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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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Paddle the 21st Annual Columbia Slough Regatta

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Join the FREE event on Sunday, August 2nd, from 9am-1pm

The Olmstead Brothers’ 1903 Portland Parks Plan said “…the remaining great landscape feature of the city is that of the Columbia Sloughs.” See for yourself at the annual Columbia Slough Regatta starting at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, August 2. The slough’s calm water is a safe and lovely haven for family activities, wildlife watching and leisurely paddling.

All ages are welcome at this family event. Bring your own canoe or kayak or register for rentals. Event organization request a donation of $8.00 per person or $25.00 per family, but no one is turned away for lack of funds. Early registration for rental boats is highly recommended.

21st Annual Columbia Slough Regatta

Sunday, August 2 | 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

Launch Location: Multnomah County Drainage District, 1880 NE Elrod Drive, Portland, OR 97211

Driving Directions:

From the south: Follow NE Columbia Boulevard to the traffic light at NE 21st Avenue. Follow NE 21st north to its end at NE Elrod Drive. Turn left (west) onto Elrod Drive and follow the road for about three tenths of a mile to event parking.  

From the north: From Marine Drive travel south on NE 33rd Avenue for about one mile. Turn right (west) onto Elrod Drive and follow the road for about one mile to event parking.

TriMet: Buses #70 and #75

For more information or boat rentals, contact the Columbia Slough Watershed Council at or visit 

To volunteer, email or call 503-281-1132. 

Salmon Spotted in Crystal Springs

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Large healthy spring chinook observed in Crystal Springs

This week on July 6, Environmental Services staff spotted a large, healthy-looking, hatchery spring Chinook salmon in Crystal Springs, upstream from the confluence with Johnson Creek. 

This is good news considering earlier this week, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) noted that more than 200 spring Chinook carcasses have been found in the Willamette River in Portland because of high water temperatures.  

Spring Chinook salmon typically die in the fall after they’ve spawned. Some also die from stress, disease, or predation before they spawn.

Stream temperatures in Crystal Springs are inching up due to the recent extreme heat. The good news is that Crystal Springs projects like the Westmoreland Park restoration have reduced normal stream temperatures nearly three degrees Celsius. We need to do more work to protect the water quality of our urban streams, but we’re encouraged by salmon thriving in Portland’s waterways.  

NEWSFLASH:  Two days later, the Crystal Springs Partnership observed a salmonid in lower Crystal Springs near SE Harney Street.

Linnton Neighborhood Volunteers Go After Ivy Along Hoge Creek

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Funding from the Community Watershed Stewardship Program will help support the project

Watch the transformation of Hoge Creek in Linnton Neighborhood from ivy-covered to lovingly-restored with native plants.  Neighborhood volunteers have received grant funding from the City of Portland’s Community Watershed Stewardship Program and have worked with Portland Parks and Recreation to save mature trees from climbing ivy, remove ivy near the stream and restore the area with native woodland species.

The group has recently been awarded $6,200 to continue the work on a restoration, outreach and pollution reduction project for Linnton Creek in Forest Park. The project will remove invasive vegetation, restore native plants, and install an interpretive sign and a plastic bag dispenser to encourage dog owners to pick up after their pets to reduce pollution in the creek.

The Community Watershed Stewardship Program (CWSP) helps Portlanders make improvements in their neighborhoods and communities, while also improving the health of our watersheds. CWSP is a partnership between Environmental Services and Portland State University. Visit the CWSP website to learn more about stewardship projects and future funding opportunities. 

Three Juvenile Red-tailed Hawks released on the Portland Building Ecoroof

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Three juvenile red-tailed hawks were discovered on downtown streets near the Portland Building recently, apparently having fledged their urban nest a little too early.  The hawks were too young to fly or hunt for themselves, so after a week of rehabilitation at the Audubon Society of Portland’s Wildlife Care Center, they were released on the Portland Building’s ecoroof.  The parents, who were still in the area raising young, spotted the birds and have resumed caring for them - bringing in rats, squirrels and pigeons while the juveniles continue to build their flight muscles on downtown rooftops. 

Ecoroofs do a great job managing stormwater, while they cool and filter the air, reduce costs, and they look good.  Now we know they also make great sites for urban raptor releases!


Photos by Bob Sallinger

An Ecoroof Milestone: Portland Reaches its Millionth Square Foot

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Portland has recently passed the one million square-foot mark for extensive ecoroofs built.   These ecoroofs manage over 23 million gallons of stormwater annually, making our rivers and streams cleaner and cooler while providing a little habitat, and cooling our urban environment at the same time.  Though we’ve been passed by larger cities like Washington DC, Toronto, and Chicago, Portland has seen a slow, steady increase in ecoroof construction since our first was built in 1996. 

Extensive ecoroofs are thin-soiled vegetated roofs which manage stormwater using drought-tolerant plants such as sedum.  They are contrasted with intensive roofs, which have deeper soils, larger plants and often are more garden-like.  We have an additional 750,000 square feet of intensive greenroofs.