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

August 10, 2012
marquam beach
Big Float Photo: Rivers Office, Kevin Kilduff 
Events, Trips, and Other River Happenings       

Providence Bridge Pedal. August 12. Bikes, bridges and a bonus event are in store for the 17th annual Providence Bridge Pedal and Stride. Since 1996, this is the only opportunity each year to enjoy the Willamette River bridges - including the top decks of the Fremont and Marquam bridges - from the best possible vantage point: the seat of a bicycle.  

Bridge Pedal to close all 10 Willamette River bridges to traffic. "The 17th annual event begins Sunday, Aug 12 at 6:30 a.m. on the Morrison Bridge. Cyclists will continue onto the Sellwood, Hawthorne, Ross Island, Marquam, Burnside, Broadway, Steel, St. Johns, and Fremont bridges" KPTV.com, August 8


seaport celebrationSeaport Celebration. August 18, 10 am to 4 pm. Terminal 4. Learn about Portland's working waterfront on a fun-filled Saturday! Enjoy live music and entertainment, interactive displays and demonstrations, face painting, a photo booth with costumes, plus free giveaways and prizes! Free admission and parking!


unrock the bowlUnRock the Bowl. August 25, 9 am to 2 pm. "Rip-rap rocks installed in the 1980's have migrated to the water's edge. We will simply pick these rocks up and put them back on the bank. There are rocks for all ages and sizes, little kid rocks, big boy rocks and everything in between. Under every rock at the waters edge there is sand underneath. At the end of the day, Portland will have a new beach downtown. This will be hard but rewarding work. Drinks and snacks provided. Bring your friends and join the work party!"



Johnson Creek Clean-Up. August 25. Clean-up: 8:45am-Noon; BBQ: Noon-2pm. Fifteen volunteer-led teams will march out to remove harmful trash and debris from key sections of Johnson Creek.  


2nd Annual Industry&Art: Celebrating the Worker. September 20-23. Vigor Industrial Shipyard on Swan Island. "Using paint, pen and pencil, film, steel and even found objects, this fall more than 30 artists from around the Pacific Northwest will offer the public a glimpse into the dynamic, seldom-seen world of Portland's working waterfront community, its industries and extraordinary tradespeople."  


McCarthy Creek Clean-up. September 22, 9:30 am to 1:00 pm. Join West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District in helping clean up and restore McCarthy Creek, as part of the statewide SOLVE Beach & Riverside Cleanup Day.


RiverFest. September 23, Cathedral Park. A family-friendly chance to come down by the riverside, get out on the water, enjoy live music, learn first-hand about the river's history and environment, clean-up the riverbank, and view river spectacles.


row for cure  

Portland Row for the Cure. September 30. The 19th Annual Row for the Cure is the rowing and water-sports community's crusade against breast cancer, having raised over $1.1 million to benefit local affiliates of Komen for the Cure. The Willamette River course takes participants down river through the heart of Portland, beginning and ending at the Hawthorne Bridge. Registration opens August 19th. Go to


Go to top of News

news from neighborhood2Neighborhood

The Big Float-Oregonian photo essay.
OregonLive.com, July 30


The Big Float-Oregonian video. OregonLive.com, July 29


 Commissioner Fritz' blog on The Big Float.  


Portland's 2nd Annual "Big Float" Boasts a Big Turnout. WillametteWeek.com, July 30


What if Portland Had a Beach Downtown?
Portland Mercury, July 30


Photo: Rivers Office, Kevin Kilduff 

Multnomah County's aging downtown bridges expected to need work for years to come. OregonLive.com, July 31


Bridging the Gap--Why Has Replacing the Sellwood Bridge Taken So Damn Long?
"... a big part of the problem, says local bridge historian and author Sharon Wortman, is that the county shouldn't be in charge of the Willamette River bridges at all. 'What it comes down to is that these bridges are owned by the wrong agency,' says Wortman. 'It shouldn't be only the county's responsibility. It's like the county is a parent with sole custody of the bridge and no one else is making their support payments.' ... In an ideal situation, Wortman says, Portland would have a organization similar to San Francisco's Golden Gate Transportation District, a transit authority independent of the local governments and solely committed to the bridge issues." Portland Mercury, August 9


City prepares to begin construction of Fire Station 21. "A new 7,500-square-foot fire station is planned near the Hawthorne Bridge, on the east bank of the Willamette River. City staffers are hoping that construction will begin this fall." DJCOregon.com, August 6


St. Johns community celebrates new green space. KGW.com, July 28  

depave baltimore woods

Photo: Rivers Office, Kevin Kilduff


SMILE, Portland Parks, & local sponsors again bring music to Riverfront Park.
The Bee, July 31

UpriverUpriver tidings

The Willamette River--finalist in Theis River Prize. "The Thiess International Riverprize finalists are the Willamette River (USA), Prespa Lakes (Greece), Okavango River (Angola, Namibia and Botswana) and the Nushagak River (USA). International RiverFoundation awards the Thiess International Riverprize [which] is the world's most prestigious environmental award, giving recognition, reward and support to those who have developed and implemented outstanding, visionary and sustainable programs in river management." [Ed. Note: The application was submitted by Meyer Memorial Trust's Willamette River Initiative in partnership with the University of Oregon, Oregon State University, the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board, and the Bonneville Environmental Foundation.] International RiverFoundation, August 2 



swan island esplanade 


Willamette River, Tillamook County celebrate national trail status. "Interior Secretary Ken Salazar has added the Willamette to a program he created, making it a national water trail. ... [Designation] will bring more recognition and perhaps funding to the trails." OregonLive.com, August 9    



 Paddle Launch at Dundee by Chehalem parks district opens Willamette River to canoeists/kayakers. "The launch is in a slow-moving channel of the Willamette. ... Remnants of wing dams keep powerboats out of the slow channel. Rental fees range from $20 for two hours to $40 for eight hours. ... Shuttles can also be arranged for one-way trips from Dayton (upriver) or to Champoeg State Heritage Area (downriver). " OregonLive.com, July 28


This angler pedals to METALHEADS--Eugene-Springfield bike paths provide access to summer steelhead fishing. registerguard.com, July 31


Monmouth scouts paddle canoes from Oregon City to Astoria. StatesmanJournal.com, August 8


Willamette Pollution Could Prompt Legal Action. "Willamette Riverkeeper is threatening to sue two pulp mills in the Willamette Valley for allegedly violating the Clean Water Act. Three times in the past three weeks paddlers have found a large pool of brown water in the Willamette River. It's always at the same spot near Halsey south of Corvallis." OPB EarthFix, August 9


Eugene city councilor proposes EWEB's riverfront headquarters as new City Hall.

" 'What better place for the community to come together, at a City Hall on the river that we all share.' [said Councilor Mike Clark]" registerguard.com, August 6


Salem waits for demolition to finish on highly visible site. "Pringle Creek runs through the property. Mountain West's proposed Pringle Square would boast views of the creek, the Willamette River, Minto-Brown Island and Riverfront Park."
DJCOregon.com, August 9


Columbia and Snake River Cruise of the Pacific Northwest-Following the Path of Lewis and Clark. About.com Guide, August 6



Fun / Of Note    

Oregon Farmers Go Beyond The Clean Water Act. OPB Ecotrope, July 30    


Northwest Environmental Advocates demands tighter Oregon rules on pesticide water pollution. "The petition to the Environmental Quality Commission asks for tighter restrictions on pesticide use, particularly from farms and forests, including increased buffer zones and restrictions on pesticide use." OregonLive.com, August 9


Rep. Earl Blumenauer Introduces the Water Protection and Reinvestment Act-Would Provide Desperately Needed Investment in America's Clean Water Infrastructure. Office of Rep. Blumenauer media release, August 1


West's 2000-2004 Drought Worst In 800 Years, Models Point to 21st Century "Mega-Drought". "The chronic drought that hit western North America from 2000 to 2004 left dying forests and depleted river basins in its wake and was the strongest in 800 years, scientists have concluded, but they say those conditions will become the "new normal" for most of the coming century." Columbia Basin Bulletin, August 3


Along the L.A. River, new signs of life in an industrial wasteland. grist.com, August 2 [Ed. Note: last in 4-part series, links to other 3 embedded in article.]


 Oregon on the defensive against invasive quagga mussels. OregonLive.com, July 26


Invasive species could be transmitted by school teachers releasing critters into wild. "Typically, students raise live crawfish in aquariums for months to learn about their life cycle. But as the school year ends, the crustaceans have to go somewhere. Why not, someone figured, the nearby river? It's another reminder of how easily a species can establish itself when it's transplanted into a new area." OregonLive.com, August 8


rusty's revenge
Rusty crawfish do not belong here.
(background: Kevin Kilduff;
crawfish:Jeff Gunderson, Minnesota Sea Grant)

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.