Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival 11/12

Brought to you by Willamette Riverkeeper and Patagonia, the Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival is as entertaining as much as it is a call to action. Expect an inspiring lineup of creative, independent, eco conscious adventure films that illustrate the Earth’s beauty, the challenges facing our planet, and the work communities are doing to protect the environment.
Wild & Scenic both informs people about the state of the world, and inspires us to create positive change. You’ll see Red Gold,  an award winning film about a controversial copper and gold mine is proposed at the headwaters of the world’s largest salmon fishery in Bristol Bay, AK. The film tells a story of remote Native American sustenance-users, commercial fisherman, sport fisherman and residence that all share the commonality of salmon fishing at the core of their existence. For the first time, all user groups have come together in opposition of Pebble Mine development.
Crossroads at the Columbia:  Exploring the environmental and community-rights issues surrounding proposals by private companies to build Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) terminals on Oregon’s Columbia River. 
Where: McMenamins Bagdad Theater, SE 37th & Hawthorne
Time: 7:00 p.m.
PRIZE: That’s right – we like prizes! You’ll get a chance to win an Eddyline Merlin XT kayak!

Willamette Riverkeeper’s The Great Willamette Cleanup

Although our local river, the Willamette, is often referred to in disdainful terms, it serves the recreational community and even serves Northwest River Guides for the Thursday skills socials. Many paddlers first took to the water here. It is host to Paddle Oregon, a week-long event in August. And Next Adventure and NRG held Sunday Sellwood-Ross Island trips there all summer!

Willamette Riverkeeper’s mission is to protect and restore the Willamette River. They believe that a river with good water quality and abundant natural habitat is a basic public right. The Willamette River belongs to all of us, and should be protected as such.

October 3rd they held the 1st Great Willamette Cleanup! They invited folks from We Love Clean Rivers, and Pacific NW Sea Kayak Meetup to handle one section – the Meldrum Bar. We met out there with canoes and kayaks and headed out to Goat and Cedar Islands to scour the area.

First order of the day was meet and greet, check our route, and sign the usual legal formalities.Release form


Then we landed down at Cedar Island. I was surprised that we only found a tire, an easy up shelter and a whole lotta old cable buried in sand. At least we found that much!Jessie wrangling

Some of the other groups cleaned sections in far worse shape. Look at what they got!

Canoe barge

Haul 1

This was not without wear and tear on my body. I bled for the cleanup!

welsh blood

After we were done, we took group photos, then headed down to Madison’s Bar & Grill for some grub. All in all a good time and we’re sure next year’s cleanup will be even bigger!Cleanup crew

Ross Island No Wake Zone Proposal Goes Down

If you’ve been on one of the Northwest River Guides/Next Adventure paddles on the Willamette River this summer, you’ve paddled the area behind the east side of Ross Island. That area is full of ospreys, blue herons, tree-nesting birds, deer, and even a pair of bald eagles nest nearby. It just so happens that hot summer days that stretch is very popular with jet skiers and wake boarders. The wakes these boats produce erode the banks and the noise hinders the restoration of wildlife habitat.

For much of the year, there has been a campaign supported by Willamette Riverkeeper, Oregon Audobon Society and The Urban Greenspaces Institute to establish a no-wake zone in that area. Founded in 1996, Willamette Riverkeeper is the only organization dedicated solely to the protection and restoration of the Willamette River. Its efforts with regard to the improvement of habitat and water quality on the Willamette have made it the leading organization when it comes to Willamette River issues.

The initiative was supported by the Portland City Council and the Portland Parks Department. The idea was to create an area that protects the habitat restoration investment inside the Lagoon, provide a greater level of safety in the channel and lagoon, and an overall better environment for viewing and hearing wildlife - something our Sunday morning Ross Island / Next Adventure paddles would benefit from! Unfortunately, the Marine Board, the small state agency that is funded entirely with boater fees, did not accept their own staff’s recommendation and declined the proposal July 27th.

Fact is, the Marine Board is composed mostly of power boaters. We need human-powered river users on the Oregon State Marine Board!

Willamette Riverkeeper Paddle 7/25

NA Kayak Trips

I’ll be paddling with Willamette Riverkeeper Saturday July 25 to take in a section of river near Salem, Oregon. Willamette Riverkeeper’s sole mission is to protect and restore the river. Members believe good water quality and abundant wildlife are a basic public right.

Join Willamette Riverkeeper as we explore the river between Salem and Mission Bottom on Saturday, July 25. This reach provides numerous scenic vistas and lots of wildlife. We’ll paddle about 12 miles, and we’ll stop along the way for lunch and to stretch our legs.
We will meet at Salem’s Wallace Marine Park and provide a shuttle from our take-out at Willamette Mission State Park back to our put-in. Shuttle service may take some time depending on our group size. You are welcome to arrange your own shuttle if you are not prepared to wait.

We would like to be on the water by 10 sharp!  If you are using one of our boats, we ask that you be at the park no later than 9:20 to sign in and select gear. If you are using your own boat, please be ready to go by 9:50. We should be off the water by about 2:00, but please allow one additional hour if you are using our shuttle.

**Directions to the put in at Wallace Marine Park:
The park is on the west side of the Willamette. From the I-5/downtown Salem, cross the river on the Marion Street Bridge (OR-22).  From the bridge, exit right to OR-221/Wallace Road NW. Follow OR-221 about a half mile, then turn right at the stop light onto Glen Creek Road NW. Follow Glen Creek Road into the park, past the ball fields, under the railroad trestle, and to the boat ramp next to the Marion Street Bridge. For the record, there are several coffee shops just before you get to the park!

For registration and further details, contact Kate at info@willametteriverkeeper.org or call 503-223-6418. Feel free to join us in your own kayak or canoe, or request one of our canoes. Prior paddling experience is encouraged but not required.

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