June Riverscape 

From The Riverkeeper

Looking downstream from Norwood Island

Hey there River Friends - 

This month marks my 17th year at Willamette Riverkeeper. It has been a good ride, with many adventures, and I'm proud to report that our organization has grown quite a bit over that time. More importantly, we've gotten a lot done, and this year is shaping up to be our most impactful yet. 

My tenure in this role has honed my perspective about what is most critical to protecting and improving the health of the Willamette River. It has also helped me shape our unique role in working to improve the river's health. Advocating, educating, using science and being willing to speak out on key issues is not for everyone. We are also present on the river, from Eugene to Portland, in a variety of ways. 

Running a small non profit is not always easy, but thanks to all of you, we are able to move forward. Your memberships, sponsorships, and other contributions enable us to keep striving for a cleaner, healthier, Willamette River for Oregon. Thank you!

As we move into another summer season, we have some absolutely critical work ahead. From being immersed in the river, to holding the line at key forums - you can count on us to be there. 

For the River, 


Travis Williams
Riverkeeper & Executive Director

River Givers in Action 
It's been a productive Spring! From educational paddling tours, to nature hikes, to trash clean ups, to native plantings, invasive weed removal work parties, and ecological monitoring-- we've been busy! 

Check out the many faces and places who have helped make it all happen.

Toxics Reduction Partnership

Crop dusters are routinely spotted spraying the rich agricultural fields alongside the Willamette 

In late May, the Willamette Toxics Reduction Partnership was launched. This new process resulted from concerns expressed during the Superfund cleanup process about toxic pollution upstream of the Superfund site. The new Partnership is convened  by the US EPA and the Oregon DEQ, with multiple stakeholders taking part. 

A river otter claims his meal
Because the Willamette Basin encompasses nearly 12,000 square miles of land, it is critical to understand the variety of inputs of pollutants to the river system, and their impact on aquatic life, and human health. In many cases, potentially harmful substances are entering our waters every day, from newer sources such as household pesticides, to individual sites polluted with historic chemicals that are just being discovered. 

Initially the Partnership will evaluate existing toxics data, look for data gaps, and using the data that does exist, we will work to curb inputs to our river system from a variety of sources. Given that the Willamette River Basin is the most populated in Oregon, this is  a significant effort. 

WR is fully engaged in this process and will be seeking action to reduce a range of pollutants. One key issue we seek to address first is reducing the use of household pesticides that contain bifenthrin. Bifenthrin has been found in local creeks in the lower Willamette, and is the chief ingredient in insect killers. Unfortunately, when bifenthrin gets into our creeks, it can also harm native amphibians. Stay tuned for more about this work in the coming months. 

Aquatic Invasive Workshop + Paddle: 6/13

Learn to identify these invasives!
Join Willamette Riverkeeper, Benton SWCD, and other members of the Willamette Aquatic Invasive Network for a hands-on workshop on the Willamette River in the Albany Reach. 
The Willamette River supports diverse native plant and wildlife populations and provides clean water to Oregonians. Land managers, scientists, and concerned citizens are working together throughout the Willamette Basin to address the growing issue of aquatic invasives. 
Workshop participants will learn to identify and survey for native and aquatic invasive plants while paddling between Hyak and Bowman Parks.  

When: Tuesday, June 13th, 9:30am - 3:30pm

Where: Meet at Hyak County Park
Bring your own boat or reserve a space in a Willamette Riverkeeper canoe. Water Weed Field Guide provided. Bring plenty of water, a warm layer, sun protection, brown bag lunch, snacks, and closed-toe shoes.

Also on deck:  Willamette River Weed Paddle + Pull - Saturday, July 8th (register here)
Trashy Tuesday: 6/20

Get your hands dirty and make a difference! Join one of our trashy events this month:
At this month's Trashy Tuesday in the Eugene-Springfield area, we'll be focusing on picking up trash from the river section between Island Park and Alton Baker Park by boat. If you are bringing your own boat, please meet at the Island Park boat ramp at 8AM to unload and run shuttles to Alton Baker Park. We plan to be on the water no later than 9AM.

BYOB paddlers must be able to paddle in Class II water. Please indicate BYOB when you register. Because we will be working from the water, and there will be limited space in boats, you MUST RSVP to participate. PFDs are REQUIRED and can be provided for those without, as long as you have RSVP'd.

Please wear closed-toe shoes, long sleeves and pants. Bring water and appropriate layers for the weather. Gloves, pickers, garbage bags and tarps will be provided.
When:  Tuesday, 6/20 from 8:00am to about 1:30pm
Where:  Meet at Island Park boat ramp
Register: contact Michelle at michelle@willametteriverkeeper.org or 541-913-4318

PORTLAND-  Tuesday, 6/20
Join us at the recently improved 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. 
When:  Tuesday, 6/20 from 11:30am to 1:30pm
Where:  meet at the SE Portland Boathouse Dock
Register:  email kate@willametteriverkeeper.org

Portland Bridge Swim- Volunteers Needed: 7/9

The annual Portland Bridge Swim  is a competitive 11-mile race from Sellwood to St Johns that draws nearly 100 open water swimmers from all around the country. This unique competition is also a benefit for Willamette Riverkeeper!
Scheduled for July 9th, the race is in need of volunteer safety paddlers. If you have a kayak, canoe, or SUP board, or are willing to rent one, please consider being an ambassador of the Willamette River, and sign up to help a swimmer achieve their goal of reaching the finish line! Volunteer opportunities are as follows:
  • Course Safety Paddler- act as race officials (participation in pre-trip training required)
  • Escort Paddler- trail an assigned swimmer
  • Relief Paddler- stay at the exchanges and take over escort paddler duties when bathroom breaks are needed
Please contact Sumner Williams at 503-522-4128 or shwilliams4@gmail.com for more details on volunteering. All paddlers should be over 18 years of age.

Ross Island Evening Tour: 8/8

All is quiet in Ross Island's Holgate Channel 

You are invited to join us, along with Portland Parks, for an evening canoe adventure to explore Portland's urban island wilderness- Ross Island, of course!
On this exclusive tour you'll be guided through the island's verdant interior (which is closed to the general public), learning about Ross Island's history, and the work we are doing to improve its habitat.
When:  Tuesday, August 8th, 5:00pm - 8:30pm
Cost:  $20 registration includes a seat in a canoe, paddle, and PFD. 
Where: Meet in the gravel lot at above the river access ramp, next to the Portland Boathouse parking lot (1515 SE Water Ave, Portland, 97214)
Bring: Dress appropriately for the weather (such as a rain coat, rain pants and extra layers). Tall rubber boots and long pants work well for walking around the island. Bring water, snacks, and a picnic dinner. 
Questions? Email marci@willametteriverkeeper.org or call 503-223-6418. 
Giving is GOOD!

Endless Summer of (River) Love

Who doesn't love a cool, clean river on a hot afternoon? As you head to the Willamette to play, paddle, swim, fish, and float away on these long sunny days, don't forget to do a little something to guarantee a healthy river for generations to come.

For just $10 a month, individual donors like you are making a big difference:

- Keeping toxics out of the river
- Protecting the Willamette Greenway
- Leading on-the-water river discovery trips
- Cleaning up trash from Eugene to PDX
- Restoring river habitat and public parks

And so much more! With just a few clicks, you can become a perennial river-giver, supporting Willamette Riverkeeper's work year-round. Give what you can, and in return, you'll get 187 miles of beautiful river, this season and all the seasons to come.

So go ahead...show your river some good, old-fashioned summertime love by donating to Willamette Riverkeeper today.

Special thanks to all of our existing members, and thanks to all of you who
will become new supporters!

Green Business is Great Business

Every October, Willamette Riverkeeper leads a group of 1000 volunteers out to dozens of sites along the river from Eugene to Scappoose to do one thing, and one thing only: TAKE OUT THE TRASH!

If you own, work for, or frequent a river-loving business, and you want the whole valley to know it, this is your chance! 

The Great Willamette Clean Up is the ONLY river-wide cleanup for the river we know and love.  So if you're ready for your business to be great, and to make a great big difference for your river and your community, sponsor the Great Willamette Clean Up today!

Willamette Riverkeeper | 503-223-6418 | Email 


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