Estuaries provide critical habitat for threatened and endangered juvenile salmon. Habitat restoration is often implemented with goals focused on providing benefits to juvenile salmon, yet few projects are comprehensively studied to understand how restoration affects juvenile salmon. To evaluate the effectiveness of habitat restoration, we studied fish and invertebrate communities at eight tidal wetlands in the lower Columbia River and estuary. Our research evaluated biological responses at newly restored wetlands and compared these findings to nearby reference wetlands. Biological conditions were more favorable in reference wetlands for some monitored indicators. While there were distinctions between newly restored habitats and more mature habitats, the subtlety in differences suggest that restoring wetlands are achieving their desired goals and supporting ecological processes that provide benefits for juvenile salmon.