Titus Creek Stream Restoration Project
In early 2008, Walla Walla Community College was awarded a $153,901 grant from the Snake River Salmon Recovery Board/Washington State Department of Recreation and Conservation Office. The funds were used to both improve fish passage and habitat on Titus Creek and also abandon a shallow cement pond and divert that water back into the creek’s original natural channel, which flows within 50 yards of the Water & Environmental Center.
Titus Creek had high potential as a rearing area for Endangered Species Act listed summer steelhead and spring Chinook. However, the cement pond had been heating water in this normally cold spring-fed section of the creek (a tributary to Mill Creek) and so diverting water back to a more natural waterway resulted in lower water temperatures and improved the water quality reaching Mill Creek. The restored channel was planted with in-stream habitat and native riparian plantings. A series of interpretive panels along the pathway near the creek explain the project, the plantings, and the aquatic life.
Anderson Perry & Associates were contracted to provide the initial habitat assessment and restoration plan for Titus Creek, including existing morphology and proposed habitat improvements. An interdisciplinary team consisting of Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation, US Army Corps of Engineers, and others were consulted throughout the project.