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District Scholarship Increased! Apply Now!

REMINDER: Applications are due to us by April 1st!

Are you studying agriculture or a natural resource science? Have you graduated from a Clackamas County High School or are you a current Clackamas County resident?

If you answered yes to these questions, then we have some good news for you! The Clackamas County Soil and Water Conservation District is pleased to offer two scholarships of $2,000 each for the 2013-14 school year.

We have also increased the amount of the scholarships we are offering. Last year we offered two $1,000 scholarships, but at the February 2013 meeting the board of directors approved two $2,000 scholarships. The goal is to assist college students majoring in the field of agriculture (including horticulture), natural resource science, or a related discipline. With the cost of education skyrocketing, the board feels strongly about supporting future conservation professionals.

The scholarship money may be used toward receiving an associates, bachelors, or graduate degree. Students must have graduated from a Clackamas County high school or currently residing in Clackamas County. Applicants must have completed their freshman year and will be considered a sophomore or higher in fall 2013 to be eligible for the award! So don’t delay: applications are due April 1, 2013!

Clackamas County, ranked fourth in agricultural sales in the state of Oregon, is also known for its abundance of natural resources. These include popular recreational areas and the drinking water source for the Portland metropolitan area. For these reasons the Clackamas County Soil and Water Conservation District (CCSWCD) is committed to supporting local students who care about our natural resources and wish to promote conservation, impacting future natural resource decisions.

Scholarship applications maybe downloaded or picked up at the District office at 221 Molalla Ave Suite 102 Oregon City, OR 97045.

If you have questions please contact Lisa Kilders at 503-210-6002.

CSWCD Scholarship Application 2016
CSWCD Scholarship Application 2016
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CSWCD Scholarship Checklist 2016
CSWCD Scholarship Checklist 2016
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CSWCD Scholarship Information 2016
CSWCD Scholarship Information 2016
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Milk Creek: Three Weeks of Construction in Three Minutes

Watch this time-lapse video to see the construction of a large vegetated log matrix structure. Construction occurred in August and September 2012 and took 12 days over a three-week period to complete. We’ve compressed it to just three minutes of viewing time.

The structure was designed to protect an eroding streambank, improve water quality, and provide additional habitat for fish. Find photo galleries for the project at http://conservationdistrict.org/tag/milk-creek.

Before and after photos

Technical design

If you’re interested in the actual design drawings, they are available!

Milk Creek Project 2012 - As Built Drawings
Milk Creek Project 2012 - As Built Drawings
Version: 1.0
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What Are the Bugs Telling Us?

Got bugs?

Macroinvertebrate sampling to assess stream health

Macroinvertebrate sampling to assess stream health

If you live in the Clackamas River watershed, you may have noticed folks in orange vests looking under rocks and kicking the sediment in Doane and North Fork Deep creeks in early October. The Clackamas County Soil and Water Conservation District hired them to collect data on macroinvertebrates.

Macroinvertebrates are organisms without a backbone that are large enough to be seen with the unaided eye. They live in a waterbody or stream for an extended period of time, are sensitive to habitat loss, chemical pollution, and excessive sediment in the water. This makes them good indicators of overall stream health.

The streams in this story may not be the ones in your neighborhood, but macroinvertebrates live in all waterbodies. Do you know what is going on in your area creeks?

What kind of bugs are in the stream?

Macroinvertebrates can be divided into three groups. The first group is sensitive to warm water temperatures and acidity. This group needs high levels of oxygen in the water. This group includes mayfly, caddisfly, and stoneflies.

The second group is more tolerant of pollutants in the water. They include dragonfly, damselfly and scuds.

The third group is tolerant of polluted water that is warm, may have too much sediment in the water, too high or low acidity, and not enough oxygen. This group includes aquatic worms and midge larvae.

What did we find?

With the exception of our reference site on Tickle Creek near Sandy, the stream sites sampled in this “watershed check-up” support macroinvertebrate species able to tolerate degraded conditions. Very few sensitive macroinvertebrates (mayfly, caddisfly, and stoneflies) were found. We did find species able to tolerate elevated sediment loads and increased water temperatures.

The index used to score the macroinvertebrate community conditions show all sites were severely disturbed, except Tickle Creek that was rated slightly disturbed. Our consultant concluded that elevated water temperature and sediment load were problems at all sites.

What can you do?

Macroinvertebrate communities recover fairly quickly when their habitat conditions improve. This is one reason they are a good indicator of stream health. If sediment loads and warm stream temperatures are harming bugs in the stream, keeping soil out of the stream and shading the stream are things that will improve stream health.

The most economical and easiest restoration actions you can take are planting trees, shrubs, and grasses in the streamside area. Native vegetation provides many benefits including sediment and pollutant filtration, shading, insect food sources, bank stability, and eventually large wood for the stream. Other beneficial actions include erosion control practices on fields and barnyards.

Read the technical report

Linked below is the report, downloadable as a PDF file.

2012 Stream Benthic Macroinvertebrate Assessment
2012 Stream Benthic Macroinvertebrate Assessment
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We’re available to help

We can help you control erosion on your property and create a beautiful shaded streamside. Our assistance is free and we often have financial programs to help.

Call the Conservation District at (503) 210-6000 to find out more. In the Clackamas River watershed, you can also contact the Clackamas River Basin Council at (503) 303-4372 for riparian planting assistance.