The Science of Restoring Rivers: Floodplain Restoration on the Willamette
Rivers and their floodplains provide homes for salmon and other aquatic critters, as well as drinking water, recreation, and rejuvenation for humans. Floodplains also produce “ecosystem services,” such absorbing our pollution, providing water for irrigation, detaining and storing floodwater, and providing favored places to build. Yet, with climate change, a growing population and crashing salmon runs, how can “science” help? At this Science Pub, Chris Orsinger will speak about how to apply knowledge from the sciences of hydrology, the geology and shape of rivers, climate predictions, and native plants to restore healthy rivers.
Chris Orsinger has been executive director of Friends of Buford Park & Mt. Pisgah since 1995. He has led floodplain restoration projects on the Coast Fork of the Willamette, restoring flow to “abandoned” side channels, controlling invasive weeds, and restoring native habitat and floodplain functions on over 250 acres. Chris participates in inter-agency Willamette Basin floodplain restoration planning. As the leader of Friends of Buford Park, he oversees a native plant nursery growing over 85 species, prairie and oak savanna restoration, and trail enhancements. The organization involves over 600 volunteers annually. Chris is also leading the organization’s initiative to add 1200 acres with six miles of river front to Buford Park.