EWEB 2023 year in review
In 2023, EWEB invested in our community with grants, rebates and an array of other programs and measures aimed at fulfilling our core values of safety, reliability, affordability, environmental responsibility and community/culture.Find Out More
EWEB Recognized with Excellence in Communications Awards from American Public Power Association
We are proud to have been recognized with two Excellence in Public Power Communications Awards for 2023 from the American Public Power Association (APPA).Find Out More
Let's talk turkey. If a disaster strikes, is your family ready?
Many of us avoid discussing politics over the dinner table in the spirit of family peace and harmony. But here's a topic that can bring everyone together: emergency preparedness.Find Out More
EWEB To Hold First of Two Public Hearings on Proposed 2024 Budget and Prices
At the Nov. 7 Board of Commissioners meeting, EWEB staff will present a proposed budget that includes rate increases necessary to support utility operations and make needed infrastructure investments.Find Out More
Your EWEB Rates at Work: Investing Today for a Resilient Tomorrow
For more than a century, EWEB has planned, built, and maintained the systems that deliver safe, reliable, and environmentally responsible power and water to Eugene homes and businesses.Find Out More
Public Power Week Poster Contest Winners 2023
The results are in! View the winning posters from EWEB's 2023 Public Power Week Poster Contest.Find Out More
EWEB’s water infrastructure projects designed for reliability during major disasters
As communities nationwide Imagine a Day Without Water, EWEB strives to ensure such a day never happens.Find Out More
EWEB lead annual "Spill Drill"
EWEB coordinates drill as part of protecting Eugene’s drinking waterFind Out More
Public Power Week Poster Contest 2023
It’s that time of year again! October 1-7 is Public Power Week. To celebrate, EWEB is holding our annual poster contest for fifth graders in our service area. Help us pick the winners.Find Out More
Salmon Return to Finn Rock Reach
Finn Rock Reach and other restoration projects throughout the Middle McKenzie provide conditions to help young fish survive to adulthood.Find Out More
EWEB programs reflect community values
EWEB is here to serve our customer-owners and provides programs that reflect the values of our community.Find Out More
EWEB Prepares for the Annual Observance of "Imagine a Day Without Water"
Water infrastructure is essential, invaluable, and in need of continuous investment. Read how EWEB's Staff and Board of Commissioners are working to safeguard Eugene's water future.Find Out More
National Preparedness Month: Older adults take control in 1, 2, 3
We know older adults can face greater risks when it comes to the extreme weather events and emergencies we face, especially if they are living alone, are low-income, have a disability, depend on electricity for medical needs, or live in rural areas.Find Out More
Women in STEM: EWEB Engineer Laura Ohman's second degree brings a lifetime of benefits
EWEB Engineer Laura Ohman shares how getting her second degree was one of the most difficult and rewarding things she's ever accomplished.Find Out More
Bethel neighbors boost emergency preparedness during Emergency Water Station event
Staff gave out about 300 emergency water containers to enthusiastic community members eager to learn more about the water station.Find Out More
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MRT, USFS wrap construction at Finn Rock Reach
September 08, 2021
The McKenzie River Trust, Willamette National Forest, and BCI Construction recently completed Phase One of the Finn Rock Reach floodplain restoration project.
The project along the McKenzie River above Quartz Creek enhances valuable floodplain habitat for endangered Chinook salmon, bull trout, and western pond turtles. The approach can also help buffer the river from debris slides and serve as natural storage for clean water.
"Rivers have been harnessed and confined for the last 150 years," says Joe Moll, Executive Director for the Trust. "Seeing the water reinhabit such an expansive, diverse floodplain offers some hope in trying times."
Finn Rock Reach is the latest testing ground for a creative approach to restoration that aims to bring back much of the complexity that makes floodplains such productive habitats and valuable water resources. These projects are designed to increase the breadth and depth of areas where water can move and linger among smaller channels, deep pools, islands, and jumbles of downed trees. That increased residence time helps cool, clean and hold water, providing a wealth of good for fish, wildlife, and people.
"Historically, wood and sediment would have settled out in this valley. The river was really dynamic, and multiple channels would move around, and change all the time," said Willamette National Forest Fisheries Biologist Kate Meyer. Floodplains allow water to spread out across the landscape and slow down. That not only mitigates fire and drought risk but allows sediment to drop out, improving water quality.
"The more floodplains the better," EWEB Water Resources Supervisor Susan Fricke said. "We increase resiliency when we let the ecosystem function as it's supposed to."
In recent years, the Willamette National Forest, McKenzie Watershed Council, and EWEB collaborated on a similar approach to restoration on the South Fork of the McKenzie and on Deer Creek. Those projects have been remarkably productive for fish and wildlife, and notably resilient to fire.
"The whole idea is to try to do this across as many of the creeks as we can," EWEB's Watershed Restoration Program Manager Karl Morgenstern said. "Our prime directive at EWEB is to provide reliable, safe drinking water to our community. That means protecting water quality at the source - miles upstream from the metro area - and all the way to the tap at community homes and businesses."
Wild Chinook salmon will move out of the mainstem McKenzie and spawn in these floodplain waters throughout September.
The Finn Rock Reach team is excited to see how they respond to these enhanced habitats. At South Fork and Deer Creek, salmon spawning bed (redd) counts increased by as much as twenty-fold in the weeks post-construction.
"What we're seeing for these valley-bottom restoration projects is, if you build it, they will come," Fricke said.