Small Acreage Equestrian Farms can have a cumulative impact on watershed health by introducing non-point source pollutants into streams and rivers such as sediment, excess nutrients, and bacteria leading to an overall decrease in water quality for salmonids and other native wildlife.
Location: The project is an upland property in Deer Island, OR, within the Tide Creek Watershed, which drains to the Lower Columbia River.
Partners: Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB), Private landowners
Funding Awarded: From the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB) Small Grant Program - $13,393
In June 2022, the Columbia SWCD was awarded a small grant for the proposed project:
The landowners of the project site have three horses that live on the property year-round. Proposed work includes the construction of a manure composting facility and the installation of native plants to prevent nutrient runoff from reaching surface waters. The area in front of the horse barn and sacrifice area gently slopes to a ditch that drains downhill into a ravine that hosts a seasonal stream. Manure waste can contain harmful contaminants including ammonia, nitrates, phosphorus, and bacteria.
Due to recent logging, the ravine is lacking in native plant diversity and ground cover required to adequately filter and capture runoff. The ditch running downhill, as well as the buffer along both sides of the ravine, will be revegetated with native plants that provide soil retention and filtration benefits. This project will also address a patch of English ivy that dominates the slope adjacent to the ditch. By removing the ivy and installing appropriate native plants, we will further increase the benefit to wildlife habitat while protecting the investment in planting for water quality.