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Delta Ponds in Eugene, Oregon | by Only in Oregon
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Delta Ponds in Eugene, Oregon

Delta Ponds is a 150-acre waterway site consisting of numerous ponds, channels, wetlands, and associated riparian areas. This unique natural area owned by the City of Eugene borders a stretch of the Willamette River, just downstream from Valley River Center. For many, it is a favorite spot for bird watching, fishing, and enjoying the outdoors.


Site History

Up until the late 1800s, the Delta Ponds area was part of a river floodplain network of side channels, sloughs, and tributaries that provided a rich habitat well-suited for many native fish and wildlife species. Over time, flood control management, urbanization, and land use practices changed the area dramatically. The ponds, peninsulas and islands that are present today at Delta Ponds were formed by gravel extraction operations that took place in the 1950’s and 60’s. These activities provided much of the gravel for the construction of Interstate 105 and other local roadways. Perhaps the biggest change to the area was that following gravel mining, this former side-channel of the Willamette River became disconnected from the river.


The City purchased the ponds from Eugene Sand and Gravel in the late 1970s. Up until 2004, the site was largely unmanaged and the natural succession that took place created both valuable habitat for a variety of wildlife and resulted in colonization by a number of invasive species, such as Armenian blackberry, Scotch broom, and English ivy.

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Taken on June 13, 2015