Nisqually Delta Distributary Restoration Pre-design
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This project will conduct regional pre-design for restoring sediment and freshwater flow to increase the function and resilience of the Nisqually Delta.
The USGS, Nisqually Indian Tribe and USFWS propose to assess and prioritize identified adaptive management opportunities to restore sediment delivery to Nisqually Delta’s vulnerable tidal marshes. A refined process-based sediment transport model helps inform the sediment supply required and distributary channel designs needed to recover a sediment deficit resulting in ~1m of historic subsidence and tidal marsh salmon-rearing habitat vulnerable to projected sea level rise. The models and tools developed inform salmon ecosystem capital investment decisions with mutual benefits to flood risk reduction and climate resilience planning in the Nisqually Delta and similar floodplain-estuary systems of the Pacific Northwest.
- This project supports adaptive management at the Nisqually Refuge Restoration.
- The Nisqually River is relatively low in sediment due to impoundment at the Alder Dam (Czuba et al 2011).
- Evidence from previous work on Delta sediment dynamics and vegetation indicates that the site may be unable to aggrade