Clean Streams
Natural Resources Outreach

Public Works Department


Monday – Friday
8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Benefits of Wetlands

Waln Creek WetlandsWaln Creek serves as a "mitigation bank," providing wetland restoration credits to offset stream impacts from development elsewhere in the City.

Wetlands are vital to the health of wildlife and humans everywhere. They play several important roles:

  • Control flooding
  • Aid the function of surrounding rivers and streams
  • Provide habitat for native plant and animal species
  • Purify water
  • Control erosion

Wetlands are often restored on land that in the past was drained artificially to create agricultural land. The drier resulting land was more vulnerable to invasion by nonnative species. Returning wetlands will make the site less hospitable to invasive species and moreso to native species.

A second key goal of wetlands is to provide treatment of stormwater runoff. Wetlands hold water much like a sponge, helping to maintain normal river levels and avoid flooding caused by rapid runoff. Then, when water levels are low, wetlands slowly release water to the surrounding area, acting as a filter in the process.

Protection and restoration of wetlands, especially large and relatively intact wetlands, will grow in importance as refuge for wildlife, pollutant remove and flood storage areas in the face of climate change. The City continues to preserve, protect and maintain wetlands as an integral part of our overall stormwater management planning. They will naturally help the city be resilient as the effects of climate change increase.

Explore Salem's Wetland and Mitigation Areas

  • claggett creek wetlands
    Claggett Creek Natural Area

    Is a wetlands and stream restoration project constructed in 2004.

  • Fairview Industrial Wetlands

    Fairview is frequented by great blue herons, cackling geese, green-winged teal, cedar waxwings, cliff swallows and dozens of other bird species. Salem Audubon members use the area for bird walks and bird counts.

  • Geren Island (North Pond Mitigation)

    In 2017, the North Pond was discovered to be infested with an invasive plant, Ludwigia hexapetala. Left untreated, the pond could have become a source of Ludwigia infestation to the North Santiam River during times of extreme flooding.

  • madrona avenue wetlands flower covered stream bank
    Madrona Avenue Stream Mitigation

    Mitigation efforts have increased streambed improvements, stormwater management, and scrub-shrub growth.

  • mill creek corporate center wetlands
    Mill Creek Corporate Center Wetlands

    While preparation activities in the Southern project began in 2019, planting will take place over 2020 and 2021. Eventually, the two wetland areas will serve 515 acres of industrial land.

  • waln creek wetlands with center stream
    Waln Creek Mitigation Bank

    The stream bank is 5.5 acres of property within the larger City-owned Battle Creek park property. It enhances the channel and its adjacent floodplain terraces.