Program Meeting: Tuesday, January 23, 2018--Fernhill Wetlands Restoration Project
In 2014-15 Clean Water Services (CWS) implemented a massive habitat restoration project within the Fernhill Wetlands in the Portland Metro region. Joe Liebezeit, Avian Conservation Program Manager for Portland Audubon, will detail the restoration that transformed 90 acres of unused sewage ponds into a complex native wetlands habitat designed to treat wastewater. Fernhill Wetlands has historically been an important Portland-area birding location. Designated as an Important Bird Area, it provides ecological connectivity for local wildlife. The Audubon Society of Portland (ASOP) has been working with CWS since spring 2015 to assess bird response to the habitat restoration effort. This community science effort has involved local birders, using formal bird surveys designed and conducted by ASOP, and analysis of historical birder surveys conducted at the site for decades. General predictions were that use of the restored area by bird species dependent on open water would diminish, while use by uncommon/vulnerable marsh species (e.g. rails, bitterns) and other species dependent on native wetland habitats would increase. Joe will tell us how that is working out.
Joe joined Portland Audubon in July 2013. He has over 20 years of experience as a wildlife biologist and conservationist, studying birds and other wildlife in diverse habitats throughout the U.S. and internationally. Prior to his position with Portland Audubon, Joe worked for the Wildlife Conservation Society for 12 years, leveraging on-the-ground science efforts to protect wildlife from oil development and climate change impacts in Arctic Alaska.
After growing up in suburban New Jersey, Joe received his Bachelor’s degree in Zoology from the University of New Hampshire and a Master’s Degree in Wildlife Management from Humboldt State University. Joe has lived in the northwest for nearly 20 years and in Portland since 2005. When he’s not working, Joe enjoys spending time with his wife, two daughters, and pets. Other interests include playing and listening to music, exploring natural areas, and of course, bird watching!
The meeting will be held at the Eugene Garden Club, 1645 High St., Eugene.