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

June 29, 2012
big float 2 poster   
A reminder that The Big Float 2's coming up July 29th!   


              Events, Trips, and Other River Happenings     __________________________ 
wooden boat festival sign  
Wooden Boat Festival. July 8, Noon to 6 pm at Willamette Sailing Club. Sail, power, and row boats will line the docks and be on display for viewing, touring and rides. Experts will teach what it takes to build wooden boats; learn about Oregon water history from the Oregon Maritime Museum; Tour the Club, enjoy sailboat rides, or try-out kayaks and stand up paddle boards; rides in Rosie-the-Skiff, family boat building; flag-making, knot-tying, and other kid activities; live band, barbecue, and beer garden! FREE!
Portland Harbor Superfund Field Day at Cathedral Park. July 8, 11 am to 3 pm. Learn about river clean-up; fun activities; free jet boat rides (space-limited, come early to sign up)!

West Hayden Island Draft Plan Open House, July 17. Learn about the draft plan; talk with City staff and community members about community benefits, natural resources, transportation, and technical studies.
__________________________       Maritime Heritage Festival logo
Maritime Heritage Festival, July 13-15. St. Helens' Public Docks. The Maritime Heritage Festival celebrates the region's maritime and native history and activities, and its many stories. 
Vintage boats, WWII vessels, Native American and maritime exhibits, boat building, regatta, children's activities, music, water skiing show, and more. 
River in Focus--RIVER RAMBLE: July 24, Noon to 1 pm. Join historian Chet Orloff for a waterfront stroll from Ankeny Plaza to Salmon Springs fountain. Learn about how the Willamette and Portland have shaped each other. 
Columbia Slough Regatta. July 29, 9am to 1pm. St Johns Canoe Launch, 9363 N Columbia Blvd. Join the Columbia Slough Watershed Council's annual celebration of the Columbia Slough with a huge on-the-water festival
swan island esplanade 
Recess on the Intertwine-Call for Adventures. June 20th - August 30th. "The Intertwine Alliance in partnership with KEEN Footwear is hosting Recess on The Intertwine this summer. Your mission: ... get outside, have a grand time exploring The Intertwine, and share your adventure with the community for a chance to win a colorful new pair of kicks.."  (The Intertwine is the amazing network of parks, trails and natural areas in the Portland-Vancouver area.)

SummerSummer 2012 on the River!
Click here for a Rivers Office listing of some of the great events
that will get you out or along our rivers this Summer.

news from neighborhood2Neighborhood

Portland Harbor aerial 

New study shows Portland Harbor Superfund clean-up will support the local economy. "The City of Portland has released a new study that analyzes the economic impacts of cleaning up the Portland Harbor Superfund site. It finds that clean-up will inject new spending into Portland's regional economy and support jobs. According to the study ... for every dollar spent on cleanup, more than a dollar in additional spending will be generated in the Portland economy...." Commissioner Amanda Fritz news release, June 28, 2012

Harbor cleanup stirs possibilities for all. Portland Tribune, June 13   


trustee council logoPortland Harbor Natural Resource Trustee Council starts newsletter--seeks input on restoration plan. The Council is responsible for restoring natural resources impacted by contamination in the Portland Harbor Superfund site. The quarterly newsletter features information about restoration planning efforts, updates on work to assess the impacts of Superfund site pollution, and articles about plants and animals important to the Lower Willamette River ecosystem. The current issue invites comment on a draft restoration plan that outlines restoration options and guides how specific restoration projects will be chosen. To sign up for the newsletter, click here. 


Preliminary Draft Plan for West Hayden Island Released. City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, June 18


 West Hayden Island Open House and Complete Preliminary Draft. City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, June 21


West Hayden Island planning draws concerns. OregonLive.com, June 21  

gibbs ped bridge 

Gibbs Street Pedestrian Bridge to Open. The Portland Bureau of Transportation expects the Grand Opening of the Gibbs Street Bridge to take place in July or August ... The bridge... will provide safe and convenient access between these neighborhood and the Willamette River and the South Waterfront District. Portland Bureau of Transportation  

University of Portland will expand toward the river under proposed plan. "A proposed new master plan, presented to University Park neighbors Monday, will allow the University of Portland to develop 35 acres it purchased in 2008 on a Superfund site -- and eventually buy 45 more." OregonLive.com, June 21

luna the lampreyLuna the Lamprey to tweet in effort to save fish. "A steady decline in the number of lampreys along the Pacific Coast prompted representatives of the service to create a fictional character named Luna the Lamprey and open a Twitter account and Facebook page, where first-person accounts of Luna's migration from the Pacific Ocean to her spawning grounds are being posted." SFGate, June 24   


Videos: How Lamprey Get Over Bonneville Dam. OPB Ecotrope, June 21

 Sockeye Run Sets An All-Time Record. "The daily sockeye count at Bonneville Dam hit an all-time high of 38,756 fish on Monday. ... most ... fish are on their way to Canada's Okanagan Basin and have likely benefitted from habitat improvement, water flows and hatchery programs in the upper Columbia River basin." OPB Ecotrope, June 26   


Columbia River sockeye return is upgraded to 540,000 fish. Seattle Times, June 28 

Plan created to spur development in Lloyd District "... the plan proposes to expand the district's dense zoning to North Broadway, near the bridgehead, and to other major sites nearby, like the riverfront and the Blanchard Education Service Center site."  DJCOregon.com, June 27


morrison bridgeDeal reached for public market at Morrison bridgehead. "... the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners agreed unanimously to adopt a disposition and development agreement with Melvin Mark Development Co. to develop the 3.12-acre site at the west Morrison bridgehead. The DDA, a year in the making, authorizes the sale of the Multnomah County surplus land to Melvin Mark for $10.43 million. The company plans to build a 17-story office tower and a 55,000-square-foot public market at the site." DJCOregon.com, June 15   (Photo: Chris Daniels, flickr commons) 

Gregoire, kids, dignitaries celebrate new Vancouver waterfront access. "Gov. Chris Gregoire on Thursday helped the Vancouver community celebrate a critical breakthrough, literally, in the city's waterfront access project: Constructions crews recently punched through the railroad berm that's blocked access to the waterfront for more than a century.In the coming years, the 35-acre waterfront area located just west of Interstate 5 will be transformed into a "world-class destination," as Gregoire put it, boasting an 8-acre public park, new roads and railroad infrastructure, retailers, restaurants, office space and condos. The land was formerly an industrial site owned by Boise Cascade."  The Columbian, June 21  

vancouver waterfront 2 

River Stories: Paddlers. Stephanie Sherwood, co-founder of Bridge City Paddling Club and founding member of Stumptown Social Club, talks about Portland's growing paddling community and her relationship with the Willamette River.  Portland Harbor Partnership, YouTube, June 27 

UpriverUpriver tidings

Corps may give up Willamette Locks. "A large, multijurisdictional meeting last week launched new partnerships to usurp the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' control over the shuttered Willamette Falls Locks between Oregon City and West Linn."  West Linn Tidings, June 27

Testing the waters--Corvallis weighs a $14 million project aimed at lowering temperature impacts on the Willamette. "Corvallis is considering an elaborate... solution that involves pumping effluent under the river for cooling in an artificial wetland."  Albany Democrat-Herald, June 25

swan island esplanade 

Corps focused on improving dams for fish. "Fish in the Willamette River Basin are dying and biologists aren't exactly sure why. A big problem is something called pre-spawn mortality. ... Now, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is in the midst of a series of expensive and complicated construction projects to fix the problem."  DJCOregon.com, June 21   (Photo: US Army Corps of Engineers) 

bonneville damColumbia River treaty meetings kick off in PNW. "Starting this week Northwest water users can learn about the future of the Columbia River Treaty between the United States and Canada and offer their opinions about it." Capital Press, June 25   

(Photo: US Army Corps of Engineers) 


App tracks pollution for Columbia River users. "A new smartphone app finds the closest, cleanest place to take a dip in the Columbia River. Columbia Riverkeeper launched the app called Swim Guide." NWCN.com, June 27    


Cable park plan could make waves in Hood River. "The first water-sports "cable park" west of Texas may soon be built in Hood River, according to the Portland-based developers who are hoping to build the $1 million attraction as part of a larger, waterfront development." DJCOregon.com, June 27  (Subscription required for full article) 

marmot damUSGS Report Documents How Sandy River Responded To Sediment Release After Marmot Dam Removal. "A new ... U.S. Geological Survey report describes how the Sandy ... responded to the release of sediment [following the removal of Marmot Dam in 2007]. It documents the rapid and dramatic changes in channel form, profile, and sediment transport close to the dam site."  Columbia Basin Bulletin, June 15 


Fun / Of Note    

chinook fishermen portland 


Joy of Fishing: City Salmon.  A gorgeously-shot episode (first aired in December 2011) that celebrates the uniqueness and beauty of Portland's spring Chinook sport fishery-complete with recipes for cedar-planked salmon.  (Photo: Oregon Dept. Fish & Wildlife)  

Replacing Toxic Products With Green Chemistry. "Speakers in Portland at Friday's Green Chemistry Symposium agreed that banning toxic chemicals one by one is not the best way to promote green chemistry." OPB Ecotrope, June 18


Oregon Drug Take-Back nets over 4 tons. "Some good news to share. As you are aware, properly removing unused medicines from the home helps protect the environment and our communities by keeping them out of our drinking water supply and reducing accidental poisoning and prescription drug abuse. ... There are now 46 permanent collection boxes at locations across Oregon. More are added every month. ... At the last DEA national take-back event (April 28, 2012), ...in Oregon, 60 participating law enforcement agencies netted 8,117 pounds (4.1 tons) that day. ... The next national collection event will be held Saturday, September 29, 2012, from 10 am to 2 pm." Oregon Healthy Authority, Drinking Water Program, email June 25

City of Boise Opens New Whitewater River Park. "With the first phase of the Boise River Park completed, there are a lot of big smiles among whitewater boaters. ... After more than a decade of wishing, talking, planning and - finally - construction, the new park is being officially dedicated on Thursday, June 28."  Idaho Statesman, June 28


lidar map 

Lidar map shows path of Missoula floods that shaped Oregon's backyards. "During the last ice age some 15,000 years ago, giant Lake Missoula in western Montana burst through an ice dam, sending a torrent of water that tossed boulders and ripped off cliff faces down the Columbia River and the Willamette Valley. ... A new map by the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries provides a stunning look at how the water shaped the landscape in much finer detail than ever before."  OregonLive.com, June 21




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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.