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State officials are testing water from a stretch of the Willamette River near downtown Portland. The tests come after a trail of scum appeared in the river between Ross Island and the Fremont Bridge.
State public health officials on Tuesday issued a warning about the water of the Willamette River.
The Oregon Health Authority says it's now safe to go in the Willamette River near Portland. It's living a toxic algae warning that's been in place since mid-September.
local | Recreation | NewsJuly 24, 2015 7:45 p.m.
The Big Float on the Willamette River is this weekend and swimmers don't need to worry about toxic algae.
The Bonneville Power Administration and Nature Conservancy announced a major land purchase Tuesday in the southern Willamette Valley.
The Portland Harbor was declared a Superfund site in 2000, and some clean up has taken place, but most awaits the final EPA decision, expected in the spring.
One hundred fifty kayakers and canoeists are setting out on the Willamette River Monday. Over the next five days, the group will travel more than a 100 miles as part of the 13th annual Paddle Oregon.
PORTLAND -- The Zidell Waterfront hazardous cleanup project should be complete by the end of October. That's the deadline for finishing in-water remediation because after that time, endangered salmon and steelhead trout become more plentiful in the Willamette River.
The Willamette River looked much different 160 years ago. According to historical mapping (pdf) conducted by Stan Gregory, a researcher at Oregon State, and others, there used to be more islands, more side channels and a more consistent connection between the river and its floodplain. But that "wildness" was largely contained to allow farmers to grow crops closer to the river without fear of flooding. River traffic benefited, too. Travis Williams, the executive director of Willamette Riverkeeper, thinks the Willamette River has become too straight and too simple. He says that it's time to reconnect the Willamette River with its traditional floodplain. According to Williams, changes would benefit sensitive species by increasing habitat. He says that people can benefit from the changes, too. That's because increasing the ground area available to a river can mitigate the effects of extreme flooding. But some farmers with frontage on the Willamette don't like the idea of retangling the river. Randy Henderson, the owner of Thistledown Farm, says that this will result in lost farmland. And with increasing pressure on farms to give way to development, it's a sensitive subject.
The Willamette River's Superfund site has had a long and contentious history ever since it was designated as a federally-mandated clean-up site back in 2000. Now the Lower Willamette Group has released a feasibility study, which it says has taken many years and $96 million to conduct. The Environmental Protection Agency will look at the various options and recommend a plan over the coming years. The costliest and longest option would be $1.7 billion and take 28 years to complete. We'll find out what happens next, and who decides.
Since 1995, Jonnel Covault has documented the iconic river through her linocut prints, exploring the Willamette’s bridges, tree-lined banks and rushing water.
local | News | Think Out LoudJune 29, 2017 4:13 p.m.
Oil train oversight continues to elude Oregon legislators. With minimum wage set to increase in Oregon, we consider the impact of Seattle's wage hike. Also, the Willamette River Greenways program turns 50.
local | Environment | News | Think Out LoudJune 15, 2016 3:39 p.m.
We learn about the Environmental Protection Agency’s draft clean-up plan for the Willamette River Superfund site. And we take you on a radio road trip down route 395 from Pendleton to John Day.
Sea Lion Study; Elk Rock in Willamette River; Sewage Ponds of Portland