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Environmental Services

working for clean rivers

Phone: 503-823-7740

Fax: 503-823-6995

1120 SW 5th Avenue, Room 1000, Portland, OR 97204

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Willamette Watershed

  • Stephens Creek Confluence Stephens Creek flows into the Willamette north of the Sellwood Bridge where the city and partners are enhancing habitat for salmon and other fish and wildlife

  • Stormwater Swale at Mt. Tabor School This swale captures stormwater from two acres of roofs, streets and parking lots to help reduce sewer backups in basements and overflows to the river

  • Tree Planting at Baltimore Woods Volunteers help restore habitat, including native Oregon white oak trees that were once common in this area

  • Great Blue Heron Portland’s part of the Willamette River is home to many species of fish and wildlife, even downtown

watershed photos

The Willamette River stretches nearly 300 miles from its headwaters at Waldo Lake near Eugene to the confluence with the Columbia River in North Portland. The Willamette River Basin is the largest watershed in the state, covering more than 11,500 square miles.

Portland is at the lower end of the drainage basin and is the most urbanized part of the watershed. The city occupies only a small fraction of the river's watershed, but the area is a critical gateway for the region’s fish and wildlife. The 17 miles of Willamette River that pass through the city are vital to many species, including native salmon and steelhead that rear in and migrate through Portland on their journey between the ocean and their spawning streams.

link to Willamette Watershed report cardThis part of the river is also Portland’s working harbor, “front yard” and symbol of the city. Environmental Services and many partners are working to improve the health of the Willamette River in Portland and our part of the Willamette’s watershed. 

Read more about Portland’s Willamette watershed here.


About the Watershed

Summary of the Willamette watershed’s history, geography, natural resources and conditions