Protecting lives, property, and the environment through innovative, proactive, floodplain management. Peninsula Drainage District #1 | Peninsula Drainage District #2 | Multnomah County Drainage District #1 | Sandy Drainage Improvement Company
JCA Board Meeting May 5, 2016 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. MCDD 1880 NE Elrod Dr.
4MAT and PEN 1 Board Meetings May 19, 2016 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. 1880 NE Elrod Dr.
PEN 2 Board Meeting May 26, 2016 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. 1880 NE Elrod Dr.
SDIC Board and Landowner Meeting June 2, 2016 3:00 – 5:00 pm 1880 NE Elrod Dr.
Levee Ready Columbia June 9, 2016 1:30 – 3:30 p.m. Location TBD
This month, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Regional Conservation Biologist Susan Barnes visited MCDD headquarters to discuss ways the Districts can reduce their impact on native turtles. Due to habitat loss and displacement by invasive species, both the Western Painted Turtle and Western Pond Turtle are classified as “Sensitive – Critical” by the state of Oregon. The Western Pond Turtle is being considered for listing under the Federal Endangered Species Act. The levees and sloughs in the Districts are prime habitat so District operations may have a big impact on local populations. MCDD is committed to adopting as many of the Oregon Conservation Strategy’s Best Management Practices for Oregon’s native turtles as is practical.
Some practical ideas staff learned about through the discussion with Susan Barnes included modifying mowing schedules to accommodate for nesting season and the safe handling of both native and invasive turtles. In the field, staff polished up on turtle identification skills, spotted a river otter, and discovered a mallard duck nest full of eggs. In addition to being an informative day of training, we were reminded that, through some simple logistical changes, we have the opportunity to be even better stewards of the habitat in the area that we serve.
To learn more about Oregon’s native turtles and to find out how you can be a better turtle steward visit www.oregonturtles.com or search for the “Oregon Conservation Strategy Guidance for Conserving Oregon’s Native Turtles Including Best Management Practices”.
The Peninsula Canal, located directly adjacent to the MCDD district office, is a turtle hot spot in this region. In the pictures above, MCDD staff walk along the Peninsula canal and learn to identify turtles in the field by comparing them to a few that were captured for the day.
New Sandbags for Emergency Preparedness
Being flood prepared at the Districts means having enough flood fighting supplies on hand for the initial response to an emergency and to last until additional supplies can be acquired. The Districts manage about 23 miles of primary levees on the river or slough, and about another 4 miles of secondary levees (also called cross levees, which create separate basins in leveed area). During a flood, this extensive system may need sandbagging to help reinforce the levees, to slow seepage through the levees, or for ringing sand boils to prevent internal erosion (piping). MCDD just replaced the Districts’ sandbag stockpile with 10,000 brand new bags. These bags can sit in storage for up to 8 years, and will be kept in store for use during the next flood event.
Do you have anything stockpiled for an emergency? Though you may not need 10,000 bags like the Districts, you may want to stock up on water and canned food for emergencies when everyday resources become limited or unavailable. It’s also a good idea to have an evacuation plan and to know where you can reunite with family and friends. Writing an emergency plan for your home or business is also a great way to be prepared, especially when you live, work, or play behind or on a levee. The Districts stay prepared, and we encourage you to get prepared, too!
Above: As the river rises, the weight of the increased water can push water through the levee soil or the ground. This is called piping and can result in a “boil” on the landward side of the levee where the water comes back out of the ground. Sandbags are used to create a ring around the boil that contains the water and equalizes water pressure under the levee.
Below: Operations Manager Josh McNamee unloads the new sandbags.
Final Encroachment Study Results: May 3, 2016
As was noted last month, all five drainage districts involved in Levee Ready Columbia are currently in good standing in the US Army Corps of Engineers’ (Corps) Rehabilitation and Inspection Program. To maintain this standing, the Corps asked PEN 2 to perform a series of inspections and evaluations to assess the integrity of the levee system and model the impact that structures built along the levee might have on the system during high water events. The study is now complete and Levee Ready Columbia will be holding a public event for property owners and residents to learn about the study and what it means for the levee on or near their property.
Join us on May 3, from 6:30-8 pm at the Portland Yacht Club, 1241 NE Marine Dr. to hear our project team discuss the findings and the next steps for the Levee Ready Columbia program.