November Riverscape 

From The Riverkeeper

Image from "Guided," a short film featured in our upcoming Wild & Scenic Film Fest, read more below

Hello River Lovers - 

Fall is indeed here, and the cottonwoods, Oregon ash, and willows have lost most of their leaves along the Willamette. Overhead the Canada geese are making their way over the valley, as intense weather systems blow in with frothy clouds from the West.

This season greets us at the end of what was an epic summer of work. We made some great gains for the river from our intense field work at restoration sites along the river and our 120 river mile survey for freshwater mussels and mussel study at Norwood Island, to our largest ever Paddle Oregon and Great Willamette Clean Up events. We also remained engaged in the Portland Harbor Superfund site, seeking to fight off new efforts to erode the strength of the cleanup.

It is safe to say that all of this work, which combines our unique blend of advocacy, policy, education, and field work was effective, and fueled by your support. 

As we round into the end of the year, please consider supporting our work once again, or making a special additional gift. Not only is your support tax-deductible, but your membership helps to make our organization flexible and able to meet a variety of issues. 

If you've though of giving for a while, but have not - well now is the time! We have a variety of options available, including a new direct deposit from your checking account. All of this takes just a couple of minutes to do - and is critical to our success. Our non profit is not supported by an endowment, or only a few donors - it is a collective effort. 

Thank you for all that you do for us! 

For the River, 


Travis Williams
Riverkeeper & Executive Director

2017 Wild & Scenic Film Festival- 11/30

Join us as we host the 2017 Wild & Scenic Film Festival

Enjoy 7 environmental and adventure films that illustrate the Earth's beauty, the challenges facing our planet and the work communities are doing to protect the environment. Through these films, Wild & Scenic both informs people about the state of the world and inspires them to take action.

When: Thursday, November 30th- doors open @6pm, films @7pm
Where: Hollywood Theater in Portland
Cost: Pre-Sale Tickets are $12 at REI Portland (beginning 11/9), or $15 at the door* 

*Your ticket includes one raffle entry, including a chance to WIN a KAYAK!  

You could WIN me!

Film stills from our hand picked festival line up!


We're thrilled to be amongst the 150 impactful non-profits featured in the 2017 Willamette Week Give!GuideMany thanks to our business partner  Alder Creek Kayak Canoe & SUP  for offering some amazing incentives to our donors! 

If you give $100 or more to us through the Give!Guide you may select your own gift valued up to $138! Your Alder Creek gift certificate will be good for any of the following options:  Basic Skills Kayak Canoe or Stand-Up-Paddle  class for TWO! 

If you give just $10 or more, you'll receive FREE gifts from: Stumptown Coffee Roasters, Salt & Straw, Ken's Artisan Bakery and more. For even more incentive, check out the BIG GIVE DAYS where a donation of just $10 or more will make you eligible to WIN some really incredible prizes like...
  • A $500 Powell's Books gift card if you donate this Thursday, 11/9! 
Mussel Study

About 20 miles upstream of Corvallis is WR's Norwood Island Property - a 90 acre parcel we've managed for 3 years. Back in 2002 WR identified a massive mussel bed on Norwood's back channel, and with our acquisition of the island, we sought to better understand the health of this huge collection of Western Pearlshell Mussels - which can live to be over 100 years old in the right conditions. 

This past summer, WR staff, our study designer Celeste Mazzacano, and 12 volunteers conducted a major assessment of the population at Norwood. After 4 long days in some of the hottest weather of the season, coupled with increased flows to the river by the US Army Corps of Engineeers (which made our work much more difficult), we completed our work. Over the next couple of months the numbers were crunched, and our report issued. Of the 40,000 live adult mussels in this channel, we found that the mussels are not reproducing. There are no juvenile mussels that our work was able to identify. 

It is unclear at this time why this population is not reproducing. Factors can include pollution, habitat modifications, presence of host fish like spring chinook and winter steelhead, modifications to flow - and of course a combination of all of the above. What this study has indicated is that we need to do more for this species. Nationwide it is known that they are on the decline, mostly because of the above mentioned issues. We need to curb toxics, reduce other forms of pollution, improve natural flows and more. 

Mussels are not reproducing
In tandem with this study, Riverkeeper Travis Williams and 5 volunteers snorkeled over 120 miles of the river seeking out beds of Western Pearlshell. The effort was aligned with the Norwood Study, seeking out the presence of additional mussel beds. Our work yielded another 10 mussel beds across that breadth of river. Next field season WR will study several of the newly discovered beds to determine if they are reproducing, and if so, whether the rate of reproduction is healthy. 

The Western Pearlshell simply engenders respect - or should. For any animal that can live decades filtering the Willamette's water, it seems we should do all we can to protect and restore them. Stay tuned for more information about WR's Mussel Program. Read more about our study at this Oregonian cover story.

Volunteers Needed: Trashy Tuesday (Eugene)- 11/14

Calling all River Guardian volunteers, clean water enthusiasts, and Willamette River lovers! At this month's Trashy Tuesday river clean up in the Eugene-Springfield area, we'll be picking up trash from the section of river between Alton Baker boat ramp and Beltline. If you are bringing your own boat, please meet at the Alton Baker boat ramp at 8:30AM to unload boats and run shuttles to the Beltline takeout. We plan to be on the water no later than 9:00AM. 

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.
RSVP is required to participate (see directions below).  All "bring your own boat" (BYOB) paddlers must be able to comfortably paddle in Class II moving water. NO BOAT? NO WORRIES! There are seats avaialble in rafts and drift boats that may be reserved, but due to limited space, you MUST RSVP. Because we will be working from the water, lifejackets are REQUIRED. Please indicate any additional needs in your email, and whether or not you will BYOB.

When: Tuesday, 11/14 - 8:30AM 
Where: Meet at the Alton Baker Boat Ramp in Eugene: 
Register (required): Please email clean up organizer, Michelle Emmons at or call 541-913-4318.

Mission Restoration Update

  • Our planting season has begun at Willamette Mission State Park. We began by planting a 12-acre field in the Beaver Island Management Unit with native grass seed thanks to the help of a local farmer and Yamhill Soil and Water Conservation District's no till drill! Later this month we will plant 600 cottonwood poles into this same field. 

  • We are also working on final preparations for planting over 100,000 native trees and shrubs into the floodplain forest this winter. Whew!
Vote For Willamette Riverkeeper!

Here's some exciting news! Columbia Credit Union is opening a  brand new branch in the Buckman neighborhood (SE Portland) and is arriving with a "neighborhood-warming" gift, the $50k Buckman Giveaway. They're gifting up to $50,000 to five local non-profits that help make the neighborhood even more livable and lovable, but need your help.
Vote for Willamette Riverkeeper! Stop by Columbia Credit Union's new branch in the Goat Blocks at SE 10th  & Belmont and vote once a day through December 15th. Yep, you can vote every day if you want! Each vote's worth $10 and through your votes, the Willamette Riverkeeper can earn up to $10,000 to help make life better. 

Plus, each time you vote, you are automatically entered to win a new Faraday electric bike!

THANK YOU For Getting Dirty For GOOD!

We would like to give a collective bear hug to all of our outstanding VOLUNTEERS, SPONSORS, and PARTNERS who supported the Great Willamette Clean Up last month! Thanks to you, this monumental community effort continues to grow in scale, effectiveness, and in spreading good river karma!

We are still collecting data and images. If you have pictures to share please tag us on Facebook, or email them to

Willamette Riverkeeper | 503-223-6418 | Email 


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