Redwood Creek Estuary Restoration

Redwood Creek Estuary Restoration

Home | Key Initiatives | Restore Estuaries | Redwood Creek Estuary Restoration

Project Goal:

Reestablish hydraulic, sediment transport, and floodplain processes necessary to restore and sustain ecological function in lower Redwood Creek. Recover threatened salmonid species including Southern Oregon/Northern California Coast coho salmon, California Coastal Chinook salmon, and Northern California steelhead, while improving function and productivity of surrounding agricultural land.

Learn More

Project Stages


Conceptual Design


Project Funders

NOAA Fisheries

Fish Affected:

Project Description

Redwood Creek Estuary is located in the ancestral territory of the Yurok Tribe near the community of Orick in Humboldt County.

Redwood Creek Estuary has potential to provide critical habitat to juvenile anadromous salmonids for their growth and for acclimation to life in the sea. Salmonids in the watershed include federally threatened California Coast Chinook salmon, Southern Oregon/Northern California coho salmon, Northern California steelhead, and eulachon. However, because of the current degraded habitat conditions within the system, these species’ numbers are in decline.

In 1968, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) constructed a flood control project including levees and channelization that led to the degradation of habitat within the estuary, adjacent wetlands, and lower Redwood Creek. Among other impacts, around half of the lower estuary has filled in with ocean derived sediment since the completion of the Corps project. This sediment buildup blocks fish access into critical freshwater tributaries.

Recovering habitat within Redwood Creek Estuary has been identified by the National Marine Fisheries Service as critical to the recovery of these salmonid populations.

CalTrout and our partners have identified many opportunities within this watershed for fish, water, and people. A whole ecosystem, including critical habitat for endangered fish species, can be improved and restored. At this point, the project partners have identified initial concepts that would reestablish Redwood Creek with its historic orientation and reconnect the creek to sloughs, backwater channels, and wetland areas. Reestablishing native vegetation and managing colonization of invasive plants is another key component of the project.

Project Partners:

Yurok Tribe

Private landowners

Humboldt County

National Park Service

NOAA Fisheries

NOAA Restoration Center


Northcoast Regional Land Trust

Northern Hydrology and Engineering

SHN Engineers & Geologists

Chris Turner

Redwood Coast Action Agency

McBain Associates


More Initiative Projects

Privacy Policy Cookie Policy