About 130 canoeists and kayakers embarked on 5-day trip down the Willamette River this Monday morning. The 16th annual Paddle Oregon started at Marshall Island in Eugene. It’s an 85 mile journey to the outskirts of Portland.
Willamette Riverkeeper Travis Williams says the trip offers a chance to get to know the river better.
Williams: “There’s so many wonderful natural areas. There’s a ton of wildlife. Really nice canoeing and kayaking opportunities throughout the whole extent of the river and so we’re showing people that quite literally. And this year, of course, we’re celebrating the 50th anniversary of Bob Straub’s proposal for a Willamette River Greenway system.”
Bob Straub pitched the greenway between Eugene and Portland when he was running in 1966 for Oregon governor as a Democrat. He lost to Republican Tom McCall, who helped create a modified greenway system. Straub was elected governor in 1974.