Hello River Friends -
Happy New Year! I hope you had great holiday season. Im pretty excited about the year ahead. One reason is the great level of individual support we received at year end. Thanks to all of you for your generosity. For any non profit organization our size, it is great to enter the new year knowing that many of you chose to support us financially.
Looking ahead, we aim to THINK BIG. The Willamette River calls for a solid vision, and measurable progress needs to be made. We want:
a river that is free of toxic pollutants
- with abundant, healthy floodplain habitat
- where native fish can pass dams upstream and down
- where people can safely recreate
- free of garbage along its banks
- and to get hundreds more people out on the river, to experience it, and to lend a hand in one of our numerous projects
This vision incorporates the core of what WR is about - a strong blend of policy, advocacy, science and hands on action.
You are welcome to help us in our efforts, whether you provide financial support, volunteer your time, or take action to make your voice heard on key issues. The year ahead will provide many opportunities for you to do all of the above. If you are new to our work, there will be ample opportunities to learn about ways that you can take part. Together, we can think big for the Willamette's health, and enact this vision of clean water and healthy habitat.
Thank you again for your support! Together, 2018 will be a great one. I
f you like our work, but are not yet a member, please consider joining us with a monthly or other financial contribution.
Riverkeeper & Executive Director
Volunteers Needed: Trashy Tuesdays
Calling all River Guardian volunteers, clean water enthusiasts, and River lovers!
When: Tuesday, 1/9 - 8:30AM
's Trashy Tuesday in the Eugene will focus on the River Road and Delta Ponds sections between Valley River Center and Beltline. There will be opportunities to work by foot along the path, or in a guided boat (seats are available). BOATERS MEET in the north (back) parking lot of VRC behind the theater near the bike path footbridge access at 8:30am for shuttle to Beltline - please come early to unload. Those without boats can also be there by 8:30am for shuttle, or meet us all at 9:00am to launch the cleanup.
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 local business owners at Global Delights for your support! If you are new to this program, please message us 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 or lifejackets are REQUIRED. We can provide for those without, provided you RSVP ahead of time.
When: Tuesday, 1/16 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.
Get to know a floodplain forest! Join us for a family friendly nature walk through the floodplain forest of Willamette Mission State Park to kick off a new year. We'll take time to explore both on an off trail, and look for evidence of wildlife. You will also learn more about the important role of floodplan forests and how we have been working to improve these habitats in the Willamette Valley.
What: Rubber Boot Ramble
Where: Willamette Mission State Park (north entrance, detials below)
When: Saturday, 1/20 from 9:30am to noon
Meet in the gravel lot for the Wheatland Ferry at the north entrance to Willamette Mission State Park. This is on the east side of the Willamete River, where Matheny Road dead ends at the Willamette River.
Please arrive by 9:30am
to check in. You should be able to return to the parking area by 12:00pm
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.
River Discovery Bridges + Big Ships Paddle- 2/3
Join us for a fascinating and seldom paddled stretch of the Willamette!
Enjoy a rare opportunity to admire Portland's iconic bridges and huge ships from a unique perspective, while learning more about historic riverside industries, and today's Superfund challenges.
What: Bridges & Big Ships Paddle Trip
When: Saturday, February 3rd from 9:30am to 2:30pm
Where: Paddle from the SE Portland Boathouse to Cathedral Park
Details: We'll launch from the SE Portland Boathouse and will paddle 7.5 miles downstream, passing under eight historic bridges (including the Hawthorne, Morrison, Burnside, Steel, Broadway, Fremont, Union Pacific Railroad, and St. Johns Bridges), ending our trip at Cathedral Park.
Meet at the SE Portland Boathouse (1515 SE Water Avenue, Portland) in the parking lot just above the boat ramp.
Please arrive around 9:30am as we aim to launch no later than 10:00am.
Participants should be comfortable paddling for 2-3 hours in current. There are no restrooms along this stretch. Dress appropriately for *cold* and wet weather (bring hats, gloves, pack a spare set of dry clothes and extra warm layers! We will have extra dry bags on hand). Be smart about how you equip your feet: thick wool or fleece socks and warm rubber/waterproof boots are a good idea. Also bring water, snacks, lunch, a hot drink, and perhaps your camera.
Shuttle: Riverkeeper is offering a limited shuttle service from the take-out, back to the SE Portland Boathouse. You must reserve a seat in our shuttle in advance through this registration. We welcome participants to make their own shuttle arrangements as well. We expect to reach the take out sometime between 1:30pm and 2:00pm. The shuttle can take approximately 25-40 minutes (one way). Shuttle fee is $10.
Need a Boat? Riverkeeper canoes are available for free through this registration as well. You must recruit your own paddling partner.
Restoration Work Party- 2/10
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: Meet in the gravel lot for the Wheatland Ferry at the north entrance to Willamette Mission State Park. This is on the east side of the Willamete River, where Matheny Road dead ends at the Willamette River.
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.
Stormwater Needs Standards
The Oregon DEQ has released the Draft MS4 Phase II stormwater permit for public comment. This permit type applies to all cities of 100k residents or less.
Traditionally such permits require municipalities to take action to curb stormwater, and to monitor for pollution. Most permits contain specific standards that must be met. Over recent years, there has been a push to loosen the standards approach, and to provide a more flexible "adaptive" approach.
Willamette Riverkeeper believes that it is important to provide some measure of flexibility, yet at the same time having specific standards for pollution that must be met. We will provide a full evaluation of DEQ's "Draft MS4 Phase II" permit on our website later this month.
As a Willamette Riverkeeper member or interested citizen, you can provide comments to the Oregon DEQ or attend a public hearing to help ensure that the MS4 has very specific language that protects water quality, and upholds the public trust. Comments are due on 2/20 by 5:00pm. You may also attend the public hearing on 1/29 at 1:30pm at the DEQ office in Eugene (165 East 7th Ave).
Save the date friends! Paddle Oregon 2018 is scheduled for
August 13th - 17th. Details and updated website coming soon.