Otter Creek Delta Restoration project
The Otter Creek Delta Restoration Project seeks to initiate the restoration of the formerly important riparian wetlands on the southwestern corner of Surprise Lake. Those wetlands Surprise Lake have been heavily modified over the last 100 years from placer mining.
The success of this project depends strongly on the implementation of an ecosystem-based restoration prescription.
Ecosystem-based restoration seeks to identify stressors that prevent natural, restorative processes from occurring. While traditional restoration looks to "construct" an environment of a specific type, our recommended ecosystem approach looks to directly address the factors that are restricting natural restoration and allow the ecosystem to restore itself through natural processes.
The proposed project on Otter Creek is a classic example of where land-use disturbance have pushed processes beyond what would typically be observed. The rate of bank erosion and sediment supply have effectively destabilized the channel and degraded the delta wetland environment. By implementing rehabilitation treatments to address upstream bank stability and sediment transport rates, we hope to allow the Otter Creek delta, and associated wetland habitat, to restore and provide the critical habitat now lost.