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Project aims to restore Dahl Beach in Gladstone

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Port of Portland gets approval for $1.4 million restoration effort


The Port of Portland is moving forward with a $1.4 million project to remove the failing metal bulkhead and most of the parking lot at Dahl Beach in Gladstone.

PHOTO BY: RAYMOND RENDLEMAN - Fishermen gather regularly at Dahl Beach in Gladstone, where a project is planned to restore the wetland area and reduce the parking area.The 1950s-era bulkhead fell out of use, and ultimately failed in the early 2000s, apparently due to the undermining of the sheetpiles from the Willamette River channel degradation and erosion. The bulkhead is now causing erosion on the riverbanks and degrading channel habitat conditions, so the city turned to the Port of Portland for help.

Gladstone’s City Council voted 4-3 in favor of the project, with a few elected officials against the project that would reduce public access to the site. Although the port will cover all of the cost of the project, objecting councilors were concerned over the loss of some of the Dahl Beach parking area.

Planning for construction is expected to begin in March, with construction occurring in July and August.

Site restoration will include removing the bulkhead structure, including all riprap and sheetpiles, and grading the riverbank to a stable gradient at the bulkhead and adjacent bank areas, and restoring native vegetation. These actions will result in restoration of approximately half an acre of habitat along the northeast bank of the confluence of the Clackamas and Willamette rivers.

Kelly Madalinski of the Port of Portland said the project complements the city’s other nearby restoration efforts, including the Rinearson Natural Area Portland Harbor Superfund Natural Resource Damages Assessment (NRDA) restoration project and the Clackamas Basin River Council’s Dahl Beach off-channel habitat improvement project funded by Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board.

This project will recontour the riverbank’s rock and metal features to more stable and natural profiles; revegetate the restored riverbank with native species; and incorporate wood habitat structures at the parking lot area.