Wetland Preservation

Wetland Preservation Through Partnership

The Port purchased the Willow Grove property in four acquisitions: 1959, 1965, 1974 and 2018. The properties purchased between 1959 and 1974 were originally purchased for industrial development and included parcels within the wetland complex and uplands. However, since that time, local, state and federal environmental laws and regulations have made development more difficult and financially not feasible.

In 2008, the Port transferred 75 acres of wetland property to Columbia Land Trust (CLT). The transferred property was used for wetland mitigation associated the Alternate Rail Corridor (AKA the Industrial Rail Corridor) construction. Also, in 2008, the Port sold 237 acres to the CLT while retaining a mitigation option to allow the Port to utilize the property for future wetland impacts. During these transactions, the Port retained 77.59 acres for future wetland mitigation. Additionally, in 2018 the Port purchased an additional 15.73 acres adjacent to the Port's and CLT’s properties.

In 2014, the Port began developing an advanced wetland mitigation plan (Plan) in coordination with the Department of Ecology, the United States Army Corp of Engineers, Portland District and CLT. In 2019, the Port singed an Agreed Order with the Department of Ecology to implement the Plan. This Plan provides an opportunity for the Port to mitigate impacts associated with development on other Port property. The Port has finished planting the wetland acreage as of 2021. We now monitor the site annually and replant as needed to ensure the mitigation site meets required targets. Final monitoring of the site will conclude in 2031.

Mitigated Acres

The Port began planting the wetland mitigation site in phases beginning in 2018 and completed the final planting installation in 2021. Through preservation and enhanced plantings, the total area of enhancement is 94.5 acres and 46.62 acres of preservation credit. As of the end of 2023, through the phasing of the site and replanting efforts to maintain our Plan’s targets, the Port has planted approximately 218,370 willows. The Port will continue to monitor and replant the site until 2031.

Model Example of Preservation

"Our staff has worked very hard to develop this innovative approach with Columbia Land Trust, which we believe will serve as a model throughout the State for wetland preservation," former Port of Longview Executive Director Ken O'Hollaren said at the time.

Columbia Land Trust's Record

Columbia Land Trust's mission is to forever conserve the scenic and natural values of the land and water. Founded in 1990, the group has an impressive portfolio of more than 8,000 acres of preserved land spanning 13 counties in Washington and Oregon.