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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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Johnson Creek’s “Classy, Not Trashy” clean up a big success

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Trash removal complements restoration efforts for a healthier stream.

volunteers remove tires  cleaning up the creek

The Johnson Creek Watershed Council’s 8th annual creek clean-up was a resounding success. On August 23rd, about 140 volunteers removed trash from 18 locations in and near Johnson Creek. In all, they collected over 3 tons of trash (wow!), and recycled 30 bags of material and 20 tires.

The event was supported in part through a grant by Environmental Service’s Community Watershed Stewardship Program. Green Lents led the event on behalf of the watershed council. Other partners included Clackamas County Water Environment Services, Metro, North Clackamas Parks and Recreation, Overland Park Coalition, and Portland Parks and Recreation.

For more information about how to volunteer for future Johnson Creek Watershed Council events contact Amy Lodholz at 503-652-7477 or amy@jcwc.org.

 

Treebate Season Starts

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Portlanders can get a credit on their sewer bill for planting trees

As of September 1, Environmental Services is again accepting Treebate applications.  Portland residents who plant eligible trees in their yards can get a sewer bill credit of up to $50, depending on the size of the tree.  The application is only available during the prefered planting season, September through April. 

large treeThe Treebate Program has resulted in more than 1,000 Environmental Services customers receiving credits for planting 2,408 trees since the program began in 2009.

Get more Treebate information at www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/treebates

Learn more about Environmental Services tree programs at www.portlandoregon.gov/bes/trees and in these stories from earlier this year:

New Trees Take Root in East Portland

Air Gapping: Protecting Trees from Invasive Vines


Plant a young tree now...one day it may be this big!

Environmental Services Hosts Stormwater Tour for Budget Staff and Advisors

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Members of the Portland Utility Review Board, Citizens' Utility Board, and the City Budget Office attended the tour.

On Thursday August 18, Environmental Services staff led members of the Public Utility Review Board, Citizens’ Utility Board of Oregon, and City Budget Office on a tour of sewer and stormwater improvement projects.

The Public Utility Review Board’s mission is to provide equitable, reasonable and balanced representation of the community when advising the Mayor and the City Council on water, sewer, stormwater and solid waste financial plans and rates. The Citizens’ Utility Board of Oregon is a nonprofit organization. Its mission is to represent the interests of Oregon’s residential utility customers before administrative, judicial and legislative bodies.

First stop on the tour was a sump retrofit project site in outer southeast Portland. Sumps, also known as underground injection controls (UICs), are perforated pipes installed vertically underground. They collect stormwater runoff from streets and allow the water to soak into the ground. Environmental Services is connecting several existing sumps to sedimentation manholes that remove sediment and debris from stormwater before the cleaner water flows into the sumps. The project will protect groundwater and help Portland comply with its federally-regulated UIC permit.

Barb Adkins of BES explains the UIC Program  

Barb Adkins and Tracy Rauscher of BES explain the UIC Program

Next, the group visited the Foster Floodplain Natural Area. The 63-acre natural area reduces the risk of Johnson Creek flooding, improves water quality and enhances fish habitat in the creek.

    Marie Walkiewicz of the BES Johnson Creek Watershed Team, explains the Foster Floodplain Restoration Project

Marie Walkiewicz of the BES Johnson Creek Watershed Program led a tour of the Foster Floodplain Natural Area.

Finally, the group toured project sites in the Tabor to the River program area. The tour included several green street facilities, pipe rehabilitation projects, and examples of projects included in the Private Property Retrofit Program and the Green Street Stewards Program.

  

Bringing Lamprey Back to Tryon Creek

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Signs of improving conditions in parts of the stream.

6 inch Pacific lamprey in netWe’ve blogged about lamprey in Johnson Creek and Crystal Springs, and now it’s time for some exciting news about these creatures in Tryon Creek in SW Portland. 

Here’s a Pacific lamprey found in the creek by a U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) crew.  USFWS was surveying for lamprey as part of efforts to bring these native fish back to Tryon Creek.  This one is about 6" long.

Pacific lamprey spawn in many tributaries of the lower Willamette River, but are in decline across the northwest.  Due to the many efforts to improve conditions in Tryon Creek, including BES projects to improve water quality and habitat, biologists feel that there is a good opportunity there to establish a natural cycle of lamprey migration and spawning. 

The USFWS and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife launched a pilot project in 2013 to seed Tryon Creek with larval Pacific lamprey from local sources, and annual surveys are conducted looking for larvae and adult lamprey. Information on implementation and results will be shared with partners like the Friends of Tryon Creek, Tryon Creek Watershed Council and the City of Portland.  Learn more about Pacific lamprey and these efforts on USFWS’s website

For more news about findings from monitoring at the Tryon Creek Confluence project area, check out this new fact sheet.

Wildlife at Foster Floodplain

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Birds, deer and other wildlife you can see along Johnson Creek.

Environmental Services completed restoration work at the Foster Floodplain Natural Area two years ago, and already the spot is a favorite for birds and wildlife.  The project’s main purpose is to reduce flooding in East Portland and improve water quality and salmon habitat in Johnson Creek

But, projects like this also provide other benefits to the community and environment.

Environmental Services staff checking up on the area this week spotted this native blacktail deer. deer in natural area

Also, a volunteer with Portland Parks & Recreation shared the list of bird species he’s observed at the site in recent months.  Check out the impressive list below.  Thanks Chris, for the citizen science you contribute! 

Anyone can see the nature at Foster Floodplain this summer. It’s easy to access off SE Foster Road or the Springwater Corridor Trail (see it on Google Maps).  There are walking trails and informational signs.   Please note: no dogs are allowed at the site, in order to protect water quality and the sensitive native plants and animals.

blackheaded grosbeak bird on tree

 

Black-headed grosbeaks, like this one, are birds that can be seen in Portland's natural areas.  (Photo by Greg Gillson)

List of Birds Spotted at Foster Floodplain:  

American crow

Killdeer

American goldfinch

Lesser goldfinch

American robin

Mallard

Anna's hummingbird

Mourning dove

Bewicks wren

Northern flicker

Black-capped chickadee

Red breasted sapsucker

Black-headed grosbeak

Red-tailed hawk

Bushtit

Red-winged blackbird

Cackling goose

Ruby crowned kinglet

Canada goose

Scrub jay

Chestnut-backed chickadee

Sharp-shinned hawk

Downy woodpecker

Song sparrow

European starling

Stellar's jay

Golden-crowned sparrow

Towhee/Spotted towhee

Great blue heron

Tree swallow

Hairy woodpecker

Varied thrush

Hooded merganser

Violet green swallow

House finch

Yellow-rumped warbler