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Riparian Areas

“Riparian” refers to anything along the banks of a river... and on the Oregon Coast this can cover a lot of territory. Rivers are plentiful here due largely to the location of the Coast Mountain Range a few miles inland. As winds blow in from the Pacific, the mountains force the air upward, causing its moisture to condense and drop as precipitation. This precipitation, whether it’s hail, snow or rain, flows downhill forming streams, creeks and rivers. Most of the rivers and creeks on the west side of the mountains flow back to the sea, thus completing this part of the hydrologic cycle.

  • Oregon Hatchery Research Center

    Category: Landmark Place

    Hidden at the end of a long winding road outside the rural community of Alsea is the Oregon Hatchery Research Center, a world-renowned institution for the study of fish, migration patterns and conservation.

  • Ancient Fish Hatcheries

    Category: Fun Fact

    Fish haterchies are common all around the world today, but they are not a new invention. Learn about an ancient Hawaiian hatchery and its mysterious origins.

  • Field Experiences: The Tiny Creatures of Fall Creek

    Category: Exploring Nature Item

    Students from Waldport High School work with the Oregon Hatchery Research Center to assess the health of the Fall Creek by taking a close look at some tiny aquatic animals.

  • Lewis and Clark State Recreational Site

    Category: General Article

    First surveyed by British explorers and the Lewis and Clark Expedition, this area near the confluence of the Columbia and Sandy Rivers is now a popular recreational site which offers boating, fishing, rock-climbing and more.

  • Major Riparian Areas in Coastal Oregon

    Category: General Article

    The Oregon Coast is drained by numerous rivers and creeks. The is a list of the most notable riparian areas west of the Coast Range Mountains.

  • The Hidden Riparian World

    Category: General Article

    Living in a riparian area – literally between the earth and the water – requires some unique adaptations for both plants and animals.

  • Life At The Hatchery Research Center

    Category: General Article

    Meet Alex Powell, a 22-year-old employee with the Oregon Hatchery Research Center. This is his story of what it's like to live and work in a fasincating but very rural facility along the banks of the Fall Creek.

  • Cape Disappointment State Park

    Category: General Article

    Part of the Washington State Parks system, Cape Disappointment State Park covers 1,800+ acres which include camping facilities, the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center and two historic lighthouses.

  • Malheur National Wildlife Refuge

    Category: Landmark Place

    Established in the early twentieth century after the area's bird population was decimated by hunting, the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge is today one of the best birding sites in Oregon.

Slideshow: Riparian Areas

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    The Coquille River was seen from the Coquille-Rogue River Scenic Byway.

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    A bridge for Highway 101 over the slowly-flowing Nahalem River

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    Just like coastal areas, riparian zones are frequently settled by people.

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    Fogharty Creek is a coastal stream which drains into the Pacific Ocean.

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    The Salmon River widens into a fertile estuary and wetlands.

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    The Marys River outside of Corvallis flows passed snow-covered banks.

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    The milky blue waters of a snow-fed creek flows out of the Klamath Mountains.

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