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Paddle Oregon River Trip Focuses On Willamette River's Health, History


About 200 canoeists and kayakers are floating the Willamette River Monday to learn about its history, ecology, and some of the issues that affect water quality.

The 14th annual "Paddle Oregon" trip starts in Corvallis and concludes Friday in Canby. Participants camp at a variety of parks, and private farms along the way and dine on local foods. Travis Williams is the Executive Director for the environmental group Willamette Riverkeeper. He says this year for the first two days they will be joined by the Grande Ronde Tribes Canoe Family.

Williams: "To see these folks on the water and how fast they can make those boats go is just incredible. And they really add an interesting perspective for us and for all the participants on Paddle Oregon. They are also going to in-part some elements of their tribal history and culture during the trip especially Monday night in Albany at Bryant Park."

Williams says there will be a focus on the relationship between wastewater treatment plants and the River. They will also examine the history of seasonal flooding, something that has largely disappeared due to human alterations.

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