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Project Summary

Project Name:  Jordan River Restoration Project

Sponsoring Organization Name(s):  Jordan River Restoration Project

Director:  Ray Wheeler, ray.wheeler@earthlink.net

Web Address:  http://www.earthrestoration.net/topics/view/11160/

Contact Info:  801-355-6236

Geographic Location:  North America, USA, intermountain region, Utah state, Salt Lake County.

Project Area Description:  Riparian/wetlands corridor of the 55 mile-long Jordan River, which flows from south to north down the length of Salt Lake Valley, draining Utah Lake into the "terminal", Great Salt Lake.   River flows through three counties and 15 municipalities.

Ecoregion classification

Ecoregion description:

  • Major urban/hub area of the semi-arid Great Basin region at an elevation of 4,200 feet above sea level;
  • Surrounding/adjacent lands are urban, primarily residential, some light industrial.  Intermittent string of recreational park lands, golf courses, and some farm lands.
  • Headwaters of the river are in the adjacent, north-south trending Wasatch Mountain Range at the western edge of the Rocky Mountain cordillera of North America
  • drains a freshwater lake into a "terminal" inland saltwater lake
  • Situated along the axis of two overlapping migratory bird flyways--the Central and Pacific flyways of North America
  • extensive fresh water and salt water wetlands surround the river delta where it drains into the Great Salt Lake

Restoration goals summary:  In 2008 Salt Lake County in partnership with the 15 municipalities along the river initiated a major river corridor masterplan project called "Blueprint Jordan River".  The mission of the Jordan River Restoration Project is to advocate for maximum preservation and restoration of existing open space and natural areas along the river corridor by developing and promoting an overarching vision for the systematic restortion of native plant communities, wildlife habitat, wetlands preservation and reclamation, improvement of water quality, fish habitat, reintroduction of extirpated native species,

Current status:  City/county planning effort completed December 2008, now in implementation phase.  Next steps for us:  nonprofit incorporation, membership recruitment, initiate a scientific ecosystem asset inventory/assessment, development of an ecosystem management vision and plan to guide and complement the city planning effort (which in early stages called for the development of 14 major commercial centers spanning and centered on the river).   Also:  develop a description of what a restored ecosystem would look like;  its ideal species composition;  a model of what management criteria and goals should be to move from current badly beaten condition as far as possible in the direction of ecosystem health and resiliance.

More information: 

 --Ray Wheeler, Project Director, Jordan River Restoration Project


Recently Updated
About "Blueprint Jordan River" Last Updated on 2008-09-08 00:00:00 Click here to download About "Blueprint Jordan River", by Ray Wheeler More »
Jordan River Project Blog Last Updated on 2008-05-11 00:00:00 This blog is devoted to the Jordan River Restoration Project--a  hands-on experimental pilot of the Earth Restoration Project. THIS Jordan River, unlike its namesake flows through the west side of Salt Lake city on its 50-mile journey--like its namesake-- from freshwater Utah Lake, to saline, shallow, "terminal" Great Salt Lake. Along the way it passes gigantic trophy homes (in the midst of the Turkey Run golf course and resort),  plunges into a canyon called Jordan Narrows, pouring from one beaver-pond to the next;  wanders across farmland and tract housing and condo developments, plunges into the heart of the largest metropolitan area in the intermountain west--and finally emerges from a quiet green tunnel into the brilliant sunshine in the vast wetlands area where its delta fans out into the Great Salt Lake. Since the... More »
Jordan River Restoration Project -- The Good... Last Updated on 2008-03-25 19:29:10 The Jordan River flows the length of Salt Lake Valley, and like its  Palestinian  namesake, drains a freshwater lake (Provo Lake) into a terminal salt-water lake (The Great Salt Lake.) Like most of the world's rivers it has been thoroughly ravaged by thoughtless and destructive human activity.  But nevertheless in places it remains today what it was 150 years ago--a cool, lovely green tunnel winding quietly through the heart of the largest city in the Intermountain West.  Centered along a migratory bird flyway from Canada to Mexico and fingering out into the vast wetlands along the eastern shoreline of the Great Salt Lake, the Jordan teems with birds  and other wildlife. Beaver, muskrat, and powerful, Orca-like carp churn in its waters, and huge cottonwoods and willows spread their long arms to touch their fingers from opposite... More »
Jordan River Restoration Project--The Bad Last Updated on 2008-03-25 11:02:35 This gallery provides a virtural tour of The Bad and The Ugly aspects of the Jordan River corridor;  the massive impacts that a century and a half of human activity have wrought--pollution, sedimentation, dredging, deforestation, hardscaping, chanelization, damming, near-extirpation of native plants and animals, urban blight, industrialization--and, of course, a torrent of garbage and sewage. Just your typical urban river. More »