Willamette River Advocates To Tour River, Assess Health

Apr 10, 2014

A small group of volunteers are touring the Willamette River this weekend to highlight work that needs to be done to improve its health.

River pollution in the Willamette in 2001
Credit willamette.edu

The Willamette River Blitz starts Friday in Eugene at Whitley Landing. Volunteers will paddle down the river stopping in Corvallis and Salem and ending in Portland Monday. Travis Williams is the Executive Director for the environmental group “Willamette Riverkeeper.” He says the purpose of the trip is to focus on needed improvements and to monitor habitat restoration.

Williams: “We need to continue to invest in researching issues like water quality and looking at persistent contaminants both in the river sediments and the river column. And if you look at the 12,000 square miles of the Willamette Basin and all of that surface runoff that makes it to your local creek and the Long Tom and then eventually to the Willamette, we need to continue efforts to abate that kind of flow.”

Williams says the data and pictures collected will be presented to government agencies and private residents. He says they will focus on improving fish passage, curbing storm water runoff, and recording overall water quality.

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