Salmon River Estuary - Tamara Quays

Restoration Projects » Salmon River Estuary

From Trailer Park to Tidal Marsh: Restoring historic estuary wetlands and tidal channels

Tamara Quays, a 40-acre parcel purchased by the Siuslaw National Forest in 2004 using Land and Water Conservation Funds, is one piece of the larger Lower Salmon River project; a series of restoration projects in the estuary and associated uplands.

It was purchased under the authority of the Cascade Head Scenic research Management Act passed by Congress in 1977 and by 2006 plans were in place for restoration to begin.

photo of Tamara Quays reflecting sky

What's a "Quay"? See wikipedia


aerial view of Tamara Quays area showing dike, old historic channel of Rowdy Creek and ditches to be filled in

Blue: old, historic channel of Rowdy Cree
Yellow: dike
Red: ditches to be filled in

In the early 1970s, a mobile home park named Tamara Quays was developed on the tidal marsh area. Several mobile home pads and two main roads dissecting the park were built. Ornamental trees and shrubs were planted around the lots.

Rowdy Creek, which had meandered through the original tidal marsh, was dammed creating an artificial pond named “Kingfisher Lake.” Fill material was placed on the marsh surface and dams and tide gates were used to control the water both entering and leaving the development. A dam was built around the trailer park to prevent tidal flooding.

Culverts were installed under Fraser Road at Rowdy Creek altering the flow. One culvert, controlled by a tide gate, flowed into Kingfisher Lake. A second culvert was in place to route high flows around the development.

Restoration Work Accomplished at Tamara Quays

photo of water tank that was removed
Large water holding tank removed and recycled

In 2007 the restoration work focused on clearing the site of any remnant infrastructure from the trailer park. This included decommissioning a long-failing septic system and removing concrete trailer pads and asphalt roads. The clean-up work continued in 2008 when it mainly focused on removing underground utilities

The main project in 2008 was replacing the undersized culvert and removing a tide gate which controlled freshwater entering the site. It also prevented fish movement. The culvert at the head of tide on Rowdy Creek under Fraser Road was replaced with a culvert which allows aquatic organism access to the upper portion of Rowdy Creek. The majority of the restoration work was done in 2009. The marsh surface adjacent to Rowdy Creek was exposed for the first time since the late 1960s and fill material, approximately three feet deep, was removed.

The dikes, dam and lower tide gate were removed. This connected the area to the rest of the estuary. Ditches were also filled in. In addition to the earthwork, two wells were decommissioned and a power pole and power line were relocated. The restoration crew moved and rearranged 27,500 cubic yards of dirt. Fill material was removed from the surface of the marsh, all dikes were removed and the tributaries to Rowdy Creek were reconnected. Reestablishing native vegetation and controlling invasive plants.

In September 2009 all involved celebrated as tides returned to Tamara Quays for the first time in 40 years!

Photo showing Rowdy Creek before culvert replacement
Rowdy Creek before culvert replacement

photo of Rowdy Creek with new culvert for fish passage
Rowdy Creek after culvert replacement

The People Involved

Current and ongoing restoration of the Salmon River Estuary has been made possible through the generous support of numerous partners.

Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board
(503) 986-0178

Salmon Drift Creek Watershed Council
(541) 272-3161

Siuslaw National Forest
(541) 750-7000

More Information

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