May Riverscape
From The Riverkeeper
(photo: Board member and OPRD River Ranger, Scott Youngblood, gives perspective to this massive wood pile left behind on Tripp Island after the recent April floods.)

Hello Friends - 

It is amazing to me that it is already May. After a major high water event only three weeks ago, the drop in the river and warm temperatures almost make that seem like something that occurred months ago. 

The flood brought fallen trees and large wood downriver for many miles, some of it ripping out smaller trees along the riverside, and others collecting in massive piles. One such pile at Tripp Island was simply astounding. While the flood brought some destruction, it also brought an amazing amount of sand, silt and fine sediment spread out across the floodplain. In some areas river rocks were deposited on farm fields, which was an unusual sight. 

Granular and beige, the massive amount of sand collected several feet thick in some places. Even so, now wildflowers are blooming along the river, as well as many other plants. Migratory songbirds are reappearing, along with a range of native flies and bees signaling the burst of spring life. 

While the annual display of life is welcome, it also brings about actions that humans take that may impact the health of water quality and communities. Just this past weekend on a canoe trip on the upper Willamette, I noticed a couple of questionable practices that we are following up on. In that vein, I’m very happy to welcome our new Staff Attorney, Elisabeth Holmes to WR!

Eli brings a wide range of experience in environmental law, from Clean Water Act enforcement, to the Endangered Species Act. With Eli on board, WR has expanded capacity to engage in a range of issues that need attention.
The work of Eli, and the rest of the WR crew, is made possible by you , through your individual donations, as well as our foundation and corporate partners. We simply cannot engage in our work to protect and restore the Willamette’s water quality and habitat without your support. Thanks to all of you who help keep us afloat!

For the River,

Riverkeeper & Executive Director
(photo: Sand from the April flood events covers the trail at this mid-Willamette Greenway property,
and the highwater mark is evident on the nearby trees.
Volunteers Needed- Trashy Tues/Thurs
(photo: When volunteer Larry Burt participated in our Portland clean up last month, he was discouraged by all the trash trapped in woody debris that was impossible to reach... until now! Larry went home and engineered the ultimate extending "nifty nabber," and delivered it to us the next day. Wow- thanks Larry!
Come get dirty for GOOD with us! This month we have the following opportunities to be a River Guardian and participate in a river clean up near you! We've added a NEW location this month- SALEM!

CORVALLIS- Trashy Thursday, 5/9 from 9:00am - 1:00pm

EUGENE- Trashy Tuesday, 5/14 from 8:15am - 1:00pm

SALEM- Trashy Thursday, 5/16 from 9:30am - 12:00pm

PORTLAND- Trashy Tuesday, 5/21 from 11:30 - 1:30
Restoration Work Party- Willamette Mission, 5/18
WHAT: Work Party at Willamette Mission State Park
WHEN: Saturday, May 18th, 9:30am - 12:00pm

Celebrate Earth Day and join Willamette Riverkeeper and our partners Oregon State Parks , One Tree Planted , and the Bonneville Environmental Foundation for a morning of mulching plants in the floodplain at Willamette Mission State Park. You'll learn about the importance of floodplain forests and our work to improve these valuable habitats. Tools, gloves and hot drinks provided! This is a family friendly event.
Elk Rock Island Paddle + Plant Walk- 5/30
Join us and our friends at the  Native Plant Society of Portland , and  North Clackamas Parks and Recreation Department's  Tonia Williamson for a paddle and hike to Elk Rock Island as part of  Native Plant Month PDX !

WHEN:  Thursday, May 30th from 5:00pm - 8:30pm
WHERE:  Meet at the City of Milwaukie's Boat Ramp in Milwaukie Bay Park

If you love to explore the flora and fauna of oak and prairie habitats, Elk Rock Island is a wonderland. 

Elk Rock Island is part of an ancient volcano that erupted 40 million years ago. It's located on the Willamette River just offshore from the City of Milwaukie. The island hosts more than 20 plant species that are uncommon and rare to Portland. Vernal pools on the island are particularly interesting. City staff have been monitoring unique plants, water quality, and critters in the vernal pools. Each time we visit the island we find several new species! Join us on this trip and help discover more!

DETAILS : We will be providing use of canoes, PFD's, and paddles free of charge. No paddling experience is necessary. If you have your own boat and plan to bring it along please let us know when you register. Bring warm layers, rain gear, close toed shoes, water, and a snack. If you plan to bring a camera or phone it would be best to have it stored in a water tight dry bag.
ACA River Safety + Rescue Course- 5/16, 5/18
WHAT: American Canoe Association River Safety + Rescue Course
WHEN: Thursday, 5/16 from 7:00am - 9:30pm, Saturday 5/18 9:00am - 1:00pm
WHERE: Echo Hollow Pool and Alton Baker Park, Eugene

This course is invaluable for river recreationalists, which is why we are offering it for FREE for any Willamette Riverkeeper volunteer who commits at least 10 hours of volunteer service to our programs in 2019/2020 - including River Discovery, Restoration, River Guardians (clean up and monitoring) and special events such as Pinot Paddle and Paddle Oregon. Participants are required to attend both days and will receive an official ACA Membership and Certificate of Completion in recognition of their training ($200 value).

DETAILS: For a full course description, click the registration link below.
Welcome Eli, Our New Staff Attorney
We are happy to welcome Elisabeth Holmes as our new Staff Attorney. Eli, who has practiced environmental law for several years at her non-profit Blue River Law, will help us enforce the Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, and engage in a variety of policy issues, from gravel extraction issues, to the use of toxics in the environment. 

Eli grew up paddling Lake Superior and Michigan’s inland lakes and rivers, and now loves experiencing the wonders of the connections between Oregon’s forests, rivers, and coast, and finding little swimming holes.
Eli attended Mount Holyoke College and received her J.D. from Boston University School of Law. She practiced civil litigation on the East Coast for 10 years before exclusively focusing on environmental law through the University of Oregon’s LL.M. program. Eli is experienced using numerous federal and state pollution and public health laws such as the Clean Water Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Clean Air Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act, Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, Toxic Substances Control Act, public records laws, state public health laws, right-to-farm laws, trespass and nuisance laws, and local ordinances on public health and environmental issues.

Eli has represented clients in landmark pollution, human health, and animal welfare enforcement cases across the U.S. She handles issues at various stages of development, ranging from policy and administrative matters through discovery, trial, and appeal. 

Stay tuned for updates on Eli’s work at Willamette Riverkeeper. 
WIN This Canoe Package!
Field work season is upon us, our programs are in full swing and all of us here at Willamette Riverkeeper are busy every single day! Whether it is restoring riparian and floodplains along the river, taking a group of people out on a discovery paddle, heading to Salem to advocate for a new piece of legislation or working with River Guardian volunteers to clean-up our River – everyday, at least one if not ALL of us are on the River!
This is why it is essential to have your support! Please consider becoming a sustaining donor to Willamette Riverkeeper - this type of donation gives us a guaranteed a stream of income each and every month. A donation of just $20 a month and you and your family have a membership for the year! 

WIN A CANOE! When you become a monthly sustainer donor (or make a one-time donation of $120) you will be entered in a raffle to win a Canoe Prize Package, donated by Paddle People, valued at $4,000.
What You WIN:
A Wenonah Ultra-light Kevlar Canoe (you can pick from several models) , with Dual Sliding 
Seats, a Center Seat, and a Removable Ash Yoke- WOW!

Plus... 2 Wenonah Tour-Lite Paddles, 2 Stohlquist Edge Lifejackets, an Oregon Invasive Species Permit, a pair of Paddle People Cam Straps, and a “187 Miles of Wonder” art poster
Pinot Paddle: 6/15 - 6/16
Paddle Oregon 2019: 8/12 - 8/16
Foundation Spotlight
Throughout the year, we will be highlighting some foundations who support our work. This month we are excited to feature Spirit Mountain Community Fund (SMCF), the philanthropic arm of the The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. SMCF distributes grants to non-profit organizations in 11 counties, as well as government agencies in Polk and Yamhill Counties, and the 9 federally recognized Tribes in Oregon. Since their start in 1997, the SMCF has funded 2,727 grants with over $80 million in funds.

This year Spirit Mountain Community Fund provided Willamette Riverkeeper with a generous grant for research and education on the Western Pearlshell Mussel . The grant provides funding that will allow us to teach workshops throughout the Willamette Basin that will educate participants about the species, and how to take action to protect and restore mussel habitat. This funding will also help us complete additional river-based research this summer.