A bi-monthly round-up of news about the Willamette and Columbia

April 20, 2012
steel bridge
Coming Right Up! Events, Trips, and Other River Happenings.

Maritime museum logo  

Oregon Maritime Museum: FREE Family Saturday...nautical terms. April 21, 11 am to 4 pm. "Join us once again for aboard the historic steam-powered tug PORTLAND. Families of up to 2 adults and 2 children under the age of 14 enjoy free admission to the main exhibit space!
Pretend you're the captain as you turn the wheel and ring the bell; Learn nautical terms and draw your own boat to take home. "



wild in city book


America's WILD READ, April 15 through May 6. "Wild in the City - Exploring The Intertwine" is being  featured as part of this online discussion group, a project of the National Conservation Training Center's conservation library. Mike Houck, M.J. Cody and Bob Sallinger will moderate a lively discussion on the book each week.  



National Prescription Drug Take-back Day. April 28, 10 a. to 2 pm. Drugs put down the drain or toilet end up in our rivers. But over 50 law enforcement agencies in Oregon are offering a convenient, safe, no-questions-asked alternative! And, if you can't make it on April 28, there are now 42 permanent, free pharmaceutical collection sites in Oregon open year round.


Portland Harbor Superfund public open house and information session. May 10, 6 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. (Open House 5:30 to 6);Ecotrust - Billy Frank Jr. Conference Center, 721 NW Ninth Avenue.


parker pup by river  


Doggie Dash. May 12th. Downtown Portland goes to the dogs as cars are banished and dogs rule the streets. Thousands of people and dogs enjoy a sprint along or over the Willamette in support of the Oregon Humane Society. Two routes provide the fun: the 1.5 mile Naito Loop, and the 2.5 mile Bridge-to-Bridge route. Registration is $35 (children 10 and under are free.) (Photo courtesy ParkerPup.com!)  




2012 Columbia River Estuary Conference-New Scientific Findings and Their Management Implications. May 15th - 17th, Liberty Theater, Astoria: Endangered species recovery, lessons from ecological restoration, new understanding of the lower Columbia River ecosystem, innovative methods for understanding and predicting changes to the lower Columbia River. No admission charge for the conference.  


Summer-time Save-the-Dates (more info to follow) hawthorne panorama
wilsonville bridge concept
Portland Rivers Office annual report.  The Office of Healthy Working Rivers presented its annual report to City Council earlier this week, summarizing activities from April 2011 to April 2012.
Portland Harbor Superfund News 
wilsonville bridge conceptOPB Think Out Loud: Willamette River Superfund Site. OPB. org, April 4


Portland Harbor Superfund site cleanup must extend to the Columbia. "...The Portland Harbor Superfund site must be cleaned up for any plan to restore the Columbia and its salmon runs to have a chance of success." OregonLive.com, April 16, opinion


Johnson Creek Restoration Work Airs in China. "Local reporter, Ling-ju Yen wrote a story on Johnson Creek Watershed Wide Event for China's Central News Agency. It has been picked up or shared by at least 950 Chinese news sites and blogs." (Click here for video). Intertwine.org, April 18


zebra mussell  Research aims to keep invasive mussels at bay in Columbia."Invasive freshwater mussels so far haven't found a foothold in the Columbia River. ... the Bonneville Power Administration and PSU are testing a set of chemical coatings they hope will keep mussels from attaching themselves to the Columbia's steel and concrete infrastructure." The Columbian, April 13 (Photo: USGS)


zebra mussell


Downtown Portland's newest bridge to start looking like a bridge. "After nearly 10 months of work inside a deep cofferdam, TriMet's $134 million Portland-Milwaukie light-rail span is about to emerge like a concrete Godzilla from the murky Willamette River."  OregonLive.com, April 19 (Photo: TriMet) 




 Burnside Bridgehead landlord looking for creative tenants. "Beam announced earlier this month that it had signed a lease with Portland-based industrial energy management company Cascade Energy to occupy 25,000 square feet of ... the 105,000-square-foot Convention Plaza at the Burnside Bridgehead.." DJCOregon.com, April 13

zebra mussell  

 Construction starts on Fields Neighborhood Park in the Pearl. "The result is a design ... with a motif that aims to conjure the swirling, sweeping, eddying image of the nearby Willamette River." DJCOregon.com, April 17



Jantzen Beach Shopping Center to be redeveloped. "Owners of the Jantzen Beach Shopping Center on Hayden Island are investing $50 million to redevelop the North Portland mall. Edens & Avant Realty Inc., which operates 124 retail centers, said the first phase of redevelopment, now under construction, will open in fall 2012..." [subscription required to view] DJCOregon.com, April 6


 3 development teams vying to build either hotel or apartment complex in South Waterfront. "One of the last developable lots in Portland's highly visible South Waterfront District will not be empty for much longer. The Portland Development Commission is following an aggressive timeline to sell a 48,645-square-foot piece of land known as RiverPlace Parcel 8. ... adjacent to a Portland Streetcar stop, and the area includes several hotels, the three-tower Strand Condominiums directly to the north, ground-level retail along the Willamette River esplanade ..." DJCOregon.com, April 16




In Our View: Improving River Safety--Local fire and rescue agencies score big triumphs in securing federal grant. The Columbian, April 18


 Plankhouse springs back to life. "Along the waterways, almost like ports, were large buildings called plankhouses, central structures where 50 to 200 tribal members would live, work and eat together. ... The Cathlapotle Plankhouse, a re-creation of one of those historic venues, was built in 2005-2006 as part of the Lewis and Clark bicentennial celebration. [It] will open for the season on Sunday from noon to 4 p.m." The Columbian, April 13


Future of French Prairie Bridge hinges on Wilsonville City Council decision. "...the Wilsonville City Council will convene an important work session that could determine the future of the French Prairie Bike-Ped Emergency Bridge over the Willamette River. ... Local tourism officials see the bridge - which would be for biking and walking only (along with emergency vehicle access) - as the lynchpin to the area's future because it would connect Wilsonville to the Willamette Valley's myriad wineries, Champoeg State Park, the Willamette Valley State Scenic Bikeway, and other tourist draws." BikePortland.org, April 13. For a fly-through animation (courtesy bikewalkclackamas.org) , click here.


 Victory for bike tourism in Wilsonville: French Prairie Bridge grant approved. "...the Wilsonville City Council voted to accept a $1.25 million federal grant to perform a feasibility study on the French Prairie Bike-Ped Emergency Bridge over the Willamette River." BikePortland, April 17

 wilsonville bridge concept


Barges From Lake Mead Contaminated With Quagga Mussels Intercepted At Idaho Border. "A total of 13 of the 41 barges scheduled for transport to Seattle were put under "custodial seizure" over the past weekend for further inspection. ... Transported barges were also identified at the California-Oregon border." Columbia Basin Bulletin, April 20


NMFS Draft BiOp Says 3 Pesticides Likely Jeopardize Salmon, Proposes Measures To Reduce Exposure. "NMFS concluded in the biological opinion that products containing the three pesticides [oryzalin, pendimethalin, and trifluralin] are likely to jeopardize approximately half of the ESA-listed Pacific salmonid species and adversely modify their designated critical habitat." Columbia Basin Bulletin, Apr. 13   Description of the 3 pesticides may be found here.

Kayaker paddling from Washington to Japan. The story of Kennewick Man inspires a Japanese kayaker to undertake an epic paddling trip to show that ancient peoples could have traveled by boat between Japan and the Columbia River area. Seattle Times, April 11


Boise Bridge jumping law could be lifted this year. "For a number of years, bridge jumping has been banned from the Boise River, but that could change. ... The new ordinance would allow jumpers on the Boise River but they would have to stay 50 feet away from floaters." KTVB.com, Apr. 17


wilsonville bridge conceptSpring chinook salmon soon to replace more unusual Columbia catches. "An ambitious starry flounder not much bigger than the herring it hoped to eat was my first catch of the 2012 spring chinook season. (Yes, starry flounder are saltwater fish, but the youngsters tolerate freshwater very well and they're often found upriver to the mouth of the Sandy River and sometimes even in the Willamette up to Milwaukie.)" OregonLive.com, April 14   (Photo: Portland Harbor Community Advisory Group) 


 Lost and Found Waterways. High Country News, April 17

To view past River News Digests, click here.  

To submit news,email Rick Bastasch, or call 503.823.0275


NOTE: River News Digest is a compilation of interesting items and announcements relating to rivers-with a focus on better understanding, enjoying, and caring for our local rivers, while touching on items from around the country and the world. Please note much of the information is from sources other than the City of Portland [like news media, non-profit organizations, and other government agencies]. The Rivers Office lists these items for information purposes only and is not responsible for their content.