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

September 7, 2012 
Photo: Lisa Lynch, Willamette Riverkeeper ecoli sampling volunteer
as found on WRK's Facebook page
Events, Trips, and Other River Happenings       

Hot Fish and Cold BeerSeptember 11, 6-8pm, 4th Street Brewing , 77 NE 4th Street, Gresham, OR 97030. A discussion of stream temperature impacts to native fish.  RSVP to amy@jcwc; 503-652-7477.    


North Portland Greenway Trail Open House. September 12, 6:30 to 8:30 pm. University of Portland, Chiles Center, 5000 N. Willamette Blvd. Light refreshments provided. Parking available on N. Portsmouth and on the campus.


Sturgeon Festival. September 15, 10 am - 2 pm, Water Center, 4600 SE Columbia Way, Vancouver. "Every year the Water Resources Education Center recognizes sturgeon and Columbia River ecosystems. This free, family event offers opportunities for the entire family to learn about fish and other animals in and around the Columbia River."


Aquifer Adventure: a pirate-themed groundwater treasure hunt! September 15th, Noon - 4 pm. NE 166th at Airport Way, Portland. Enjoy a family festival all about groundwater! Play fun games and go on a canoe ride in search of hidden treasure - not gold, but groundwater! Come dressed in yer finest pirate togs, or else the Cap'n might make ye walk the plank. Free prizes and t-shirts for kids. More info at www.columbiaslough.org or 503-281-1132. 



blue heron Crystal Springs-- community connections for restoration. September 18 River Brownbag, Noon-1 pm, Portland Building Auditorium, 1120 SW Fifth. Staff from Portland's Environmental Services will describe how the City and its many partners are re-conditioning one of Portland's smaller, but critical, natural treasures-Crystal Springs Creek.


Ecoroof Bike Tour. September 19th, 6-8pm. Enjoy a tour of 6-8 ecoroof projects, starting downtown and moving through Portland State University, across the river to the Central Eastside, ending in Southeast. The ride's about 5 miles long and is free and open to everyone.


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


Fifth Annual RiverFest Celebration Has Events for Everyone! September 21 - 23. "From the Triathlon to kayak tours and from the signature River Fair to SOLVE's RiverFest cleanup,...RiverFest 2012 has something for everyone. ... ...learn about important ecosystems and water health, promote economic activity on the river and enjoy the community with fun, family-friendly activities which are particularly highlighted at the River Fair on Sunday, September 23." RiverFest press release, undated.   


SOLVE Beach and Riverside Cleanup. September 22, 10 am - 1pm. Pick up trash and enhance watershed health at over 100 sites across Oregon--including lots in the Portland area--before fall rains wash litter downstream into storm drains, wateways and out to sea!


Stream Steward Workshops. September 22 - November 3 (applications due September 15). Stream Stewards is a free learn-n-serve program of Clark Public Utilities' StreamTeam. Enjoy 45 hours of hands-on (and free!) workshops on hydrology, geology, birds, mammals, water quality, restoration, and more. Stewards pay back their tuition through 45 hours of volunteer time with the StreamTeam or one of our partners. For more info, contact Ashley King 360-992-8585 or visit www.StreamTeam.net


 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. 


World Rivers Day, September 30th. "World Rivers Day is a global celebration of the world's waterways [that] highlights the many values of rivers and strives to increase public awareness while encouraging the improved stewardship of rivers around the world."  


Great Willamette Cleanup. October 6. This is a river-wide paddling and land based cleanup effort hosted by Willamette Riverkeeper.  ...  many registered sites will have canoes and kayaks available for volunteers to reserve, and nearly all sites will accomodate volunteers with their own canoe, kayak, etc. Volunteers will receive a ... t-shirt ..., and, in most locations, will also enjoy a post-cleanup lunch-celebration. Registration goes live on Monday, September 10. For more info, contact  staj@welovecleanrivers.org.



Willamette Falls Festival. October 12-14. Activities will highlight the area's heritage, arts and culture, as well as its natural wonders and outdoor activities. And, of course, it will feature activities that celebrate the Arch Bridge Reopening.  




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Willamette Futures--Help Finish the Film! Jeremy Monroe reports the long-awaited film on the future of the Willamette River is in the final stages of production. A final round of funding through individual donations is needed to complete the film. Each donation will be matched by an anonymous local donor toward the goal of raising $15,000. This fundraising campaign is fast-paced and runs only through September 29. To find out more about the project and to donate, click here.


Willamette Falls Locks Comments Invited: "After the ... Locks closed in November 2011, the National Trust for Historic Preservation joined forces with One Willamette River Coalition and Willamette Falls Heritage Foundation ... to keep this early navigational site repaired and operational ... for commerce, recreation and tourism.  ... Staff for Congressman Schrader, Senator Wyden, Senator Merkley and Congressman Blumenauer ... have asked for local stakeholders and constituents to articulate why the locks are needed." A portfolio of comments is being compiled hereThe public is invited to comment on how to use the Locks for commerce, recreation or tourism; potential future uses; days and hours the Locks should operate; and more. National Trust for Historic Preservation Willamette Falls Navigation Canal and Locks blog, August 13 and 30


Honoring Our Rivers now accepting entries for 2013. Honoring Our Rivers is a student anthology that engages the creative capacities of Oregon residents to promote respect for the Watersheds of Oregon. Any student, kindergarten through college, may submit their work. Teachers are encouraged to involve students in contributing to this unique publication. All students are recognized for their participation and those selected will have their work appear alongside some of Oregon's best-known authors. Submission due January 31, 2013.



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news from neighborhood2Neighborhood

Portland Central Plan: Take me to the river. "Yet, Portland businesses working with central district planners say it's time for the city to, as [Al] Green (and Talking Heads, for that matter) implored, go to the river. As subscribers to the Business Journal can read in the current edition [full article for subscribers], business leaders are praising new proposals that would encourage Portland to use the Willamette River as a planning nexus over the next 23 years." Portland Business Journal, August 31  [Click here for more information on Portland's Central City 2035 Plan.]

Photo: Bureau of Planning & Sustainability.


Time to do what is right for the Willamette. My View--Portland Harbors Superfund cleanup demands action, commitment. Portland Tribune, August 29


Four citations issued in Operation Make Way. "The Coast Guard, Clark County Sheriff's Department and Columbia County Sheriff's Office worked together to ensure the waterways along the Columbia and Willamette rivers were safe for transiting deep draft vessels and to educate boaters about the dangers of impeding vessel traffic." St. Helens Chronicle, August 28


Swimmer with multiple sclerosis crosses Columbia--Covers 1.1 miles despite disease that affects muscles, mobility. "...the 57-year-old swam 1.1 miles across the Columbia River in 50 minutes Monday as part of the 70th annual Roy Webster Cross-Channel Swim, held by the Hood River County Chamber of Commerce." The Columbian, September 3  


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UpriverUpriver tidings

Water fight over mills' discharges. "An environmental watchdog group is threatening to sue the operators of a Linn County pulp and paper mill for creating a smelly, unsightly - and possibly toxic - waste plume in the Willamette River." Corvallis Gazette-Times, August 25

GUEST VIEWPOINT: Willamette Water Trail offers uncommon sights. Eugene Register-Guard, September 6


Paddlers Embrace "River Time" on the Willamette. Snowshoe Magazine blog, August 30


Great Willamette River Raft Race. "While everyone's time was recorded when they put their "craft" in the water in Independence's Riverview Park, there wasn't much racing going on. Every safe flotation device was accepted, and I enjoyed seeing the various kinds of kayaks, homemade rafts and float tubes." StatesmanJournal.com, August 26


Proposed Salem bridge would force business, homes to move. KATU.com, August 29


Corps Moves Forward On New Facilities In Willamette Basin To Collect, Transport Wild Fish Above Dams. "The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Portland District will soon start a major construction project at Foster Dam near Sweet Home, Ore., to upgrade parts of the dam's existing adult fish collection facility, which will be a next step in an ongoing process to resurrect salmon populations long cut off from the Willamette River headwaters." Columbia Basin Bulletin, August 24


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Fun / Of Note    


Habitat restoration creates jobs, boosts local economies. "New Ecotrust report says restoration created 6,483 jobs in Oregon, generated $977.5 million in economic activity from 2001-2010. ... Restoring watersheds is a starting point for a different kind of economic prosperity, one in which society recognizes that the wellbeing of our communities is inextricably tied to the welfare of our rivers and wild salmon" Ecotrust media release, August 23


A Look Back in Honor of National Water Quality Month. "I've never known a time without a Clean Water Act in the United States. This became particularly clear to me after watching footage from Oregon State University's archives of the Willamette River in the 1930s and 1940. While I've seen water pollution and spend a lot of my time working on less visible forms of water pollution (like stormwater runoff), it still shocked me how visibly polluted the Willamette was not that long ago." American Rivers, August 27


Silicone Shows Promise For Mitigating Invasive Mussels At Hydro Facilities. "The Bureau of Reclamation has found that silicone foul release coatings may be an important tool for mitigating invasive quagga and zebra mussels' impacts to water and hydropower infrastructure. ... "The silicone foul release coatings were found to reduce the rate of mussel settlement, and any attached mussels were easy to remove," said [Allen D. Skaja of Reclamation's Technical Service Center]. "In many cases, it was found water flowing at 0.1 feet per second provided sufficient force to remove mussel colonies." Columbia Basin Bulletin, August 24


Best Places to Go Boating on New York's Waterways. "Although New York City is surrounded by water, finding place to actually get out on it is not easy. But, as the city's water quality has improved over the past decade and the Bloomberg administration pushes to transform formerly industrial pockets of waterfront to parkland, boat access to the city's rivers is improving." DNAinfo.com New York, August 3


The Great U.S. Drought of 2012-animated map on YouTube. Drought Monitor Website, August 25

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.