Columbia Slough Watershed Council

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2015 Leadership Award Winners

Congratulations to the Slough Celebration Leadership Award Recipients

Leadership Awards recognize extraordinary and long-term individual commitments to the watershed. Recipients are honored at our annual Slough Celebration event and we create a humorous video that gives a glimpse of the award winner’s achievements and why they received the honor.  This year’s Leadership Award recipients are:

Shannah Anderson, City of Portland – Bureau of Environmental Services


Preserved 150 acres of habitat in the Columbia Slough Watershed and 460 acres city-wide by acquiring lands with significant natural resource values.  Her most notable acquisitions in the watershed are Wilkes Creek Headwaters, Colwood, Flyway Wetlands, and Catkin Marsh.




Meei Lum,Leatherman Tool Group


As a dedicated volunteer and committed Council member, Meei Lum has shown outstanding support in the Council’s programs, events, racial equity work, and community.  In 2015, she secured funds for the Council to acquire new PFDs (personal floating device) and participate in numerous events and festivals; increasing and improving the reach of the Council’s work throughout the community.

 

 




We honor each award winner at our Slough Celebration Gala with a humorous video skit.  Join us to celebrate and learn more about Shannah and Meei’s great work!

View our past award winners here.

Slough Celebration Past Award Winners

2014 Award Winners

• Randy Belston-City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services
• Don Goldberg and the Colwood Property Project-Trust for Public Land
• Mason Flats Stormwater-Wetland Restoration Project

2013 Award Winners

• Corky Collier-Columbia Corridor Association
• Jeff Locke-Friends of Smith and Bybee
• Recology-Stormwater Treatment Facility
• Jeremy Aasum-Graphic Designer-website

2012 Award Winners

• Rex Burkholder, Metro Councilor
• Toby Query, City of Portland-Ecologist
• City of Gresham-Columbia Slough Water Quality Facility
• Elena Mark-Portland Public Schools
• Port of Portland-PDX Deicing System
• Katy Weil-Metro-Smith and Bybee

2011 Award Winners

• Megan Hanson, City of Portland, Clean Rivers Education
• Verde
• David Kennedy, Architect
• Natural Area Land Acquisition-Shannah Anderson, Deb Lev, Leif Anderson, & Hillary Wilton
• Jamie Stamberger, City of Gresham

2010 Award Winners

• Rebecca Geisen, Portland Water Bureau
• City of Portland Terrestrial Ecology and Enhancement Strategy
• Sue Bielke- Turtle Research and Conservation
• Bruce Gilles-DEQ Settlement Process
• ODFW & BES- Lower Columbia Slough Fish Study

2009 Award Winners

• Aloft Portland Airport at Cascade Station
• Ken Finney, BES
• Wildlife Studies: Katie Holzer, David Kennedy, Julian Lawrence
• Lee Dayfield, Nadaka Park

2008 Award Winners

• James Davis, Metro, Environmental Education
• Portland International Airport Wildlife Hazard Management Program, Innovative Wildlife Management
• Fairview Creek Water Quality Facility, City of Gresham, Floodplain Restoration
• Harbor Oil Superfund Community Advisory Group
• Keelin Sanger, Reynolds Middle School

2007 Award Winners

• Erwin Bergman, Neighborhood Advocate
• Richard and Gyrid Towle, Columbia Children’s Arboretum
• City of Gresham-Keri Handaly & Kris Rein, Fairview Creek Burnside to Stark Restoration Project
• Rose Sandy & Jeff Walker, Multnomah Youth Cooperative
• Ken Barker & Jerry Lanz, Northwest Discoveries
• New Columbia-Housing Authority of Portland, Steve Fancher, & KPFF Consulting Engineers

2006 Award Winners

• Lynn Barlow, Watershed Revegetation Program
• Gregg Everhart, Trails Planning and Development
• Chris Scarzello, Environmental Code Improvement Process
• Ducks Unlimited, Fish Monitoring Program, Cyndi Baker
• Measure 26-80-Campaign for Natural Areas, Parks and Streams
• The Boeing Company, Land Donation

2005 Award Winners

• Jeff Adams, Aquatic Programs Director, Xerces Society
• Al Smith, Chair, Pacific Northwest Freshwater Mussel Workgroup
• Ry Thompson, Environmental Planner, City of Portland
• Bob Dolphin, Treasurer, Columbia Slough Watershed Council
• Linda Robinson, Neighborhood Advocate
• Bob Sallinger, Conservation Director, Audubon Portland

2004 Award Winners

• Nancy Hendrickson, Watershed Manager, City of Portland
• Matt Moule, Science Teacher, Whitaker Middle School
• Jay Mower, Urban Watershed Advocate
• Denise Rennis, Natural Resources Project Mgr, Port of Portland
• Amanda Briles, Eyes on the Slough Volunteer
• Florence & Ron Bunn, Jerome Duletzke, PPR, Bunn Property
• Ducks Unlimited & Jim Morgan, Smith and Bybee Lakes Water Control Structure
• Matt Weatherly, Volunteer Grantwriter

2003 Award Winners

• Kathi Futornick, Columbia Slough Watershed Action Plan
• Dave Masunaga, George Middle School
• Bruce McClelland, Multnomah County Drainage District #1
• Paul Trone, Volunteer, Columbia Slough Watershed Council
• Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office
• Fujitsu Microelectronics, Inc & Microchip Technology Inc.
• Friends of Blue Heron Wetlands
• Urban Forestry Canopy Study, Joe Poracsky & Mike Lackner
• Multnomah County “Big Year” Bird Study, Ian Tomlinson & John Fitchen
• Wellhead Protection Guidelines, Business, Industry & City Working Group

2002 Award Winners

• Dave Hendricks, Operations Manager, MCDD
• Kenton Elementary School Teachers, Susan Price, Kathy Rodgers, Amy Sands, and Andrew Jacquiss
• Friends of Trees, Neighborhood Trees Program
• Dorothy Sperry, Port of Portland
• Alder Creek Kayak & Canoe, Regatta Support
• American Honda Company, Inc.
• Columbia Slough 1135 Ecosystem Restoration Project
• Explorando el Columbia Slough, Fernando Velez

2001 Award Winners

• Donna Hempstead
• Linda Robinson
• David Eatwell
• Open Meadow CRUE Program
• Leslie Winter-Gorsline, City of Portland BES
• Julie Howland, Portland Public Schools
• Port of Portland - Vanport Wetlands Project
• Center for Columbia River History, Community History

2000 Award Winners

• Troy Clark, Friends of Smith & Bybee Lakes
• Jennifer Devlin Educator, City of Portland, BES
• Mike Houck, Audubon Society of Portland
• Anne Nickel, former Executive Director of CCA
• John Bentley, Skyport Properties
• Jane Graybill, Citizen Activist
• Ned Hayes, Donor, Whitaker Ponds Natural Area
• Mike Hess, Teacher at Parkrose High School

1999 Award Winners

• Susan Barthel, City of Portland BES
• Alice Blatt, Citizen Extraordinaire
• George Kral, City of Portland Revegetation Program
• Dennis Sivers, D.W. Sivers Company
• Mary Abrams
• Howard and Carol Brandwein
• MCDD Employees
• Emily Roth
• Doug Saulter, Portsmouth Middle School
• Simpson Timber
• Gail Weatherby, Portsmouth/Gregory Heights Middle Schools
• Marv Welt, Northwest Steelheaders

1998 Award Winners

• Chuck Harrison, The Halton Company
• Steve Cameron, LWO Corporation
• Tim Hayford, MCDD
• Jim Pierce, Atlas Copco Wagner Inc.

2015 Achievement Award Winners

Congratulations to the Slough Celebration Achievement Award Recipients

Achievement Awards recognize extraordinary projects or project-related efforts. Recipients are honored at our annual Slough Celebration event and we create a humorous video that gives a glimpse of the award winner’s achievements and why they received the honor.  This year’s Achievement Award recipients are:

Depave:


With volunteers, Depave improves urban landscapes throughout the region by removing unnecessary and unused pavement and creating numerous green spaces.  Since 2008, Depave has removed over 135,000 square feet of asphalt and diverted 3,155,000 gallons of storm water from storm drains. 



Knife River Corporation - Northwest


Made long-term investment in the treatment system used for cleaning the groundwater pumped from its gravel pit, greatly improving the water quality before it enters Fairview Creek. 





Matthew Todd

Purchased and transformed his property near Buffalo Slough by undertaking important repairs along the bank and planting numerous native species to create riparian habitat.







Nadaka Park and Garden Project

Acquired two acres adjoining a ten acre forest to create a new neighborhood park. The park contains a large community garden, Eco-lawn meadow, rain garden, picnic shelter, lively nature based play area, and restroom.






We honor each award winner at our Slough Celebration Gala with a humorous video skit.  Join us to celebrate and learn more about the award recipient’s great work!

View our past award winners here.

Regatta Wait-List

We are currently sold out of boats to borrow for this event.  We expect to have cancellations and we’ll contact you as soon as we have space for you. Please click below to be added to our wait-list.  Thanks for your interest in Regatta! Check out our other events throughout the year; we hope to see you soon!

Add me to the wait-list to borrow a boat

If you have questions about the process, please contact: events@columbiaslough.org or call 503 281-1132.

 

Equity

Diversity Statement

The Columbia Slough Watershed Council recognizes that human and ecological diversity is a fundamental strength of our community.  We are committed to engage participants, volunteers, staff, partners, and council members who live, work, and play in the watershed. 

Equity Work

“The world around us is changing at all levels— our global atmosphere, the demographics of our country, the demands and uses of freshwater, and the nature of nonprofit organizations are all shifting beneath our feet. To meet the ever-growing needs of our planet, our watersheds’ citizens, the political and regulatory agencies we work with and our organizations’ members, we—watershed protection organizations—must embrace these changes by proactively planning to organize and support a more inclusive and diverse community of conservationists.” Cindy Lowry and Adam Johnston, Alabama Rivers Alliance.

The above quote comes from the most recent issue of River Voices published by the Portland-based River Network. The issue highlights a number of equity initiatives contributing to the national conversation around more inclusive programming in environmental non-profit work.  Watershed Councils around the Portland area and around the nation are realizing the great need to create space for all voices in watershed advocacy and restoration work, particularly those of people of color. As we become more familiar with the state of diversity in environmental organizations, it becomes clear that one of our most pressing needs in future watershed management is the meaningful engagement of watershed residents whose voices are historically and presently underrepresented.

Columbia Slough hopes to contribute to the conversation. This past summer, we wrote about our intention to delve into an organization-wide assessment focused on racial equity and inclusive community engagement. Over an 8-month period, staff members here at the Council actively participated in the drafting of a Racial Equity Action plan based on the findings of our assessment.

Sharing our progress
Columbia Slough shared the first version our Racial Equity Action Plan at the 2016 Gathering for Conservation, a statewide conference that brings together watershed councils, conservation districts and governmental agencies. Representatives from four Portland area watershed councils presented on their organizations’ racial equity and inclusive community engagement work, sharing stories and experiences from the field. It was the first session of its kind hosted at the Conference and was met with enthusiasm by conference organizers.

Give us your feedback

A draft of our Equity Action Plan and its Timeline are available below. Your feedback is important to us! Please use this online form to submit your feedback or contact Executive Director Jane Van Dyke jane.vandyke@columbiaslough.org (503) 281-1132.

 

Resource Description
Equity Action Plan draft, Fall 2015 Take a look at the first draft of our plan for racial equity!
Equity Action Plan Timeline draft, Fall 2015 The timeline outlines our goals for this year and the next fiscal year.
Sponsorship Opportunities

Sponsorship Opportunities

Deepen your impact and become a Council partner through Sponsorship.  The Columbia Slough is a special place to live, work, and play. Ensure that you are promoting a healthy Slough and a vibrant watershed community by sponsoring the Council’s education, recreation, and restoration programs. Learn more about sponsorship opportunities here.

Questions?  Give us a call at: (503) 281-1132 or email jane.vandyke@columbiaslough.org.

Resource Description
2016 Sponsorship Opportunities 2016 Comprehensive Sponsor Packet
2016 Education Sponsorship Opportunities 2016 Education Sponsorship Information
2016 Slough Celebration Sponsorship Opportunities 2016 Slough Celebration Sponsorship Information
2016 Restoration Sponsorship Opportunities 2016 Restoration Sponsorship Information

Slough Stories

2014 was our 20th anniversary year as an organization and there are a thousand stories to tell about the last 20 years.

This video is a compilation of a few of the stories told at the Slough Stories event in November 2014. This is part of an effort to document efforts large and small that have improved the Columbia Slough watershed and raised public awareness of the waterway and the region. Enjoy this trip down memory lane (or should we say a paddle down memory slough).

We want to hear your story! Email your reflections to: info@columbiaslough.org

About the Event

Where and When

Melody Ballroom
615 Southeast Alder Street
Portland, OR 97214

Friday, February 5, 2016 from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM

About the Event

Each year at the Slough Celebration, the Columbia Slough Watershed Council honors individuals, programs and activities that have shown outstanding leadership and achievement in support of our mission: to foster action to protect, enhance, restore and revitalize the Columbia Slough and its watershed.  This year marks 21 years of:

  • Engaging students in outdoor science education
  • Working with community members to protect our valuable watershed
  • Creating habitat for fish and wildlife
  • Offering free outdoor paddling, walking, and biking experiences

For answers to frequently asked questions about the event, visit our FAQ page.

Award Winners

Leadership Award:

  • Shannah Anderson, City of Portland – Bureau of Environmental Services
  • Meei Lum, Leatherman Tool Group

Click here to learn more about the 2015 Leadership Award winners.

Achievement Award

  • Depave
  • Knife River Corporation – Northwest
  • Nadaka Park and Garden Project
  • Matthew Todd

Click here to learn more about the 2015 Achievement Award winners.

Tickets




For questions and inquiries contact Outreach & Events Director Karen Carrillo, karen.carrillo@columbiaslough.org

Sponsorship Opportunities

Deepen your impact and recognition at Slough Celebration by sponsoring the event.  Sponsorship is a great way to show your support for a healthy watershed and community.  Table sponsorship starts at $250.  Learn more about event sponsorship opportunities here.

Silent Auction Donation Opportunities

We invite you to contribute to the Council by donating an item to our silent auction that will take place at the Slough Celebration Event. As an auction donor, you will be recognized in the event program, on signs at the auction/raffle tables, on our website, and in our newsletter.

Who will be bidding on your auction item? The attendees of our Slough Celebration are neighborhood residents, business owners, government officials, and outdoor recreationalists. This crowd tends to be enthusiastic about delicious food, fine wines and beers, local vacations, outdoor recreation, and the chance to support local and green businesses. This is an excellent opportunity to both advertise your business and demonstrate your commitment to healthy kids, communities, and watersheds.  We encourage individuals to donate as well.

Ready to donate?

Please mail your donation to Columbia Slough Watershed Council, 7040 NE 47th Ave, Portland, OR 97218 by January 22, 2016. We are also happy to pick up your donated items. Please complete this form, email karen.carrillo@columbiaslough.org or call (503) 281-1132 to arrange for donation pick up.

a special thanks to our auction donors

See our full list of auction donors here.

Event Sponsors

Sponsor Logos

Silent Auction Sponsors

Silent Auction Sponsors

a special thanks to our 2016 auction donors

Abacela
Academy Theater
Alder Creek Canoe & Kayak
Aloft Portland Airport at Cascade Station
Audubon Society of Portland
A-WOL Dance Collective
Backyard Bird Shop
Big Winds
Blick Art Materials
Bob’s Red Mill
BodyVox
Bollywood Theater
Bolt Fabric Boutique
Breitenbush Hot Springs
Cargo
Cinema 21
The Circuit Bouldering Gym
Columbia River Maritime Museum
Columbia Sportswear Company
Colwood Golf Center
Commissioner Amanda Fritz
Danner Boots
Dave’s Killer Bread
Eastside Distilling
Elephants Delicatessen
Elk Cove Vineyards
Garden Fever!
Garnish
Gazelle Natural Fibre Clothing
Glendoveer Golf & Tennis
Grand Central Bakery
Gypsy Heat Tribal
Haggen
Hollywood Theatre
James Davis
Jane Van Dyke
Jules Nemish
Kathy Delumpa Allegri
Knit Purl
Laughing Planet Cafe
Laurelwood Brewing Co.
Leatherman Tools
Linda Robinson
Livingscape
Marine Discovery Tours
McMenamins
Mediterranean Exploration Co.
Me Fitness
The Merry Kitchen
Milagro Theatre
Mimosa Studios
Mississippi Pizza
Mississippi Studios
Moonstruck Chocolate Co.
Multnomah County Drainage District
Mt. Hood Bed & Breakfast
Neil Kelly
New Deal Distillery
New Seasons Market
Next Adventure
Nossa Familia Coffee
NW Discoveries
OMSI
Oregon Garden
Oregon Shakespeare Festival
Oregon Symphony
Pacific Pie Co.
Pastini Pastaria
Phelps Creek Vineyards
Pistils Nursery
Pittock Mansion
Plan-it Earth Designs
¿Por Que No?
Portland Aquarium
Portland Baroque Orchestra
Portland Center Stage
Portland Event Photography
Portland International Raceway
Portland Kayak Company
Portland Nursery
Portland’s Culinary Workshop
Portland Spirit
Portland Timbers
REI
Rerun
Salt & Straw
The Shelburne Inn
Slappy Cakes
Stash Tea
Storables
Tasty N Alder
Tasty N Sons
Toro Bravo
Troy Clark
Vita Cafe
WillaKenzie Estate
Willamette Valley Vineyards
Wilsonville Family Fun Center
Zenana Spa & Wellness Center

Silent Auction Donation Opportunities

We invite you to contribute to the Council by donating an item to our silent auction that will take place at the Slough Celebration Event. As an auction donor, you will be recognized in the event program, on signs at the auction/raffle tables, on our website, and in our newsletter.

Who will be bidding on your auction item? The attendees of our Slough Celebration are neighborhood residents, business owners, government officials, and outdoor recreationalists. This crowd tends to be enthusiastic about delicious food, fine wines and beers, local vacations, outdoor recreation, and the chance to support local and green businesses. This is an excellent opportunity to both advertise your business and demonstrate your commitment to healthy kids, communities, and watersheds.  We encourage individuals to donate as well (see details below).

Ready to donate?

Please mail your donation to Columbia Slough Watershed Council, 7040 NE 47th Ave, Portland, OR 97218 by January 31, 2015. We are also happy to pick up your donated items. Please complete this form, email karen.carrillo@columbiasloug.org or call (503) 281-1132 to arrange for donation pick up.

Council Meetings

The Council usually meets on the last Monday of every month; during holiday seasons our schedule varies. See upcoming dates for our meetings listed below.  Visitors are welcome!  Agendas and minutes are available under the “About” section of this website.  RSVPs are helpful; please RSVP in our “Upcoming Activities” section.

If you are interested in presenting at a Council Meeting, please contact Executive Director Jane Van Dyke at:jane.vandyke@columbiaslough.org

Typical meeting time is 5:00 - 7:30 PM

Winter 2016

  • Monday, January 25
  • Monday, February 29
  • Monday, March 28

Location for meetings varies; see our “Upcoming Activities” section for details on the current month’s meeting location. 

Typically meetings are held here:
Multnomah County Drainage District
1880 NE Elrod Drive
Portland, OR 97211

For more information: (503) 281-1132 or info@columbiaslough.org

Regatta Registration

Please click on the option that describes your boat preference:

need to borrow a boat

OR

bringing our own boat(s)

We are using an outside website to complete Regatta registrations. If you have questions about the process, please contact:  events@columbiaslough.org or call 503 281-1132.

Interested in volunteering at Regatta? Contact our Volunteer Coordinator Hanna Davis at:hanna.davis@columbiaslough.org for more information.

Slough Celebration Frequently Asked Questions

This page is designed to answer questions about attending Slough Celebration.
Feel free to contact Karen Carrillo at (503) 281-1132 if you need additional assistance.

Slough Celebration
Friday, February 5, 2016
6:00 PM - 9:00 PM

Location:
Melody Ballroom
15 Southeast Alder Street
Portland, OR 97214

Need to purchase additional tickets? Ticketing information located on our event page (click here).

What should I wear and/or bring?
Dress for the Slough Celebration is business casual to cocktail. Cash, checks, and credit cards will be accepted for the purchase of drinks, Dining & Entertainment raffle tickets, silent auction items, and donations to the Council.

Will I need to bring my ticket?
You don’t need a paper ticket. You and your guests can check in by name at the registration table.

How do I get there?
The Melody Ballroom is located at 615 SE Alder St, just a few blocks south of SE Stark St and one block east of SE Grand Ave. Buses #6 and 15 make stops near the Melody Ballroom. Parking is in designated lots and on-street (adhere to time limits 8 am to 6 pm), including:

Lot 1: Melody Ballroom Lot - SE 7th & SE Washington - Weekdays after 5 pm or All Day Saturday & Sunday
Lot 2: Star Park on SE 9th & SE Morrison - Pay to Park - 503.223.4128
Lot 3: McCloud Parking behind Bank of America – Entrance on SE Grand between SE Belmont & SE Morrison – Pay to Park - 503.234.4452

When should I arrive?
The Slough Celebration starts at 6:00 PM (registration opens at 5:45 PM) with a photo station, socializing and our silent auction.

What’s for Dinner?
Beef Kabob (GF)
Blue Cheese and Cheddar Pecan Cheese Bites (Vegetarian)
Stuffed Mushrooms (Vegetarian)
Grand Central Bakery Bread (Vegan)
Mesclun Greens with Apples, Toasted Hazelnuts, and Balsamic with Feta on the Side (Vegan)
Roasted Vegetable Medley with Butternut Squash, Cauliflower, Fennel, Red Onion and Carrot (Vegetarian)
Roasted Potato Medley (Vegetarian)
Vegan & Gluten Free Lasagna
Roasted Red Pepper Chicken
Chocolate Truffle Cake with Raspberry Puree (Vegetarian)

               
*Dairy free and gluten free versions of dishes served may be available (please send an email ahead of time so we have an accurate count of guests with dietary restrictions) karen.carrillo@columbiaslough.org

What entertainment will I enjoy?
Awards will be presented (don’t worry, it’s not your typical awards night), along with the debut of new videos from SloughTube Season 6!

What if there is ice or snow?
If there is any risk of ice or snow, check the Council homepage or call 503-281-1132.

Event Contact:

Karen Carrillo
Outreach & Events Director
Columbia Slough Watershed Council
karen.carrillo@columbiaslough.org
503.281.1132

Internship Opportunities

The Council has several internships available throughout the year.  Have an idea for an internship? We can work with you to design an internship around your talents.  Please email us at info@columbiaslough.org with your proposal. 

There are no internship opportunities at this time.

Questions?  Contact Outreach Director at 503-281-1132 or events@columbiaslough.org

Projects and Programs 2003-2013

Projects and Programs 2003-2013

Ten years ago the Council adopted its Action Plan which identified more than one hundred watershed projects to establish healthy habitats and clean water.

The Projects and Programs 2003-2013 report captures a review of all the original Action Plan projects and includes an analysis of the status of projects old and new. New projects are numbered and categorized. While this report is a snapshot in time, it also adds the element of interactive web-based maps. Project locations and information can be viewed online using Google Maps.

This report could not have been completed without the generous in-kind efforts of the City of Portland’s Environmental Services staff.

Click here to view the Projects and Programs 2003-2013 document.

Having trouble viewing the document?  Try this Google Doc version.

Please contact Jane Van Dyke for more information at: (503) 281-1132 or jane.vandyke@columbiaslough.org.

Resource Description
Projects and Programs 2003-2013 Report This report captures projects and programs in the watershed 2003-2013 in the areas of: Restoration and Enhancement, Water Quality and Quantity, Resource Collection, Outreach and Education, Monitoring, and Recreation. PDF version. Full color; maps included
Projects and Programs 2003-2013 Online Map Viewing Tool View the projects captured in Projects and Programs 2003-2013 online using Google maps
Action Plan Summary (2003) Highlights priority projects and gives and overview of the Action Plan (2003)

Watershed Facts

Columbia Slough Watershed Facts:

• 32,700 acres
• Contains Smith and Bybee Wetlands, the largest urban wetland in the United States
• Lower slough is a refuge for endangered salmon
• 175 bird species
• 26 fish species
• 6 lakes, 3 ponds, 50 total miles of waterways
• 30 miles of flood control levees
• 170,000 residents
• 2 universities, one community college
• Wildlife corridors
• Portland International Airport and Troutdale Airport
• Portland Marine Terminals
• 4,200 businesses
• Columbia South Shore Well Field-part of the City of Portland and City of Gresham’s drinking water
• Critical transportation corridors-I-5, I-205, I-83, and Highway 30
• 250,000 railroad cars pass through
• Water quality listed under 303(d)
• Six golf courses
• 40 mile Loop Trail-trail system over 150 miles
• Canoe and kayak launches
• 60% impervious surfaces

 

 

Resource Description
Groundwater Protection Program Brochure City of Portland; Portland Water Bureau Groundwater Protection Program Information
Find out what watershed you live in! If you live in the Portland Metro area this website is a tool to helping you find out what watershed you live in. Watershed information is located on the "Environmental" tab.

History of the Watershed

The Columbia Slough is a wonderful place.  The Slough waterways were historically utilized by native peoples for seasonal fishing and hunting and safe canoe passage. In 1805, Lewis and Clark expedition members complained they could not sleep due to the noise created by massive numbers of geese and swans, “their noise horid.” The Hudson’s Bay Company began trapping otter and beaver in 1820.  By the 1850s farming had replaced trapping as the main economic activity.

During the early 1920s, levee construction began to prevent the Columbia River’s annual spring floods.  As the area developed, what was once a wildlife-rich mosaic of sloughs, wetlands and lakes was transformed into a highly managed system of channels, agricultural lands, industrial development, and residences.

Today, this urban watershed provides recreation, greenspace, drainage, and habitat.  It is home to 4,200 businesses, 170,000 people, a marine terminal and two airports.  The watershed collects stormwater runoff, rainwater, and groundwater.  Its streams, sloughs, wetlands, grasslands and woodlands provide wildlife corridors and migratory routes for over 175 species of birds. Mink, river otter, beaver, coyote and sensitive species like Bald Eagle, Peregrine Falcon, Willow Flycatcher, and Western Pond and Painted turtles use slough habitats. Twenty eight fish species call the Columbia Slough home.

Contact Us

Columbia Slough Watershed Council

Mailing Address/Office Location:
7040 NE 47th Ave
Portland, OR 97218

Phone: (503) 281-1132
Email: info@columbiaslough.org
Office Hours: 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM Monday - Friday (Typically). We are working in the field at times.  Call ahead to make sure you catch us in the office.

Member Area

Member access only.  For help please contact: info@columbiaslough.org

Mission Statement

To foster action to protect, enhance, restore, and revitalize the Slough and its watershed.

Restoration

Restoration

The Columbia Slough Watershed Council’s Stewardship program is dedicated to improving watershed health by combining local residents, natural areas, and restoration activities in locations throughout the watershed.  Volunteer activities include native plantings, weed pulls, and litter cleanups in and along waterways.

Stewardship Saturday

Stewardship Saturdays are morning workparties in local parks and natural spaces. Activities range from invasive species removal to litter pick up, native plant planting, mulching, trail maintenance and more. We provide tools and training - no experience is necessary! Learn more about how you can get involved below.

January 23rd: Kelley Point Park
January 30th: Columbia Children’s Arboretum
February 13th: Smith and Bybee Wetlands
February 20th: Columbia Children’s Arboretum
February 27th: Wilkes Creek Headwaters
March 12th: Baltimore Woods
April 2nd: Johnson Lake Property
April 23rd: Wilkes Headwaters Earth Day Celebration

All events take place from 9:00am - 12:00pm. Click the event for more information.

Volunteer

Join us for a morning work party and improve watershed health! Caring for our native plant community takes team work and the native bugs, birds, fish, mammals and other Slough fauna will thank you for it.
Connect with friends and neighbors, fulfill service hours for a school project and get to know more about how your actions affect the health of our local waterways. Click the events above to sign up!

Become a volunteer partner

Groups and individuals are welcome for all Stewardship Saturday events. Businesses and community groups are encouraged to register as Volunteer Partners for any of the events above. Get out and start serving your community today at a park near you! Contact our Volunteer Coordinator to get connected to a project - Hanna.Davis@columbiaslough.org or call (503) 281-1132. We also host custom Stewardship Saturday events at Whitaker Ponds Nature Park pending staff and project availability - contact us for details!

Donate to our volunteers

Are you a local restaurant or café? Donate coffee, tea, pastry or other snacks to feed our volunteer crews!  The Council is an IRS recognized non-profit organization. Contact Hanna Davis for more information or call (503) 281-1132.

With questions about these and other volunteer opportunities, contact Volunteer Coordinator Hanna Davis at Hanna.Davis@columbiaslough.org or call (503) 281-1132.

Walking & Biking

Whether you enjoy exercise by foot or on a bike, you have a slough of options with the region’s evolving 40-mile loop (150-mile system) of walking and bicycle paths that connects trails through the Columbia Slough.

An Evolving Trail System

This interconnected system will eventually include a walking path along the entire Slough, and bicycle-pedestrian trails along roadways stretching from Kelly Point Park east to Sandy River Gorge and south to the Springwater Corridor.

Portland Office of Transportation Biking Information
Neighborhood biking/walking maps

Recent Trail Updates

The Columbia Slough trail between North Denver and Vancouver Avenues is now open!  This connects part of the 40 mile loop trail system along the Columbia Slough.  Learn more here.

40-Mile Loop Trail Map

The 40-Mile Loop Trail is a century long effort to build a comprehensive trail system through and around Portland.

The planned loop trail has lengthened to more than 140 miles to include all of Multnomah County and to connect more than 30 parks. The trail connects parks and locations along the Slough and along the Columbia, Sandy, and Willamette Rivers and Johnson Creek in an almost continuous loop.

Download Preview
40-Mile Loop Trail Map

Council Members

The Council’s board members meet once a month to govern the Council and vote on key decisions. To learn more about board member roles, check out the description and application to be a board member. Space is currently available for new board members.

Resource Description
Council Board Member Job Description Board Member Position Description
Council Member Application Board Member Application

Employment

Thank you for your interest in working at Columbia Slough Watershed Council (CSWC).  Please see below for open positions. Visit our Get Involved page to learn about volunteer and internship opportunities.

The Council has several internships available throughout the year.  Have an idea for an internship? We can work with you to design an internship around your talents.  Please email us at info@columbiaslough.org with your proposal. 

Now Hiring: Education Director

The Council is seeking applicants for our Education Director position. The Education Director’s primary duties are to provide leadership, planning, coordination, and guidance for the education program, including K-12-Slough School and adult and family education programs and activities. See below for full position description.

To Apply Please Include (using a type font size 11) by Mail or Email:

  • A cover letter not to exceed two pages. Please indicate salary history and requirements, as well as any experience and commitment to racial equity and inclusion work.
  • A resume
  • Four references, (at least one reference must be from a current or previous work supervisor).
  • Send Materials to:
    Attention: Jane Van Dyke, Executive Director
    Columbia Slough Watershed Council
    7040 NE 47th Ave.
    Portland, OR 97218-1212
    *Or email complete package to jane.vandyke@@columbiaslough.org.

    Closing Date:
    Application materials must be received by 4pm on March 3, 2016

    Questions?  Contact Executive Director at 503-281-1132 or jane.vandyke@@columbiaslough.org

     

    Resource Description
    Education Director Education Director Position Description

    Agendas & Minutes

    The Council Meeting Agendas are available for community members to read what is being planned and discussed. If you would like to see past agendas and minutes, please contact: info@columbiaslough.org or (503) 281-1132

    Resource Description
    January 25, 2016 Agenda January Meeting Agenda
    October 26, 2015 Agenda October Meeting Minutes
    September 28th, Agenda September Meeting Agenda
    August 31st, 2015 Agenda August Meeting Agenda
    August 31st, 2015 Minutes August Meeting Minutes
    July 27th, 2015 Agenda July Meeting Agenda
    July 27th, 2015 Minutes July Meeting Minutes
    June, 29th, 2015 Agenda June Meeting Agenda
    May 18th, 2015 Agenda May Meeting Agenda
    April 27, 2015 April Meeting Agenda
    March 30th, 2015 Agenda March Meeting Agenda
    February 23rd, 2015 Agenda February Agenda
    January 26th, 2015 Agenda January Meeting Agenda
    December 15th, 2014 Agenda December (Holiday) Meeting Agenda
    November 17th, 2014 Agenda November Meeting Agenda (Short meeting prior to Slough Stories event)
    October 27th, 2014 Agenda October Meeting Agenda
    September 29th, 2014 Agenda September Meeting Agenda
    August, 25, 2014 Agenda August Meeting Agenda
    July 28th, 2014 Agenda July Meeting Agenda
    June 30th, 2014 Agenda June Meeting Agenda

    Newsletters

    “Slough News” is the newsletter of the Columbia Slough Watershed Council. Throughout the year, we provide you with articles about what is happening in your watershed.

    Reports

    Please contact us at: info@columbiaslough.org or (503) 281-1132 if you are interested in resources not found on this site.

    Resource Description
    Annual Report (FY 14-15) Annual report covering June 1, 2014 - June 30, 2015
    Program Area Specific Highlights Report (FY 14-15_ Program area highlights report covering June 1, 2014 - June 30, 2015
    Watershed Wide Partner Newsletter This partner newsletter is compiled quarterly by Watershed Councils and Soil & Water Conservation Districts within the Portland Metro region.
    Projects and Programs 2003-2013 Report on status of projects and programs in the watershed 2003-2013

    Canoeing & Kayaking

    Almost two centuries after the Lewis and Clark expedition, it is still easy to imagine you are on your own “corps of discovery,” traveling by canoe or kayak, even in the midst of the industrial landscape.

    The narrow, tree-lined Upper Slough evokes an air of mystery as you glide silently beneath a mixed alder, cottonwood, red-osier dogwood and willow canopy. The brushy banks are especially attractive to Wood Duck, Black-crowned Night Heron and the secretive Green Heron.

    Paddling the Slough

    While it is easily navigable by canoe, culverts and other barriers must be negotiated if you plan to paddle the entire Upper Slough. East of the 142rd Avenue levee, canoeing is best on the south “arm” of the Slough. Downstream the preferred route is along the north “arm.” Two floating docks off Airport Way provide the easiest access to the Upper Slough.

    The Lower Slough is a wider, obstacle-free waterway with expansive vistas and open water, lined with black cottonwoods and ash - ideal perching and nesting habitat for Osprey, Bald Eagle and Great Blue Heron and welcome shade on a hot summer paddle. Daily tides mean a will timed trip allows for paddling with the current; the alternative is a muddy take-out and paddling against a stiff current at ebb tide. Kelley Point Park, St. Johns Landfill and Smith and Bybee Lakes Wildlife Area provide easily accessible launch sites. A new launch is planned near Northeast Denver Avenue.

    Resource Description
    Paddler's Access Guide Paddle guide; includes launch location information.
    Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (Invasive Species Prevention Program) Permits required for all boats over 10 ft
    NOAA Tide Predictions Website NOAA Tide Predictions
    Paddlers Safety Checklist Paddlers Safety Checklist (American Canoe Association)
    Alder Creek Kayak/Canoe/Gear/SUP Rental and Sales Vendor. Skill building classes offered.
    Next Adventure Paddle Sports Kayak/Canoe/Gear/SUP Rental and Sales Vendor. Skill building classes offered.
    Portland Kayak Company Kayak Rental and Sales Vendor

    Field Programs

    Field Programs

    Field Programs are designed for students to study the ecosystem of a site within the Columbia Slough Watershed and its nearby habitats. These trips are intended as a field component for students who have completed a classroom presentation.

    What to Expect

    Field activities may include wildlife observation, water quality monitoring, macroinvertebrate sampling, identifying native and non-native plants, and habitat studies. Field programs generally last between 1.5 - 2 hours and can include a service project or deeper scientific investigation.

    Many field trips take place at Whitaker Ponds Nature Park, which has an outdoor classroom, pond access and limited indoor study areas. Other sites within the watershed include Salish Ponds Wetlands in Fairview, the Columbia Blvd. Wastewater Treatment Plant grounds, the Children’s Arboretum, and Kelly Point Park.

    Groups should come on field experiences dressed appropriately for the weather and with enough adult chaperones to meet a 1:8 adult to student ratio.

    Service Projects and Community Action Projects

    These may be arranged based on the specific needs and interests of your student group. The majority of students participate in habitat restoration projects including: invasive plant removal, mulching and trail maintenance, and planting native herbs and shrubs.

    Cost and Transportation

    The Slough School programs are offered free of charge to teachers and students within the Columbia Slough Watershed on a case by case basis. Transportation to field sites is generally the responsibility of the school or group, although some transportation arrangements can be provided by the Slough School.

    The Whitaker Ponds Nature Park is accessible by Tri-met bus #75 and is located at 7040 NE 47th Ave in Portland.

    Academic Benchmarks Addressed

    Slough School activities can be adapted to meet specific learning objectives identified by teachers for each student group.

    Activities address academic content standards identified by the Oregon Department of Education, such as:

    Life Science:

    “Explain the behavior and interdependence of organisms in their natural environment”, “Describe the characteristics, structure and function of organisms”

    Geography:

    “Explain how humans and the physical environment impact and influence each other”

    Scientific Inquiry:

    “Design and conduct investigations to answer questions and verify hypotheses”, “Analyze, data collected from an investigation, draw conclusions and explain results.”

    If you are interested in creating a plan of study with the Slough School, contact:

    Lauren Smith, Education Director
    Phone: (503) 281-1132
    email: lauren.smith@columbiaslough.org

    Donate

    Put your money to work supporting a healthy future for people, plants, and wildlife.
    What do we do?​
    ♦ Engage students in outdoor science education
    ​♦ Work with community members to protect, restore, and enhance our valuable watershed
    ♦ Create healthy habitat for fish, wildlife, and surrounding communities
    ♦ Offer FREE workshops, outdoor paddling, walking, and biking experiences​

    As a non-profit organization, we know our greatest asset is YOU: your enthusiasm, your volunteer time, your knowledge, and your financial support. Your contribution this year will help the Council continue programs and activities in our watershed for years to come. Donations to the Council are tax-deductible as provided by law: our IRS Tax Identification number is 03-0456181.

    Yes! I want to support the Council!

    You may also mail a check directly to:
    Columbia Slough Watershed Council
    7040 NE 47th Ave
    Portland, OR 97218

    Register Your Fred Meyer Rewards Card

    (Another easy way to support the slough!)

    Are you a Fred Meyer customer? Support the Slough just by getting groceries! Fred Meyer is donating $2.5 million each year - up to $625,000 each quarter to community organizations - make this support go to work for your watershed! All you have to do is link your Rewards Card and use it when you shop at Fred Meyer. By registering your card you are helping decide what these funds support.

    To register your card visit: https://www.fredmeyer.com/topic/community-rewards Register and then add Columbia Slough Watershed Council as your Community Rewards organization. Search for organization number: 83957

    Sponsorship Opportunities

    Deepen your impact and become a Council partner through Sponsorship.
    Visit our sponsor page for more information.
    Questions?  Give us a call at: (503) 281-1132 or email info@columbiaslough.org.

    Classroom Presentations

    Class Topics

    Slough School provides classroom presentations tailored to fit the learning objectives of a specific group or classroom. Programs can be combined to create a unit of interest.

    Animal Adaptations- target grade 3

    Discuss how animals have adapted to their specific environment. Identify the adaptations of birds, mammals and fish. Examine pelts, skulls and specimens of local animals.

    Aquatic Macroinvertebrates – target grade 4

    How do aquatic organisms tell us about water quality. Through specimens and slides, learn about aquatic invertebrates and their adaptations.

    Groundwater- target grades 4 & 7

    Learn how local geology affects our groundwater system. Using an interactive model, discover how local choices affect groundwater safety.

    Habitats of Oregon – target grades 2 & 6

    Explore habitats of Oregon and the Columbia Slough watershed through hands-on activities. Students learn characteristics of various habitats and their resident plants and animals.

    Riparian Plants- targets grades 3,5 & 6.

    Students will identify the differences between native and non-native plants and the impacts of both. Characteristics of riparian plants will be identified, using field guides and plant samples.

    Water Insects and Friends- target grade 1

    Explore life cycles and anatomy of aquatic insects. Through specimens and slides, learn about water invertebrates and their adaptations.

    Water Quality- target grades 5 & 7

    Students observe, use units, interpret data and form hypotheses as they measure the temperature, pH, turbidity and dissolved oxygen of water samples taken from a local field site.

    What is a Watershed?- target grades 2, 4 & 8

    Learn about watersheds and sources of pollution through historical and current maps, activities, a watershed model, and /or a powerpoint on the industrial and environmental history of the slough.


    If you are interested in creating a plan of study with the Slough School, contact:

    Lauren Smith, Education Director
    Phone: (503) 281-1132
    email: lauren.smith@columbiaslough.org

    Slough FAQs

    The Columbia Slough is a wonderful place to visit and the home to many amazing living organisms, including humans. But, what is a slough? What is a watershed? Read on to learn the answers to those questions…

    Plants & Wildlife

    Plants & Wildlife

    The Columbia Slough is home to vast numbers of plants and animals.  Check out the guides below for information about what you could see around the Columbia Slough.

    Resource Description
    Aquatic Plants of the Columbia Slough Plants you'll see in and around the Columbia Slough.
    Turtles of Portland Guide Native and non-native turtles in the area.
    Fish of the Columbia Slough Native and non-native fish in the Columbia Slough.
    Birds of the Columbia Slough Common birds of the Columbia Slough area.

    Maps

    The Slough is an amazing combination of passages, lakes, and streams in the heart of the city. In addition, roads, businesses and homes are also located in the watershed of the Slough. This growing list of maps are a resource to help you explore the many treasures and resources of the watershed.

    Volunteer Opportunities

    Volunteer Opportunities

    Bring your talents to the council! The Council has a number of volunteering opportunities for individuals, groups and families.


    Short Term Volunteering


    friends plant trees

    Stewardship Saturdays

    Stewardship Saturdays volunteer work parties at locations all around the watershed focused on creating healthy habitat for Slough creatures - people included! Stewardship Saturdays are a great way to enjoy a local natural area while simultaneously giving back to your community. These are great individual and group volunteer opportunities with various environmental restoration activities including native plant propagation, planting and mulching, invasive plant removal, litter clean and more! We provide all gloves, tools and training. Check out the Council’s upcoming events page for this month’s Stewardship Saturdays. Check out the Council’s upcoming events page for this month’s Stewardship Saturdays.

     

    Business and Community Groups

    Looking for a service or team building event for your business or community group? The Council can help! Become a volunteering partner and we’ll connect your team with one of our events. We host groups at for Stewardship Saturdays, our restoration workparties in the Winter and Spring. Spring and Summer offer opportunities to get involved with our large annual events, like the Columbia Slough Regatta and Explorando el Columbia Slough. Learn more about becoming a volunteer partner by viewing the Partner Information sheet at the bottom of this page.

    Long Term Volunteering

    boats at regatta

    Paddle Team

    The ideal paddle team volunteer has paddling experience and is comfortable communicating about canoe and kayak technique to adults and children alike. After a two-afternoon training, Paddle Team Volunteers assist with our paddle programming as Slough guides, safety monitors and volunteer leaders. Paddle volunteers with varying levels of experience are welcome! This position recruits for the spring and summer. Would you like to be notified when the position opens up? Email or call us today.

    Outreach Team

    Outreach volunteers are comfortable communicating with community members about the activities and projects of the Council. After a short training, outreach volunteers attend various community events, festivals and street fairs, to talk with the public about the Council’s activities and programs. The Council recruits member for the Outreach Taskforce for the spring and summer seasons. Email or call us to receive more information about the Outreach Team.

    kids testing

    Slough School Team

    Enjoy spending time with youth in the outdoors? Slough School volunteers assist our Slough School educators in the delivery of classroom and field-based science programs during school field trips to Whitaker Ponds Nature park and other watershed locations. Slough School activities are fun and educational! They range from native plantings to water chemistry studies and guided nature hikes. Slough School volunteer positions require training and practice, so the hourly commitment is greater than our other volunteer teams.

    Office Team

    The Council welcomes office volunteers throughout the calendar year. Office volunteers assist with a wide variety of administrative tasks from event preparation to research and data entry. A successful office volunteer pays attention to details and is comfortable taking direction. A general knowledge of computers and the Microsoft Office suite is helpful. Contact us if you’re interested.

    Interested in any of the activities above?
    Contact Hanna Davis, Volunteer Coordinator at hanna.davis@columbiaslough.org or call 503 281-1132.

    Resource Description
    Volunteer Interest Form Not sure where you'd like to volunteer? Fill out this form and we'll help you find the opportunity that's right for you.
    Volunteer Partner information Your business or community organization can become a volunteer partner!

    Slough School

    Overview

    Slough School is the main K-college educational program of the Columbia Slough Watershed Council, created to provide hands-on programs for students to learn about the history and ecology of the watershed and its organisms as well as human impacts on the area.

    For information on Tadpole Tales, our program for children aged 3-5 with their parents, please email: info@columbiaslough.org (Spring only program).

    Program Structure

    Students in grades K-college who live or attend schools within the Columbia Slough Watershed are the principal recipients of Slough School programming. A variety of academic programs are offered, including classroom presentations, field programs, teacher workshops, and service projects at sites along the Slough.

    Geographic Area

    A watershed is an area of land in which all water drains to a common body of water, such as a river, lake or slough.

    The Columbia Slough is a 60-mile long remnant of lakes, wetlands and slow-moving channels in the southern floodplain of the Columbia River.

    The Columbia Slough Watershed includes schools and communities in the St. John’s area, North Portland, and parts of Northeast Portland, Parkrose, North Gresham and Fairview. It reaches from Kelly Point Park in the west to Fairview Lake and the headwaters of Fairview Creek in the east; from the Columbia River in the north to the Alameda Ridge in the south. Slough School activities take place at field sites and classrooms across the watershed.

    Location

    Slough School is based out of the Council offices at the Whitaker Ponds Natural Area, at 7040 NE 47th Ave. in Portland, Oregon.

    Volunteer with Slough School


    Slough School volunteers assist with the delivery of all Slough School education activities under the supervision of our excellent educators. We’d love to have you! Find details and application instructions in the position description at the bottom of this page.

    If you are interested in creating a plan of study with the Slough School, contact:

    Lauren Smith, Education Coordinator
    Phone: (503) 281-1132
    email: lauren.smith@columbiaslough.org

    Resource Description
    Slough School Education Volunteer Slough School Volunteer Position Description

    Maps & Guides

    The Slough is an amazing combination of passages, lakes, and streams in the heart of the city. In addition, roads, businesses and homes are also located in the watershed of the Slough. This growing list of maps are a resource to help you explore the many treasures and resources of the watershed.

    Resource Description
    General Maps and Guides PDF files of maps and guides.
    Canoeing & Kayaking Resources PDF files of maps and guides as well as links to information about canoeing and kayaking local resources.
    Biking and Walking Resources PDF files of maps and guides as well as links to information about walking and biking local resources.

    Slough News

    Here’s what’s new in the Slough!

    For more information about Council events and programs please contact our staff at 503-281-1132 or email info@columbiaslough.org.

     

    Activities & Events

    Activities & Events

    Explore the Slough and learn about local nature! Most programs are free, but we do appreciate a $3-7 donation. 

    For more information on our programs please contact us at: (503) 281-1132 or by email: info@columbiaslough.org

    Click here for a full list of upcoming events.

    Get Involved

    Get Involved

    There are many ways to get involved with the Columbia Slough Watershed Council. Opportunities vary from attending events and workshops, to pulling blackberries and planting native trees, to editing our newsletter, and leading paddling trips.

    Here are a few ways to connect with us:

    Take a Class:

    The Columbia Slough Watershed Council offers free classes and workshops throughout the year including Wetlands 101, Slough 101, and Groundwater 101.

    Check our Calendar of Events to see what is coming up.

    Come Play with us:

    Part of why the Council is so successful is because of our interest in having fun on the Slough. We host paddling trips, tours of the watershed, and hikes.

    Check our Calendar of Events to see what is coming up.

    Join Our Mailing List:

    The Columbia Slough Watershed Council has an email list that keeps you updated on events and happenings through the watershed. We send out emails a few times a month, and you can unsubscribe at any time. To join the list, click here.

    If you’d rather stay involved through twice-yearly mailings to your postal address, contact info@columbiaslough.org to sign up for the “snail mail” list.

    Volunteer:

    The Columbia Slough Watershed Council is always looking for volunteers. Please let us know what your interests are.
    Learn more here.

    Apply for an Internship

    We offer a variety of unpaid and stipend-based internships throughout the year.  Learn more about our program and how you can deepen your positive impact as a member of our team.
    Learn more here.

    Register Your Fred Meyer Card to Support the Slough

    Are you a Fred Meyer customer? Support the Slough just by getting groceries! Fred Meyer is donating $2.5 million each year - up to $625,000 each quarter to community organizations - make this support go to work for your watershed! All you have to do is link your Rewards Card and use it when you shop at Fred Meyer. By registering your card you are helping decide what these funds support.

    To register your card visit: www.fredmeyer.com/communityrewards  Register and then add Columbia Slough Watershed Council as your Community Rewards organization. Search for organization number: 83957

    About

    The Columbia Slough Watershed Council is a diverse group of neighbors, property owners, businesses, environmental groups, recreation advocates, and government agencies who work to restore and enhance the 60 miles of waterways known as the Columbia Slough, located in Portland, Gresham, and Fairview. The Columbia Slough Watershed Council is a non-profit 501(c)(3) organization.

    Our Vision for the Watershed: An urban watershed rich in clean water and healthy habitats that supports the needs of fish, wildlife, plants and people.


    Click here to view the short video produced by Portland Monthly about our work. (The Council was honored in 2012 with a Light A Fire award)

    For more information: (503) 281-1132 or info@columbiaslough.org

    Resource Description
    Annual Report Columbia Slough Watershed Council Annual Report FY 13-14
    Letter of Support Process Information on how to request a letter of support from the Council.

    Council Staff

    The staff works towards our mission alongside Council members, regional partners, and our tremendous volunteer community.

    Year at a Glance

    See below for 2016 Columbia Slough Watershed Council events:

    For most current information on restoration events (plantings, invasive species removal, clean-ups) please see the upcoming events page of our site.  During planting season, we typically do two volunteer work parties each month (Stewardship Saturdays). 
    Click here for a print version PDF calendar.

    January

    Upcoming Activities

    Upcoming Activities

    Join us for these upcoming events! For a full calendar of events, click here.  For information on any of the events listed below, contact our staff at: info@columbiaslough.org or (503) 281-1132.

    State of the Slough

    The Columbia Slough has had a long history of environmental decline. But with the elimination of Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) in 2000, watershed wide efforts to revegetate the Slough with native plants, and the increasing awareness of businesses and residents, the Slough is cleaner today than it has been in over 100 years.

    For more information about Oregon Department of Environmental Quality projects in the slough, please visit their website.

    CSOs

    Combined Sewer Overflows (CSOs) occur in some areas of the City where the stormwater sewer and sanitary sewer are combined in one pipe - a combined sewer system. When it rains, combined sewer pipes fill up with both stormwater runoff and sewage. Once the pipes fill to capacity, the excess combined sewage overflows into the local river or slough.

    The City of Portland used to have 13 CSO outfalls that discharged combined sewage into the Lower Columbia Slough. But in October 2000 the Bureau of Environmental Services completed its “Big Pipe” project and sewage stopped flowing in to the Columbia Slough for the first time in a century. The elimination of CSOs from the Slough has greatly increased the health of the waterway. Local agencies continue to monitor the Slough to measure the improvements of water quality since the elimination of CSOs from the Slough.

    Fish Advisory

    Columbia Slough Fish may be hazardous to your health. Fish in the Columbia Slough contain PCBs and pesticides. These chemicals may effect human development, reproduction and immune systems. These chemicals may also increase your chance of getting cancer.

    People most at risk include: unborn babies, pregnant and nursing mothers, children and people who eat Slough fish often and for many years. Even though the concentrations of PCBs and pesticides in Slough fish are fairly low, they still pose a health risk because these chemicals increase in the body and my cause health problems many years after eating the fish.

    PCBs and pesticides accumulate in the fatty parts of fish over the life of the fish. If you do choose to eat Columbia Slough fish, to reduce health risks you should avoid eating the fatty parts or the guts. Bake or broil the fish fillet on a rack so that the fat drips off, and then do not eat the fat drippings.

    Water Quality

    TMDL is a term from the Clean Water Act that stands for Total Maximum Daily Load. It is an estimate of how much of a particular pollutant a water body can absorb before it becomes a problem. TMDLs are established by Oregon DEQ for every water body that is listed in the Clean Water Act as a water-quality-limited water body .

    In 1998 TMDLs were established for the Columbia Slough for pH, dissolved oxygen, phosphorus, chlorophyll-a, bacteria, lead, DDE/DDT, PCBs, dieldrin, and 2,3,7,8-TCDD. DEQ established the temperature for the Willamette Basin (including the Columbia Slough) in 2006.

    Our Watershed

    The Columbia Slough is a 60-mile long remnant of lakes, wetlands and slow-moving channels in the southern floodplain of the Columbia River. This area was once home to Native Americans. The Lewis and Clark Expedition noted plentiful wildlife particularly geese, brandts, ducks, and otter in the Slough.

    Background

    In the early 1920’s levees were constructed to prevent seasonal flooding and the waterway was transformed into the channeled and highly managed system now known as the Columbia Slough. With the elimination of yearly floods farming, industrial and residential development flourished.

    Today the 40,000 acres of watershed contains 24,000 homes, 4,500 businesses, and is home to 1/10 of all the jobs in Oregon.

    Each year more than 13.7 million people and over 275,000 tons of freight come through the watershed. Impacts from 150 years of development have left a legacy of environmental problems in the Slough: contaminated fish and sediment, diminished wildlife habitat, and water pollution from both point and non-point sources. The Columbia Slough Watershed Council was formed to address these issues.

    As habitats are modified throughout the Portland metropolitan region and the entire Northwest, the Slough’s importance as a component of our regional system of greenspaces grows. The Slough is one of the largest urban waterways contained wholly within the metropolitan urban growth boundary. This vast ribbon of habitat and openspace can be explored by foot, bicycle or canoe and kayak.

    Flanked on the west by the 2,000 acre Smith and Bybee lakes, and on the east by the 102 acre Fairview Lake and the headwaters of Fairview Creek near Grant Butte in Gresham, the 60 mile Slough and its watershed represent an irreplaceable resource, both for the region and for north and northeast Portland, Gresham, Fairview, Troutdale, and Wood Village.

    Resource Description
    Portland Bureau of Environmental Services Environmental Services is Portland, Oregon's Clean River agency. The agency treats Portland's wastewater, provides stormwater drainage services, and works in Portland watersheds to reduce stormwater pollution, restore native vegetation, and improves the quality of water in our rivers and streams.
    The City of Portland Water Bureau The City of Portland Water Bureau operates a well field capable of producing close to 100 million gallons per day. The Columbia South Shore Well Field is the second largest water source in the State of Oregon, with about half the capacity of Portland’s Bull Run source.
    Groundwater Protection Program Brochure City of Portland; Portland Water Bureau Groundwater Protection Program Information
    Center for Columbia River History Explore the history of the Columbia Slough and its communities. View the images and read the documents that tell about slough's past. Listen to the voices and read the oral histories of those who witnessed a transformation from farm to city, and of those who created diverse social, environmental, and industrial communities.

    Volunteer Photographer needed!

    Volunteer Photographer needed!

    Volunteers with quality equipment and a keen eye are needed to photograph our Stewardship Saturday events this Winter! Your photographs enhance our outreach materials and the narratives we provide to our funders. Add to your portfolio and assist a respected non-profit. We need you.



    January 23rd: Kelley Point Park

    January 30th: Columbia Children’s Arboretum
    February 13th: Smith and Bybee Wetlands
    February 20th: Columbia Children’s Arboretum
    February 27th: Wilkes Creek Headwaters
    March 12th: Baltimore Woods
    April 2nd: Johnson Lake Property
    April 23rd: Wilkes Headwaters Earth Day Celebration

    Limited equipment (small digital cameras) available to loan, personal equipment preferred.

    Interested?
    For more information contact our volunteer coordinator at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or call (503) 281-1132.

    Save the date for our 18th Annual Slough Celebration Gala!

    Save the date for our 18th Annual Slough Celebration Gala!

    Melody Ballroom
    615 Southeast Alder Street
    Portland, OR 97214

    Friday, February 5, 2016 from 6:00 PM to 9:30 PM

    Each year at the Slough Celebration, the Columbia Slough Watershed Council honors individuals, programs and activities that have shown outstanding leadership and achievement in support of our mission: to foster action to protect, enhance, restore and revitalize the Columbia Slough and its watershed.

    Click here and learn more about this special evening.

    Looking for a service opportunity for your business or community group?

    Looking for a service opportunity for your business or community group?

    Did you know that Columbia Slough Watershed Council offers group volunteering experiences throughout the calendar year? Your group is welcome to join us this Winter for Stewardship Saturdays, our outdoor restoration events or in Summer 2016 for events like Explorando el Columbia Slough, our bilingual nature festival. Group volunteering is a great way to build camaraderie, get exercise and serve your community - join us!

    Take a look at our Volunteer Partnerships info sheet for more information and get in touch with our Volunteer Coordinator, Hanna Davis, for more information.

    Hanna Davis
    .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
    (503) 281-1132

    Slough Stories

    The Columbia Slough Watershed Council celebrates its 20th anniversary this year and there are a thousand stories to tell. This video is a compilation of a few of the stories told at the Slough Stories event in November 2014. This is part of an effort to document efforts large and small that have improved the Columbia Slough watershed and raised public awareness of the waterway and the region. Enjoy this trip down memory lane (or should we say a paddle down memory slough).

    Aquifer Adventure -  a Piratey Sucess!

    Aquifer Adventure -  a Piratey Sucess!

    On Saturday, September 12th over 500 pirates of all ages joined the Portland Water Bureau and the Columbia Slough Watershed Council for an event like no other, a pirate-themed groundwater education festival. Now in its thirteenth year, Aquifer Adventure teaches families about our underground treasure - not gold, but groundwater, a precious resource that flows below our feet!

    The event featured a groundwater obstacle course, water conservation activities, information on green household cleaners, edible aquifers made from ice cream, canoe rides on the Columbia Slough and more. Attendees also had the chance to explore a drinking water well site and learn how a real aquifer works from Portland Water Bureau experts.

    What makes groundwater so important?  Groundwater from the Columbia South Shore Well Field is a secondary source of drinking water for Portland and is a critical component of the region’s drinking water system. Groundwater is used to help meet higher summer water demands and to provide water during emergencies or when Portland’s primary drinking water source, the Bull Run watershed, is not available. Having a back-up water supply source also helps the City avoid having to build and operate an expensive water filtration plant for the Bull Run source.

    Aquifer Adventure is a part of the outreach efforts of the Portland Water Bureau’s Groundwater Protection Program. The Cities of Portland, Gresham and Fairview have implemented this program to protect the Columbia South Shore Well Field – a drinking water source for over 900,000 Oregonians. One of the main goals of the groundwater protection program is to educate people and businesses about how to prevent pollutants and chemical spills from seeping into the ground where they could impact our drinking water. The cooperation of everyone living and working in the protection area is crucial to keeping our drinking water safe. 

    Over the past twelve years, over 4,000 attendees have learned about the importance of groundwater through this free event. The response from participants has been overwhelmingly positive. It’s exciting to see connections even a three year old can make about where their water comes from. And of course, it’s fun to dress up like a pirate. There’s nothing like putting on an eye patch and bandana to get you excited about groundwater!

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