Years of gravel mining and record flooding in 1996 altered River Island's landscape and changed the Clackamas River's path through the gravel mine – bad news for wildlife that depend on the river. By passing a parks and natural areas levy in 2013, the region's voters made it possible for Metro to restore River Island, returning it to a more natural state.
In the spring and summer of 2014, staff studied the history and habitat of the site and worked with an engineering and design consultant to develop a concept design, a conceptual design report and goals for the project. Staff also held two meetings with community members and four meetings with technical experts to seek input before developing a restoration plan.
The restoration work is taking place over two years, with work on the south side of the Clackamas River completed in 2015 and work on the north side in 2016.