Upper Muddy Creek Strategic Implementation Area
from Oregon’s Agricultural Water Quality Program
“Strategic Implementation Areas” are chosen by the Oregon Department of Agriculture after discussions with partners, and review of local information and water quality data when available.
- SWCDs are a key partner in making Oregon’s Agricultural Water Quality program a success.
- SWCDs work with willing landowners to complete voluntary agricultural water quality improvement projects.
“Partner agencies and organizations support SWCD projects with technical and financial assistance to make additional water quality improvements. The Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board (OWEB), USDA Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP), Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), and watershed councils, among others, provide substantial resources to improve Oregon’s agricultural water quality.”
Upper Muddy Creek SIA
In Benton County, the study area is the Upper Muddy Creek Strategic Implementation Area (UMC SIA). The entirety of Muddy Creek is the largest tributary of Marys River and drains about 42% of the entire Marys River watershed. Upper Muddy Creek and its tributaries are the southern-most reach of Muddy Creek. These creeks flow steeply from their Coast Range headwaters before flattening out on the Willamette Valley floor where they drain rural residential and agricultural areas. There are approximately 13,728 agricultural acres in the watershed, consisting mostly of vineyards, hay, grass seed, hazelnuts, berries, and equestrian or small livestock operations.
The Oregon Department of Agriculture water quality evaluation of agricultural lands in the UMC SIA identified no violations, 14 tax lots with moderate resource concerns, and 15 tax lots with low resource concerns along five creeks and a pond.
Benton SWCD works with landowners to implement conservation practices that improve water quality, including:
- Mud and manure management
- Riparian plantings
- Fencing to keep livestock out of the creek
- Pasture improvement and rotational grazing
- Irrigation management
- Soil health