Ocean Blue's goals for the Blue Streams and Rivers Program are to empower communities and beyond by providing planning and technical assistance to landowners, communities, and local governments. Our main focus and goal is to improve urban water quality by using a holistic ecosystem-based approach that synergistically reduces pollutants entering the river, prevents erosion, and provides wildlife habitat. Through the process of restoration, we are providing environmental education, connecting people in the community to their natural environment, and improving biodiversity.
Conservation goals/outcomes: The goal of this project is to restore habitat for threatened riparian animal species by improving water quality and stream stability with an ecological restoration approach. Native plants will be established throughout 50% of the stream section after removing invasive species such as Reed Canary Grass.
Scientific goals/outcomes: Pre-implementation includes the removal of invasive species and establishing 50% native plants. The project continues with post-implementation monitoring of water quality and project effectiveness, including weekly water samples for three years, frequent plant monitoring, and using strategies to maintain consistent water temperatures to improve survival rates. With Oregon State University interna, Ocean Bluemonitors species through waterfowl counts and amphibian counts.
Project methodology: The restoration and protection of the natural watershed process is the foundation of achieving watershed health. Since natural watershed processes have been eliminated, altered or reduced in many areas, habitat restoration activities are the primary method for reintroducing the necessary functions to watersheds that have been altered due to past management practices and/or disturbance events. This includes, but is not limited to, improving water quality, water quantity, habitat complexity, floodplain interaction, vegetation structure, and species diversity.
Goals: Our overall goal is to lower Nutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, and E, Coli from agriculture, city streets, and animal waste that runoff into urban streams and rivers and eventually flow into our One World Ocean. Our goal of restoration is to create a self supporting ecosystem that is resilient to perturbation without further assistance.
Healthy Trees: Healthy Trees plus healthy Cities equals healthy Communities. Ocean Blue will be using provided funds to implement watershed and wildlife enhancement and community service learning projects.
Rivers: The restoration of rivers by planting trees and green spaces in urban areas provides more than aesthetic benefits: it will also raise the economic value of a city in many ways, . Where there are trees, there are reduced energy costs, decreased storm water treatment costs, increased property values, increased spending at stores, increased employee satisfaction, and lower healthcare costs through cleaner air and increased recreational opportunities.
Urban Streams: Urban streams can be a great tool to filter water if abundance of flora and fauna is thriving. Native plants and trees can not only filter water but also provide a stream canopy that allows a consistent water temperature for native salmonid species. Water from urban streams flows downhill ending up in our rivers, and then our world's Ocean! Planting trees increases the value of nearby houses, increases tax revenues, supports local businesses, decreases government spending through the natural provision of ecosystem services, decreases the cost of recreation, and creates jobs.
Investing: Investing in beaches, rivers, streams and creeks is a solid strategy to lower pollution. Restoration projects will enhance the economic value of a city, its communities, and beyond. Service learning projects engage with high schools and colleges, like Oregon State University students, the community of Albany, and communities within the United States in order to restore wildlife habitat, improve public health, and reinforce environmental protection. This will improve the drinking water for over two million people who live downstream, and preservation of natural beauty, all of which makes communities more livable.
Evidence has shown from academic research and first-hand experience of community leaders and government officials who have found that urban stream restoration protection does not “cost” but rather “pays.”