What is Watershed Resilience?

This term refers to the ability of a watershed to resist and recover from disturbances to remain in its normal state. Some examples of disturbances to a watershed include drought or excessive nutrient runoff. A resilient watershed has the ability to stabilize itself after these events occur, and continues to provide essential functions to the ecosystem. Disturbances are expected to become increasingly relevant due to human impacts like climate change. It is essential that waterways like the Tualatin are resilient in the face of these changes for the sake of the organisms that depend on it.

Watershed Resilience Goals

  1. Widely distributed tree canopy throughout the watershed.
  2. Functional wetlands that provide ecosystem services, including natural water filtration, fish habitat, and floodplain.
  3. Healthy habitats for riparian species, including connectivity for native plants, fish, birds, and mammals.
  4. Sustainable land use, agricultural and forest practices with limited pesticide use.
  5. Sustainable and resilient water supply that is resistant to drought.
  6. Limited pollutant load entering watersheds, including persistent organic pollutants (POPs), plastics, etc.
  7. Equitable access to Tualatin River and its tributaries for all communities.
  8. Mapping out demographics and watershed concerns, including erosion, tree cover, land use, and distribution and connectivity of riparian species.
Fast Facts About the Tualatin River