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Columbia Slough Watershed Council

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2018 Award Winners

Congratulations to the 2018 Leadership and Achievement Award Winners

2018 Leadership Award Winner

Leadership Awards recognize extraordinary and long-term individual commitments to the watershed. Recipients are honored at our annual Slough Celebration event.

Jennifer Sutter

imageIn the history of the Columbia Slough, few (if any) individuals have had a greater impact on characterization, source control, clean-up, and monitoring of contaminated sediments than Jennifer Sutter. For more than a decade, Jennifer has been affecting positive change through regulatory leadership and overseeing millions of dollars in work toward improving the environmental conditions of the Columbia Slough. Jennifer retires in January 2018 and we are pleased to present this her with this award as she ends her prolific career at DEQ.



2018 Achievement Award Winners

Achievement Awards recognize extraordinary projects or project-related efforts. Recipients are honored at our annual Slough Celebration event.

Joe Ferguson, Alliance High School

image
Joe Ferguson teaches science at Alliance High School and gives his students exceptional opportunities to engage in authentic field science, in cooperation with Slough School. Joe has gone above and beyond by seeking out grants to bring more of his kids to the Slough, and by making it possible for his students to receive college credit for his classes -  a huge advantage for his students who face many barriers.

Mike Ward, Rivergate Scrap Metal

vanport
Mike Ward’s work at Rivergate Scrap Metal has minimized pollutants from entering our watershed, and conserved our precious water resources with his re-use program. Mike has safeguarded the Columbia Slough by preventing stormwater from coming into contact with potential pollutants on-site and by thoroughly treating the discharged water that does drain into the Slough.








View the 2017 Leadership and Achievement Award Winner recognition videos.

View our past award winners

Private Paddle Tours

Private Paddle Tours

Explore the Slough and learn about local nature!

The recreation program of the Columbia Slough Watershed Council offers free environmental education activities, bike tours, workshops, paddling events and multi-cultural festivals with the objective to increase community engagement and raise awareness about the richness of this special waterway.  We offer private paddle tours to groups who are interested in learning about and experiencing their local watershed through canoeing and/or kayaking with additional staff support at a location of their choice.

Cost for each private paddle starts at $200 for one boat for one hour, and we can provide more boats or time in increments of $80 per canoe pair per hour. We provide all life jackets, paddles, first aid kits, setup, and instruction. We offer a limited number of scholarship paddles each year - if you’d like to apply for a scholarship, please contact us!

At every tour we provide a fun and safe opportunity for community members to be active outdoors and learn about the important role our watershed plays in maintaining our good health. We work with you to shape a tour that fits your needs and interests, comfort and experience levels.

Tour Highlights

- Ideal for groups sizes 10-30, all ages welcome
- Enjoy nature from the comfort of a canoe or kayak
- Experience and learn about the Columbia Slough Watershed

paddle pretty

Interested in taking your group on a private paddle tour? Contact Outreach & Events Director, Susanne Raymond, at:
Email: susanne.raymond@columbiaslough.org
Phone: (503) 281-1132

Sponsors & Partners

Our recreation activities are made possible by funding from: Boeing, the Bureau of Environmental Services, East Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District, Metro, and the Portland Water Bureau and Partnerships with: Community Cycling Center, Hacienda CDC, Living Cully/Verde, and Next Adventure.

Past private tour partners:

- Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization Africa House
- Betties360
- Center for Intercultural Organizing (Now Unite Oregon)
- Portland State University
- University of Portland

Private Paddle Partner & Sponsor

Slough Celebration Past Award Winners

2016-17 Award Winners

• Brenda Demaree, Purdy Community Engagement Team
• Lower Slough Refugia Project: Dave Helzer, Fred MacGregor, Nadine Meyers, Melissa Brown, Peter Hesford, Greg Morrill and Clayton Solberg
• Vanport Mosaic Festival

2015 Award Winners

• Shannah Anderson, City of Portland – Bureau of Environmental Services
• Meei Lum, Leatherman Tool Group
• Knife River Corporation - Northwest
• Depave
• Matthew Todd, Buffalo Slough
• Lee Dayfield and Jim Labbe, Nadaka Park and Garden Project

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.

Racial & Social Equity

Diversity Statement

The Columbia Slough Watershed Council recognizes that human diversity is a fundamental strength of our community, that racism and oppression have caused long-lasting and grievous harm, and that this is fundamentally relevant to our work. We are committed to engage participants, volunteers, staff, partners, and council members who live, work, and play in the watershed. 

In the summer of 2015, 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, Council staff members actively participated in the development of a Racial Equity Action plan based on the findings of our assessment.  Over the last year, our organization has been making modifications to individual program delivery by prioritizing the needs of our watershed community. You can find the most updated list of goals and actions that we are currently implementing below.

Currently, with the help of partners and regional leaders advancing equity in our region, we’re working on the development of our racial & social equity strategy and our theory of change.  We’re working to develop a transparent program where our objectives have measurable outcomes that do not perpetuate institutional racism.  If you have questions about our process please contact us at events@columbiaslough.org or call 503-281-1132.

Resource Description
Equity Action Plan, 2016-17 Update
Latest update to the racial equity action plan developed by staff in 2015
Sponsorship Opportunities

Sponsorship Opportunities

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 below.

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

Resource Description
2018 SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
2017 Comprehensive Sponsor Packet

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 sponsor

Silent auction sponsor

a special thanks to our 2018 auction donors

Abacela
Academy Theater
Alameda Brewing
Alder Creek
Argyle Winery
Artistic Bliss Portraits
Assembly PDX
Backyard Bird Shop
Bikram Yoga Fremont St
The Blazers
Bob’s Red Mill
BodyVox
Breitenbush
Caffe Umbria
Chinook Book
Columbia River Maritime Museum
Columbia Sportswear
Common Ground Wellness Co-operative
Concordia Wellness

David Biggs
Deschutes Brewery
Domaine Serene
Everett House Healing Center
Everybody’s Brewing
Fire on the Mountain
Full Sail Brewing
Garden Fever!
Garnish Apparel
Glendoveer Golf & Tennis
Grand Central Baking Co.
Hip Cooks Seattle
Hot Diggity! Dog Walking + Pet Sitting
Japanese Garden
Jean Stamper
Lauren Blair
Light Science Studios
Me Fitness Studio
Milepost 275
Mississippi Pizza
New Seasons
Next Adventure
Nexus Hotel - Seattle
Ninkasi Brewing
NW Discoveries
OMSI
Oregon Garden
Oregon Shakespeare Festival
Oregon Symphony
Oregon Zoo
Pastini Pastaria
Pittock Mansion
Plan-it Earth Design
Poquitos
Porque no? Taqueria
Portland Baroque Orchestra
Portland Center Stage
Portland Culinary Workshop
Portland Nursery
REI
Rhein Haus
Seattle Architecture Foundation
Sharon Hocking Interior Design
Shilo Inns
Stumptown
The Barberry restaurant
The Merry Kitchen
The Merry Kitchen
Timberline
Troy Clark
Thorns
Traveling Julie Photography
White Rose Estate Winery and Vineyard
Widmer Brothers Brewing
Wilsonville Family Fun Center
Wet Planet Rafting
Willamette Valley Vineyards
Winter’s Hill Winery
Wines For Humanity
Wonder Ballroom
Working Class Acupuncture

Celebration Beer, Wine and Desserts


Casa Bruno
Elephants Delicatessen
Embassy Suites
Fleur De Lis Bakery
Jackson Family Wines
Kenny & Zukes
New Seasons Bakery
Nothing Bundt Cakes
Pacific Pie
Pix Patisserie
Stormbreaker Brewing
Widmer Brothers
Willamette Valley Wines

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. Please mail your donation to Columbia Slough Watershed Council, 7040 NE 47th Ave, Portland, OR 97218 by February 21, 2018. We are also happy to pick up your donated items. Please complete this form, email susanne.raymond@columbiasloug.org or call (503) 281-1132 to arrange for donation pick up. 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!

 

Board 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 Corrina Chase at: corrina.chase@columbiaslough.org

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

SPRING & SUMMER 2017

  • Monday, January 30
  • Monday, February 27
  • Monday, March 27
  • Monday, April 24
  • Monday, June 5
  • Monday, June 26
  • No July meeting
  • Monday, August 28: Project Tour

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

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 events@columbiaslough.org with your proposal. 

There are no current internships open with the Council.

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 Corrina Chase for more information at: (503) 281-1132 or corrina.chase@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 Slough wetlands and waterways were home for millennia to Native peoples as it provided abundant and diverse fishing and hunting opportunities, and safe canoe passage. The Portland metro area rests on traditional village sites of the Multnomah, Kathlamet, Clackamas, Chinook, Tualatin Kalapuya, Molalla. Longhouses with hundreds of residents stretched along the Slough in a village called Neerchokikoo. 

The Hudson’s Bay Company set-up camp across the water from the Slough, in present-day Vancouver and began trapping otter and beaver in 1820.  Neerchokikoo villagers faced extremely difficult circumstances with the settlement of Portland, and the majority of tribal peoples were forcibly removed or died due to smallpox and other European diseases during the “cold sick” epidemic of the early 1830’s.  By the 1850’s, Europeans were rapidly settling the area, and farming had replaced trapping as the main European economic activity. Despite removal and disease, some Chinook tribal members continued to live along the Slough, with the last documented remaining elder moving out in 1906. He was known simply as “Indian John.

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.

Historia de la cuenca

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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.

Facebook: @columbiaslough
Twitter: @columbiaslough
Instagram: @columbiaslough

Member Area

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

Mission Statement

To protect and enhance the Columbia Slough and its watershed through community engagement, education, and restoration.

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 work parties 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!

Check out and register for our 2018 Stewardship Saturday events below!

All events take place from 9:00am - 12:00pm.
Click the event for more information.
Want to sign up? Register here

.

Volunteer

Join us for a morning work party and improve watershed health! Caring for our native plant community takes team work - 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 a Volunteer Partner for any of the events above. Get out and start serving your community today at a park near you! Contact Kirk Fatland at kirk.fatland@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 Kirk Fatland for more information or call (503) 281-1132.

With questions about these and other volunteer opportunities, contact Kirk Fatland at kirk.fatland@columbiaslough.org or call (503) 281-1132.

Restauración

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

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 30, 2017 Agenda
January Meeting Agenda
December 5, 2016 Agenda
December Meeting Agenda
August 29, 2016 Agenda
August Meeting Agenda
July 25, 2016 Agenda
July Meeting Agenda
June 27, 2016 Agenda
June Meeting Agenda
May 23, 2016 Agenda
May 2016 Angenda
April 25, 2016 Agenda
April Meeting Agenda
March 28, 2016 Agenda
March Meeting Agenda
February 29, 2016 Agenda
February Meeting Agenda
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
July 27th, 2015 Agenda
July Meeting Agenda
June, 29th, 2015 Agenda
June Meeting Agenda
May 18th, 2015 Agenda
May Meeting Agenda
April 27th, 2015 Agenda
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

Board Members

The CSWC board is a stakeholder representative board with additional traditional nonprofit board roles. This means that many of the seats are held by agency-appointed staff members and we have a larger number than many boards. Board members are responsible for the policies, financial oversight, and general direction of our organization. In addition to monthly meetings, board members are encouraged to participate in a committee (education, tech team, executive, diversity equity and inclusion, fiscal, and fundraising) and occasionally volunteer at an event or in whatever capacity is a good fit.  Board meetings are typically on the last monday evening of the month. The board roles and responsibilities are described in the attached document in detail.

Many of our current board members have been dedicated to the organization for a very long time; several have recently retired from these seats, changed representation seats, or moved on as they were no longer in positions relevant to the organization. With a new executive director, empty seats on the board, strategic planning underway, and opportunity and need to continue to be responsive in our work, it is a great time to join the board.

We are currently recruiting especially for science, environmental, recreational, and Native American Tribal/Cultural seats. We have openings as well in neighborhoods, community at large, and business. Prospective board members should have proven enthusiasm for the work that we do in the watershed, value and practice a diversity, equity, and inclusion lens, and be willing to fulfil the basic expectations outlined in the board handbook.

If you are interested in joining the board, please contact Executive Director Corrina Chase at corrina.chase@columbiaslough.org or 503-281-1132.  Interested candidates will first meet with the Executive Director to answer questions and discuss the organization and board roles in more detail. With further interest, there is a board application form here.

Resource Description
Council Board Member Job Description
Board Member Position Description

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 16-17)
Annual report covering June 1, 2016 - June 30, 2017
Annual Report (FY 15-16)
Annual report covering June 1, 2015 - June 30, 2016
Program Area Specific Highlights Report (FY 15-16)
Program area highlights report covering June 1, 2015 - June 30, 2016
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

Employment

Bilingual Outreach and Events Assistant

Do you love putting on a good community event, focused on the environment, hands-on science and restoration of our natural areas? Apply for our Bilingual Outreach and Events Assistant today!
Not the right fit? Please volunteer with us to make connections and help us serve the watershed! Visit our Get Involved page to learn about volunteer and internship opportunities.

 

Resource Description
Bilingual Outreach and Events Assistant
Part time, temporary. Applications due March 4th, 2018.

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. Sign up here!

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

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.

Field Programs

Kelley Point Park SERVEWe design Field Programs for students to study the ecosystem of a site within the Columbia Slough Watershed and its nearby habitats. These trips are the field component for students who have completed at least one classroom presentation.

What to Expect

Field activities include:

  • Wildlife observation
  • Permeability, porosity, and the flow of water
  • Visiting Portland Water Bureau’s Groundwater Pump Station
  • Water quality testing
  • Macroinvertebrate sampling
  • Identifying native and non-native plants
  • Habitat studies

Field programs generally last between 1.5 - 2 hours and can include a stewardship project or deeper scientific investigation.

Stewardship

After studying watersheds and riparian zones, students can participate in riparian restoration projects through our partnership with Portland Parks & Recreation, including:

  • Invasive plant removal
  • Mulching and trail maintenance
  • Planting native herbs, shrubs, and trees

Cost and Transportation

Slough School programs are offered free of charge to teachers and students within the Columbia Slough Watershed. Thanks to funding from the Gray Family, Portland Water Bureau and the Cities of Gresham and Fairview, we can help with school bus transportation fees. Please check with Jennifer, the Education Director, about billing your academic transportation to Slough School.

Whitaker Ponds Nature Park is accessible by Tri-met bus #75 and is located at 7040 NE 47th Ave in Portland, a short walk from NE 47th & Columbia Blvd.

Academic Standards

We plan for Slough School field lessons to be in line with the science curriculum and standards that you are meeting in the classroom.

Our programming supports Next Generation Science Standards at each grade level.

Where?

Many field trips take place at Whitaker Ponds Nature Park, which has an outdoor classroom, pond access and limited indoor study areas.

PLEASE NOTE: From now through October 2017, Whitaker Ponds will be under construction as Portland Parks works on a new entrance to the park on NE 47th. Please work with us to find alternative natural areas for field trips during this timeframe. Thank you!

Other sites within the watershed include:

Be Prepared

Come to field experiences dressed appropriately for the weather! During the fall, winter, and spring it’s a great idea to wear:

  • Warm layers
  • A waterproof layer
  • Closed-toed shoes or boots

...all of which are OK to get dirty!

Slough School has raingear, boots, and gloves for your students to borrow if they want it - let us know!

We also need to be safe in our urban natural areas! We remember these guidelines in the field:

  • Sharp: Leave sharp things on the ground and tell an adult
  • Slippery: Walk carefully on surfaces
  • Stay With the Group: Always be able to see and hear your adult leaders

Please invite enough adult chaperones to meet a 1:10 adult to student ratio.

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

Jennifer Starkey, Education Director
Phone: (503) 281-1132
email: jennifer.starkey@columbiaslough.org

Viajes de Estudios

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…

Classroom Lessons

Slough School provides classroom lessons tailored to fit the learning objectives of a specific group or classroom. We can combine combine programs to create a specific unit of interest.

Habitats of Oregon

What makes up a habitat? Food, Water, Shelter, Oxygen, and Space! Explore habitats of Oregon and the Columbia Slough watershed through hands-on activities. What animals find what they need to survive on Oregon’s Coast? Valley Ponds? Mountains? Desert? Students will select an animal from the Columbia Slough Watershed and draw it in its habitat.

NGSS 2nd Grade: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems, LS4.D: Biodiversity and Humans

Erosion

Erosion is: The movement of soil! Weathering breaks, and erosion TAKES. Students will investigate soil up close with lenses, examine how plants can affect erosion, and measure turbidity of water with sediment in it. What can we do to stop erosion?

NGSS 2nd Grade: Earth’s Systems: Processes that Shape the Earth, ETS1.A: Defining and Delimiting Engineering Problems

NGSS 4th Grade: ESS2.A: Earth Materials and Systems: Water, ice, wind, living organisms, and gravity break rocks, soils, and sediments into smaller particles and move them around.

Animal Adaptations

An adaptation is something an animal has or does that helps it survive in its environment. Discuss how animals have adapted to their specific environment. Identify the adaptations of birds, mammals and fish. Examine pelts, skulls and specimens of animals who live near the Columbia Slough.

NGSS 3rd grade: 3-LS4 Biological Evolution: Unity and Diversity, 3-LS3 Heredity: Inheritance and Variation of Traits

NGSS 4th grade: LS1.A: Structure and Function

Aquatic Macroinvertebrates

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

NGSS 1st Grade: 1.Structure, Function, and Information Processing

NGSS 2nd Grade: LS4.D: Biodiversity and Humans: There are many different kinds of living things in any area, and they exist in different places on land and in water.

Groundwater, Porosity, and Permeability

The Columbia Slough Watershed sits right on top of Portland’s secondary source of drinking water, the Columbia South Shore Well Field! Learn how local geology affects our groundwater system. Using an interactive model, discover how local choices affect groundwater safety. How much energy does it take to move water against gravity?

NGSS Middle School: ESS2.A: Earth’s Materials and Systems, ESS3.A: Natural Resources

Riparian Zones and Native vs Invasive Plants

What is a Riparian Zone? It’s the Land By the Water! Students will differentiate native and invasive plants and how they both affect water quality and habitat. What’s the difference between herbs, trees, and shrubs? Students will get to identify plant samples with field guides.

NGSS 5th Grade: LS2.A: Interdependent Relationships in Ecosystems

Water Quality

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.

Watershed Model

What is a Watershed?

Water + Gravity + Land = A watershed. Learn about watersheds and sources of pollution through historical and current maps, drawing, and a watershed model.

NGSS 5th Grade: PS2.B: Types of Interactions: The gravitational force of Earth acting on an object near Earth’s surface pulls that object toward the planet’s center.

NGSS Middle School: ESS2.C: The Roles of Water in Earth’s Surface Processes

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

Jennifer Starkey, Education Director
Phone: (503) 281-1132
email: jennifer.starkey@columbiaslough.org

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.

Slough School

Overview

Slough School is the educational program of the Columbia Slough Watershed Council, serving students in Kindergarten through college. It provides hands-on programs for students to learn about the history and ecology of the watershed, its organisms, and the human effects on the area.

Program Structure

Slough School programming is free for students in grades K-college who live or attend schools within the Columbia Slough Watershed. We offer a wide variety of academic programs, including classroom lessons, field programs, and stewardship projects at sites along the Slough. Interested in working with us? Fill out this form!

Geographic Area

A watershed is:
An area of land
Where all the water flows
To a common point
(such as a river, lake or slough)

The Columbia Slough is 60 miles of lakes, wetlands and slow-moving channels in the southern floodplain of the Columbia River. On this map, when water hits the ground anywhere in the green area, gravity takes it to the Columbia Slough. If your school is in the green area, you qualify for free programs!

Schools in the Columbia Slough Watershed

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 Kelley Point Park in the west to Fairview Lake and the headwaters of Fairview Creek in the east; from Marine Drive 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.

Teachers and program coordinators, if you are interested in creating a plan of study with the Slough School, contact:

Jennifer Starkey, Education Director
Phone: (503) 281-1132
email: jennifer.starkey@columbiaslough.org

Partners

Slough School is made possible by
Funding from: The Gray Family Foundation, Boeing, and the Ralph & Adolph Jacobs Foundation
Partnerships with: City of Gresham, City of Fairview, Portland Water Bureau, Clean Rivers Education, and Portland Parks and Recreation.

Share

LYFE IN THA SLOUGH #sloughschool

A video posted by Columbia Slough (@columbia_slough) on



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.

Educación: Slough School

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.

Mapas y Guías

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.

Noticias del Columbia Slough

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

¡Involúcrate!

Events & Workshops

Events & Workshops

Explore the Slough and learn about local nature!

The recreation program of the Columbia Slough Watershed Council offers free environmental education activities, bike tours, workshops, paddling events and multi-cultural festivals with the objective to increase community engagement and raise awareness about the richness of this special waterway.

paddle pretty

Recreation Activites

Workshops
- Attracting Pollinators
- Groundwater 101
- Invasive Species
- Naturescaping
- Native Plants
- Slough 101
- Stormwater 101
- Raingarden 101
- Wetlands 101

Bike & Walk Tours
- Bat Night
- Bike the Levees
- Bird Walks
- Brew by the Slough
- Brunch with the Birds
- Cycle the Well Field
- Owl Prowl
- Subs on the Slough
- Vanport Tour

Paddling Events
- Bring Your Own Boat
- Evening Canoe the Slough (Spring & Fall)
- Ladies Lunchtime Paddle
- Moonlight Paddle

Community Festivals
- Explorando el Columbia Slough
- Columbia Slough Regatta
- Aquifer Adventure

Click here to learn more and register for upcoming events and workshops.  For additional information and/or questions, contact:

Susanne Raymond, Outreach & Events Director
Email: susanne.raymond@columbiaslough.org
Phone: (503) 281-1132

Sponsors & Partners

Our recreation activities are made possible by funding from: Boeing, the Bureau of Environmental Services, East Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District, Metro, and the Portland Water Bureau and Partnerships with: Community Cycling Center, Hacienda CDC, Living Cully/Verde, and Next Adventure.

Eventos & Actividades

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

Quienes Somos

Resource Description
Annual Summary
Annual Summary
Annual Report
Columbia Slough Watershed Council Annual Report FY 16-17
Letter of Support Process
Information on how to request a letter of support from the Council.
Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer Opportunities

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

Outreach:

Help us spread the word and reach new communities in our watershed! Outreach volunteers are comfortable communicating with community members about the activities and projects of the Council. After a training, outreach volunteers attend various community events, festivals and street fairs engaging the public about the Council’s activities and programs. These volunteers are most active in the spring and summer seasons. How to get involved:

Select “Outreach” on the Volunteer Interest Form

and

Check out our upcoming events schedule

Paddle Team:

As a member of the Paddle Team you will be contributing to a growing program that strives to engage communities in Fairview, Gresham and Portland to learn about, enjoy, and assist with restoration efforts of their local watershed and natural areas. We’re seeking novice to advanced paddlers to assist with our evening paddles, Slough School youth paddles and summer festivals.  How to get involved:

Check out the Paddle Team Cohort Description


and

Fill out the Paddle Team Application

kids testing

Slough School:

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. Volunteers are trained and supported by the Slough School staff. How to get involved:

Select “Slough School” on the Volunteer Interest Form

Office & Admin:

The Council welcomes office volunteers throughout the year. Office volunteers assist with a wide variety of administrative tasks from event preparation and data entry to graphic design. A successful office volunteer pays attention to details and is comfortable taking direction. A general knowledge of computers and Google Drive is helpful. How to get involved:

Select “Office & Admin” on the Volunteer Interest Form

Stewardship:

Stewardship Saturdays:

These volunteer work parties at locations all around the watershed focus on creating habitat for all Slough creatures- people included! These events are great opportunities to enjoy your local natural areas while simultaneously giving back to your community. They are open to individuals and volunteer groups. Environmental restoration activities include invasive plant removal, litter pick up, native plant installation and more! We provide all tools, and training. How to get involved:

Sign up for a Stewardship Saturday

Cleanups:

Cleanups are another way to get involved with the our stewardship program. With the support of incredible volunteers, we paddle the Slough in canoes removing trash. In 2018 we will be hosting a spring cleanup event in addition to our annual and always epic Great Slough Cleanup! How to get involved: Sign up for our volunteer newsletter by clicking the blue newsletter button on the right or

Select “Stewardship” on the Volunteer Interest Form

and we will keep you posted as dates are set for these events!

Events:

Every year, along with community partners and sponsors; the Council hosts free community events in our community! Hundreds of participants from the watershed come out to experience the Slough with us throughout the summer. Whether it is Aquifer Adventure, a pirate-themed groundwater festival or Regatta where all are welcome to borrow a canoe to paddle the Slough, all events rely on volunteer support! Volunteer shifts are usually 3-4 hours long, with the benefits of tasty snacks provided by us, excellent company from volunteers like you, and infinite inspiration provided by the community. How to get involved:

Select “Events” on the Volunteer Interest Form

or

See our upcoming events schedule

Board & Committees:

Join other dedicated community members on our board or one of our committees! These are great leadership opportunities for volunteers looking to have a positive impact on the watershed. How to get involved:

Learn how the board & committees work

Other Thoughts?

If you have other skills questions or want to be involved with the council as a volunteer:contact Volunteer Coordinator Kirk Fatland at volunteer@columbiaslough.org or 503 281-1132.

Resource Description
2018 Volunteer Paddle Team Cohort
Description of the Paddle Team and 2018 position requirements.

Council Staff

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

Upcoming Events

Upcoming Events

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: events@columbiaslough.org or (503) 281-1132.

Year at a Glance

See below for 2018 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). 

January

  • Next Adventure Thirsty Thursday Presentation, January 18th, 6:30- 8:30PM

  • Groundwater 101, January 20th, 9:00 AM- 1:00PM

  • Stewardship Saturday, January 20th, 9:00 AM-12:00 PM

  • Stewardship Saturday, January 27th, 9:00 AM-12:00 PM

  • Council Meeting at Kenton Library, January 29nd, 5:00-7:30 PM

February

  • Stewardship Saturday, February 3th, 9:00 AM-12:00 PM

  • Stewardship Saturday, February 10th, 9:00 AM-12:00 PM

  • Rain Gardens 101 Workshop, February 10th, 1:00-5:00 PM

  • Stewardship Saturday, February 17th, 9:00 AM-12:00 PM

  • Stewardship Saturday, February 24th, 9:00 AM-12:00 PM

  • Council Meeting, February 26th, 5:00-7:30 PM

March

  • Slough Celebration, March 2nd, 6:00-9:00 PM

  • Naturescaping Workshop, March 10th, 9:00 AM- 1:00 PM

  • Get out and Paddle the Slough w/ Next Adventure, March 11th, 9:30 AM-1:00PM

  • Children’s Festival, March 13th, 9:00 AM-12:00 PM

  • “Bring Your Own Boat” Paddle, March 15th, 5:30-7:30 PM

  • Stewardship Saturday, March 17th, 9:00 AM-12:00 PM

  • Slough 101, March 24th, 9:00 AM-12:45 PM

  • Stewardship Saturday, March 24th, 9:00 AM-12:45 PM

  • Council Meeting, March 26th, 5:00-7:30 PM

  • Stewardship Saturday, March 31st, 9:00 AM-12:00 PM

April

  • Stewardship Saturday, April 7th, 9:00 AM-12:00 PM

  • Paddle Team Training Part 1, April 19th, 5:00-8:00 PM

  • Stewardship Saturday, April 21st, 9:00 AM-12:00 PM

  • Paddle Team Training Part 2, April 22nd, 9:00 AM-2:00 PM

  • Council Meeting, April 23rd, 5:00-7:30 PM

  • Wetlands 101, April 28th, 9:00 AM-12:00 PM

May

  • Evening Canoe the Slough (Spring), May 3rd, 5:00-8:00 PM

  • Stewardship Saturday, May 5th, 9:00 AM-12:00 PM

  • Brunch with the Birds, May 11th, 11:00 AM-1:00 PM

  • Council Meeting, May 21st, 5:00-7:30 PM

  • Vanport Mosaic Festival, May 28th, All day

June

  • Cycle the Well Field, June 9th, 8:45 AM -1:30 PM

  • Council Meeting, June 25th, 5:00-7:30 PM

  • Explorando el Columbia Slough, June 30th, 1:00-5:00 PM

July

  • Great Slough Clean-Up, July 21st, 9:00 AM - 12:00 PM

  • Council Meeting, July 23rd, 5:00-7:30 PM

  • Moonlight Paddle, July 27th, 9:00-11:00 PM

August

  • Columbia Slough Regatta, August 5th, 10:00 AM-1:00 PM

  • Bat Night, August 24th, 7:30-9:30 PM

  • Council Meeting, August 27th, 5:00-7:30 PM

  • Ladies Lunchtime Paddle, August 30th, 10:00 AM -1:30 PM

September

  • Aquifer Adventure, September 15th, 12:00-4:00 PM

  • Council Meeting, September 24th, 5:00-7:30 PM

  • Evening Canoe the Slough (Fall), September 27th, 5:00-8:00 PM (Fall)

October

  • Bike the Levees, October 7th, 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM

  • Owl Prowl October 19th, 7:00-9:00 PM

  • Council Meeting October 22nd, 5:00-7:30 PM

November

  • Council Meeting, November 27th, 5:00 - 7:30 PM

December

 

Resource Description
2018 Events Calendar
2018 Events Calendar (PDF)

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, that were formerly floodplains connected to the Columbia River.  The Slough wetlands and waterways were home for millennia to Native peoples, namely the Upper Chinook, as it provided abundant and diverse fishing and hunting opportunities, and safe canoe passage.

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 Multnomah County.

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.

Nuestra Cuenca

La cuenca del Columbia Slough es una red de 40 millas de humedales, pantanos, lagos y canales de la antigua llanura aluvial del rio Columbia.  Esta cuenca de 50 millas cuadradas capta los escurrimientos y agua subterránea que la rodean y es rica en recursos naturales. 

La cuenca sustenta a numerosas especies de peces, aves, y vida silvestre, y provee importantes funciones ecológicas: mejorar la calidad del aire y agua, proveer drenaje y ayudar a controlar las inundaciones. Este es un lugar bello para la contemplación, recreación y el descanso.

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.

Celebration Gala - Year 20!

Celebration Gala - Year 20!

We are excited to announce that our 20th edition of Slough Celebration Gala will be held March 2nd at Embassy Suites! This year we will be awarding a scientist, a teacher and a facilities manager who have gone above and beyond the call of duty to improve the Slough. We thank Jennifer Sutter (DEQ), Joe Ferguson (Alliance High School) and Mike Ward (Rivergate Scrap Metal) for their dedication to environmental science and stewardship! Read about their accomplishments here and join us in celebrating them on March 2nd!

This year, our biggest fundraising event will feature:
* a carefully curated silent auction
* an awards ceremony
* a wine wall raffle
* a delicious dessert dash
* glamorous photo booth fun and
* a divine banquet!

Sponsorship options and individual tickets are now available. Read more and get your Early Bird tickets here!

Now accepting applications for the 2018 volunteer Paddle Team!

Now accepting applications for the 2018 volunteer Paddle Team!

Join our paddle team! Each year the Columbia Slough Watershed Council hosts dozens of educational paddling events that expose adults and children to the wonders of the Columbia Slough. We’re seeking paddlers who would like to volunteer to assist with our Evening Canoe paddles, Slough School kids’ paddles and our summer festivals - no experience necessary!

As a member of the Paddle Team you will be contributing to a growing program that strives to engage communities in Fairview, Gresham and Portland to learn about, enjoy, and assist with restoration efforts of their local watershed and natural areas. 

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
- Assist staff members with canoe and kayak-based education and recreation activities
- Lead and support volunteers in the paddling area at events
- Facilitate safe, inclusive on-water activities with youth and adults
- Perform routine maintenance on boats and paddling equipment


Volunteer Benefits:
- Paddle skill building practice and experience
-Increased knowledge of our local natural areas, plants, and wildlife
- Personal and professional development opportunities
- Help address the lack of racial diversity in environmental conservation and outdoor recreation
- Help raise profile of watershed restoration and protection efforts
- Community connection building opportunities
- Opportunities to connect with local officials and experts
- Training and certification by the American Canoe Association
- Discounts to Next Adventure rentals and classes, including beginner to advanced on the water trainings


Time commitment:
Volunteers are expected to commit to a minimum of 5 programs over the paddle season (May through September. Alternative substitutions include leading a private paddle tour, attending a community festival to conduct outreach with Council staff, and/or assisting with event preparation and logistics.

Orientation Part 1 (Thursday April 19th ) will focus on the logistical aspects of this volunteer team.
Orientation Part 2 (Saturday, April 22nd) will include on-water skill and team building opportunities with the Council and Next Adventure.
Volunteers must attend each session.

Team Description and Application:

For a full position description and application visit our Volunteer Opportunities page. Applications must be submitted by Monday, April 16th, 2018.

Meet Volunteers Nancy and Bruce!

Meet Volunteers Nancy and Bruce!

As you paddle the middle section of the Columbia Slough you encounter a choice; continue forward on the main channel or explore the small arm known as the Buffalo Slough. Your adventurous spirit urges you to take the time and pass through the gate of fallen cottonwoods, the slow water leads you toward Ne 33rd Avenue.The flap of a disgruntled great blue heron can be startling against the muffled hum of industry. Passing beneath the bridge, the sound of traffic from above fades to the ping of golf balls being sent down a fairway. Broadmoor Golf Course straddles the slough in front of you a few hundred yards away. Glancing right several docks reach into the water catching your eye as a perfect spot to enjoy a bit of afternoon sun. If your paddling adventures brought you here before you may notice something else; much of the invasive blackberry that sprawled across the northern bank is absent. In years to come, newly planted clusters of swamp rose,gooseberry and two foot tall western red cedars will take its place.
The continual restoration of the Buffalo Slough is in part thanks to Nancy Henry and Bruce Campbell. You may notice them on their dock enjoying the afternoon sun as you paddle by. Watershed Council volunteers and Slough caretakers, Nancy and Bruce are passionate about and “inspired by the rich diversity of wildlife living here.” They are actively “dedicated to eradicating invasive plants and enhancing the Slough habitat,” heartened by the knowledge the slough “can be reclaimed and rejuvenated.”
Nancy, a program director for Vista and AmeriCorp training at Northwest Education Labs, and Bruce, a former high school environmental educator are accustomed to giving back to the community. Their commitment to restoring riparian habitat in the neighborhood is spurred by a belief in the potential for the Columbia Slough to become “an environmental gem.” This is what keeps them coming back to Stewardship Saturdays and devoting time to restoration work outside of CSWC events. These two contribute a long-lasting positive impact on the Slough. In return Nancy and Bruce enjoy “over time, watching the ecosystem transform positively as a result of volunteer work.” This transformation is visible as you reach the end of the Buffalo Slough thanks to dedication by Nancy and Bruce. If you ever find yourself wandering up the Buffalo Slough don’t forget to wave to Nancy and Bruce on their dock.

Click here to join volunteers like Nancy and Bruce at a Stewardship Saturday event this winter!

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 2018 for events like Explorando, Regatta, or Aquifer Adventure. Group volunteering is a great way to build camaraderie, get exercise and serve your community - join us!

For more information, get in touch with our Volunteer Coordinator, Kirk Fatland.

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(503) 281-1132

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

Questions?  Give us a call at: (503) 281-1132 or email .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).