of accessible estuarine tidal wetland areas to increase overall habitat availability for juvenile salmonids and other aquatic species.
  • Increase and improve intertidal wetland habitat diversity and function to improve foraging and food web productivity to support wildlife and juvenile salmonids.
  • Enhance foraging interface and prey production through native wetland vegetation planting.
  • Retain existing overstory and riparian habitat along channel edges.

Objective 3: Increase estuarine wetland habitat capacity and function

  • Expand/enhance natural tidal processes to project site by removing undersized culverts.
  • Increase and improve intertidal wetland habitat diversity and function to improve foraging and food web productivity to support wildlife and juvenile salmonids.
  • Increase estuarine wetland function through increased nutrient exchange and improved estuarine food web productivity.
  • Enhance foraging interface and prey production through native wetland vegetation planting.
  • Retain existing overstory and riparian habitat along channel edges.

ENVIRONMENTAL REVIEW:
BPA prepared a Supplement Analysis (SA) following the procedures in DOE’s NEPA Implementing Procedures at 10 CFR 1021 to the Columbia Estuary Ecosystem Restoration Project Environmental Assessment (Programmatic Estuary EA). The Programmatic Estuary EA analyzed the environmental impacts anticipated for restoration projects within the Columbia River Estuary, with the intent of facilitating and streamlining future site-specific project reviews.

This SA considered project specific impacts within the Columbia River estuary as a result of the John Day Crossing Tidal Restoration Project. The SA describes anticipated impacts to fish; hydrology and hydraulics; water quality; geomorphology, soils, and topography; sediment quality; air quality; wildlife; wetlands, floodplains, and vegetation; land use and recreation; cultural resources; socioeconomics; visual resources; noise, hazardous waste, public health, and safety; transportation and infrastructure; and climate change.

BPA did not conduct independent public scoping for this project due to the project’s consistency with the analysis provided in the Programmatic Estuary EA, for which a finding of no significant impact (FONSI) was issued on July 7, 2016.

The schedule for the environmental review was as follows:

NEPA analysis and documentation                    March 2, 2020 – June 4, 2020  
Construction start                                                July 1, 2020    
 
CURRENT STATUS:
BPA released its supplement analysis for the John Day Crossing Tidal Restoration Project. The supplement analysis is available at the link below.

CONTACT:
For envrionmental information, contact:
Zachary Gustafson, ECF-4
Environmental Protection Specialist 
Salient CRGT
Bonneville Power Administration
P.O. Box 3621
Portland, OR 97208

Toll-free:  800-622-4519
Direct Line:  503-230-4419
Email:  zrgustafson@bpa.gov
 
 
 
For project information, contact:
Anne Creason, EWL-4
Project Manager
Bonneville Power Administration
P.O. Box 3621
Portland, OR 97208
 
 

Toll-free:  800-622-4519
Direct Line:  503-230-3859
Email:  amcreason@bpa.gov
 

DOCUMENTS

FINAL EA & FONSI:
Public Letter                                          (07/22/2016)
Final EA                                                (07/07/2016)
FONSI/Mitigation Action Plan                 (07/07/2016)

SUPPLEMENT ANALYSIS:
Supplement Analysis                             (06/04/2020)