Cedar Crossing Restoration Project

Sewer and Stormwater
The City of Portland's Bureau of Environmental Services has completed construction of a project to reconnect Johnson Creek with its floodplain near SE Deardorff Road. The project is part of a broad city effort to improve habitat conditions and reduce the impacts of flooding.
Construction began in June of this year and is complete. Revegetation will occur in early 2023.
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Project Area

The majority of the project is located on three city-owned properties adjacent to SE Deardorff Road, between Blackberry Circle and SE Flavel Street. 

What's Happening Now

Construction is complete, and some revegetation will occur in early 2023.  

Project Background

This stream and floodplain restoration effort will build upon past vegetation restoration and include partial removal of the Works Progress Administration (WPA) walls that were built to straighten and restrain Johnson Creek. The project will add habitat features such as logs to help slow down the speed of Johnson Creek. This will not only reduce downstream flooding and erosion problems, but also provide hiding places for fish and other wildlife. Native plantings along the banks will help shade the creek and keep it cooler in the summer and provide food and shelter for wildlife. 

The project will: 

  • Remove WPA wall and restore the creek’s connection with its floodplain. 

  • Restore stream features and complexity to provide habitat for endangered salmon and other wildlife. 

  • Protect and enhance wetlands. 

  • Protect mature trees whenever possible and plant native trees and shrubs to increase the stream-side canopy. 

Current efforts to restore Johnson Creek focus on returning it to a more natural state. This type of restoration provides a safe place for flood waters to spread out and soak into the ground. It also helps improve water quality and increases fish and wildlife habitat. Johnson Creek provides important habitat for coho and Chinook salmon, as well as steelhead and cutthroat trout. While these species still exist in Johnson Creek and its tributaries, their long-term survival depends on our ability to restore habitat and improve water quality.  

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Photos from the Restoration Project

The Cedar Crossing Restoration Area after construction in November 2022.

Oh Deer!

Two deer among the vegetation
Wildlife has returned! Two deer were spotted exploring the restored Cedar Crossing natural area on November 9, 2022.

Progress from a bird's eye view 

See how restoration work has changed the Cedar Crossing project area.

Cedar Crossing in March 2022
Cedar Crossing Restoration Project Area in March 2022
Cedar Crossing in September 2022
Cedar Crossing Restoration Project Area in September 2022.
Restored area of Deardorff Creek on September 23, 2022
These large pieces of wood were added to provide cool hiding places for fish.

Fantastic Fish Finds

In late July 2022, Environmental Services Biologists coordinated with contractors to capture and safely relocate fish from the project area. We found baby Coho salmon, cutthroat trout, pacific lamprey, and more! Visit our Facebook page to see more photos.

Fish in Photarium being measured by ecologists
Fish in Photarium being measured by ecologists