Happy February River Folks -
For the past few weeks Willamette Riverkeeper has been utilizing our new craft - The Amy Schoener. Amy was an awesome person who was a WR Board member for several years, a stalwart friend of the natural world, and a paddler. She and her husband Bill lived outside Philomath and were active in the community on a number of levels.
When Amy passed away suddenly in 2016 it was a true loss. Unknown to us, she had left a signifiant portion of her life insurance policy to Willamette Riverkeeper. This was the first legacy gift of its kind that had ever been donated to WR. We managed to put some of the funds away, use some of them to conduct our mussel work last summer, and finally to purchase a craft that we dedicate to her.
I think she would approve of this mighty little boat, which enables us to access areas of the river during high flows that would be difficult to reach by canoe or kayak. It will also help us to respond more quickly to reports of pollution on the lower river. This craft has an efficient Honda outboard, is relatively light weight, and is hard working. Already we've traveled over 150 miles in this boat - ferrying supplies to our properties, and doing other work.
A few weeks back I spoke with Bill about this notion and he just chuckled and said "that is great."
Over time, Amy Schoener's contribution to Willamette Riverkeeper will be remembered, in part by naming this boat after her, and for her hard work on behalf of Willamette Riverkeeper over the years. Her planned gift to us was simply amazing, and she set a fine example of how the work of our non-profit can be sustained over time.
Thank you Amy.
Riverkeeper & Executive Director
Restoration Work Party- 2/10 (THIS Saturday)
Earlier this week our contract crews planted 19,000 plants at Willamette Mission State Park. That means we have a mere 88,000 more plants to go- ha!
Join us along with our friends at Oregon State Parks in planting and mulching native trees and shrubs along the edge of a new floodplain forest at Willamette Mission State Park. Learn more about the important role of floodplain forests and how we have been working to improve these habitats in the Willamette Valley.
This event is family friendly!
What: Willamette Mission Restoration Work Party
When: Saturday, February 10th from 9:30am to 12:30pm
Details: The park's main entrance has opened since we first posted this event. Now you can drive directly to our planting site. Drive in to the main entrance, and follow the road across the channel. Keep straight, and look for the Riverkeeper sign in a big parking lot on your left.
Please arrive by 9:30am
to check in. We will be walking about 20 min down a paved bike trail to reach the planting area. You should be able to return to the parking area by
Dress appropriately for winter weather (such as a rain coat, rain pants, warm hat, and extra layers). Tall rubber boots are highly recommended! Bring water and snacks. We will provide tools and work gloves. And folks--- it's going to be SUNNY!!!
SPECIAL EVENT: Oregon Field Guide Viewing Party- 2/15
WHAT: Oregon Field Guide Viewing Party- featuring our freshwater mussel study!
WHEN: Thursday, February 15th, beginning at 7:00pm, program airs at 8:30pm
WHERE:Lompoc Brewing 's Sidebar Pub, 3901 N Williams Ave Portland
WHY: Because mussels matter!
DETAILS: Last August we conducted a revealing freshwater mussel study in the upper Willamette River near Harrisburg. While mussels are a key element in the river's ecosystem, filtering contaminants and cleaning the water, there is scant data on them in the Willamette watershed. When we discovered a rare, massive Western Pearlshell mussel bed near our Norwood Island property, we were determined to learn more about these bivalves (some of which can live up to 100 years) and the story they have to tell.
In addtion to our staff and volunteers, an intrepid crew from Oregon Public Broadcasting's popular "Oregon Field Guide" program braved the summer's hottest temperatures to document our project.
Experience our mussel research adventure by joining us as we gather together to view the broadcast premier of this anticipated Oregon Field Guide segment.
On Thursday, February 15th, meet us at at Lompoc Brewing's Sidebar pub in Portland at 7:00pm where we'll provide appetizers, speakers, and mussel memes before tuning in to Oregon Field Guide's weekly broadcast at 8:30pm.
Enjoy Lompoc's award winning brews and menu while warming yourself by the fire.
BONUS: We'll reveal our NEW "mussel shirt," proceeds of which will support our continuing research.
Celeste Searles Mazzacano, Ph.D- Entomologist and freshwater mussel expert who designed our study, and will help you fall in love with the mighty mussel.
Ed Jahn- Executive Producer of OPB's "Oregon Field Guide," and winner of 19 regional Emmy Awards for his documentary work, Ed lead the production of our mussel feature. After 17 years of producing content for Field Guide, this is his last project as he has been promoted to Executive Editor for Science and Environment at OPB!
Travis Williams- Riverkeeper, Executive Director, and a certified mussel maniac. Travis spearheaded this project, and will be leading Willamette Riverkeeper's future mussel studies along the mainstem river and tributaries this summer.
Note: Space will be limited to 60 or so guests, so arrive promptly. No RSVP is required. Lompoc has some reserved parking, otherwise you'll have to park along area side streets. Sidebar is located on N. Williams, a well traveled bike path.
Volunteers Needed: Trashy Tuesdays
Give your Willamette an early Valentine and volunteer at one of these trashy events!
When: Tuesday, 2/13 - 8:30AM
Where: Aspen/D Street boat ramp to Alton Baker Park
Details: February's Trashy Tuesday will start at the Aspen/D Street boat ramp and take out at Alton Baker Park. Boat captains will meet at the Aspen/D Street boat ramp at 8:15am for an 8:30am shuttle to Alton Baker Park.
Those without boats are welcome to participate in the shuttle.
Please BE AT ALTON BAKER BY 8:45am
and we will shuttle back to the put in, so your car is waiting at the take out, OR meet at 9:00am at Aspen/D Street boat ramp to launch directly from the put-in. We will have a shuttle back to D Street from the take out as well.
Please bring a water bottle, extra layers of clothes, and wear closed-toe shoes, long sleeves and pants.
Gloves, pickers, garbage bags, tarps AND COFFEE will be provided - huge thanks to this month's local business sponsor The Barn Light for your support! If you are new to this program, please message Michelle for more details!
RSVPs are REQUIRED. Please email
or text 541-913-4318 with your confirmation, and indicate whether you will be bringing your own boat, or are interested in reserving a seat in a driftboat or raft (as available).
All BYOB paddlers must be able to paddle confidently in Class II. PFDs (lifejackets) are REQUIRED. We can provide for those without, provided you RSVP ahead of time.
When: Tuesday, 2/20 from 11:30am to 1:30pm
Details: Join us at the Portland Boathouse dock, and help us pick up trash in the central part of Portland along the Willamette. Park in the 2 hour visitor parking spaces near the building, on the street, or ride your bike.
Reserve a seat in one of our canoes, or bring your own boat. We will provide trash bags, non latex gloves, and trash pickers. Dress for the weather and paddling (layers, boots, and rain gear). We will spend about an hour or so on the water.
If river conditions evolve to become too challenging or unsafe, we will cancel in advance.
River Discovery Scappoose Bay Paddle- 3/10
Join us as we explore the lowest reach of the Willamette system- Scappoose Bay!
When: Saturday, March 10th, meet at 9:30am - about 1:30pm
Details: Breaking from the mainstem Willamette a few miles before the confluence with the Columbia, Multnomah Channel eventually spills into the low, tidal estuary of Scappoose Bay. Adjacent to Sauvie Island National Wildlife Area, the bay teems with wildlife. Here, juvenile salmonids seek refuge from strong river currents before migrating to the ocean, and bald eagles, herons, and tundra swans grace the skies. Scappoose also claims a compelling Northwest history that includes thriving Chinook villages, Lewis and Clark, and the Hudson Bay Company. We'll explore the Bay's many back channels as the water levels allow, and visit the remains of an old wooden ship.
Bring: $5 for the Marina parking fee, your camera, binoculars, water, lunch, and a hot drink. Dress WARM; tall rubber boots are suggested to keep your feet warm and dry. It can be very muddy here when stepping out of your boat. We also recommed packing a hat, gloves, extra warm/dry layers. Splash wear such as a rain coat and pants with fleece underlayers is a good choice for those using our canoes.
Need a Boat? Riverkeeper canoes are available upon request for $20 (per canoe) for non-members, or FREE for current members. You must recruit your own paddling partner.
BYOBoat? Non-members are welcome to participate with a $10 donation, or choose to become an active Riverkeeper member for a one time fee of just $35.
|Paddle Oregon 2018 Teaser
Save the date friends!
Paddle Oregon 2018 is scheduled for August 13th - 17th.
Registration and Trip Details will be available this March at
(Pod Leader Trip dates are May 5th - 6th)