West Hayden Island
West Hayden Island provides critical habitat for more than 100 wildlife species, including federally listed salmon and steelhead. Help protect this irreplaceable natural area.
West Hayden Island is one of Portland's most important natural areas. Its 826 acres of bottomland hardwood forest, wetlands, meadows, floodplains and shallow water habitat near the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia Rivers provide irreplaceable habitat for federally listed salmon and imperiled bird, bat and amphibian species. It is an amazing place where you can see nesting bald eagles and rapidly disappearing species like pileated woodpeckers and western meadowlarks. It is also located next to one of the largest manufactured-home, affordable-housing communities in Oregon.
Despite its ecological value, the area remains at risk for development. The Port of Portland has tried for years to convert much of the natural area on West Hayden Island into parking lots and marine industrial terminals. In early 2014, facing intense opposition from the community, the Port backed away from its annexation efforts, but long-term protection for the area’s floodplain forests and meadows is in no way certain.
A New Vision for West Hayden Island
We envision a fully restored 826-acre wildlife area and nature park at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia Rivers: A place that provides habitat for more than 200 species and extraordinary opportunities for people to hike, paddle and enjoy nature in an urban environment.
Visitors will explore a mosaic of wetlands, grasslands and beaches, as well as one of the largest intact bottomland hardwood forests left on the lower Columbia River. A new nature center will provide programs for children and adults about the unique role that confluence areas play in the migratory cycles of our imperiled fish and wildlife populations. Our local green economy will be supported by nature-based recreation, restoration projects, and the establishment of a regional mitigation bank to allow for marine development in more appropriate locations.
West Hayden Island will symbolize our commitment to restoring balance to our urban landscapes and to leaving the land better than we found it for future generations.