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Phone: 503-823-7740

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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


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


American goldfinch

Lesser goldfinch

American robin


Anna's hummingbird

Mourning dove

Bewicks wren

Northern flicker

Black-capped chickadee

Red breasted sapsucker

Black-headed grosbeak

Red-tailed hawk


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


Watch Videos from the 2014 Ecoroof Symposium

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Presentations from the May 2014 event are now posted online


The 2014 Portland Ecoroof Symposium took place on Wednesday, May 21st. The event marked the 6th consecutive year for the Environmental Services Ecoroof Program’s major outreach event. This year’s event continued the ongoing dialogue between the City of Portland, municipal and non-profit partners, and the private sector, focusing on the business case for ecoroof development.

The program for this year’s event was developed to reach developers, construction firms, and building design professionals. Presentation topics focused on ecoroof design, cost benefit analysis, acoustical research, and case studies of premier Portland ecoroofs.

All presentations are now online and available for viewing. They can be accessed individually on the event web page or you can check out the entire program by accessing the event YouTube page. (You can find all the videos from our 2012 and 2013 events as well.)

Click below to see the Keynote Presentation by Anne Whiston Spirn of Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Design+Science: Linking Green Roof Research to Practice, a presentation by Jason King of Herrera Environmental Consulting.

Multnomah Village Goes Green for Multnomah Days

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Join your neighbors and staff from Environmental Services at the 106th Multnomah Days Street Festival on Saturday, August 16 in Multnomah Village

Join your neighbors and staff from Environmental Services at the 106th Multnomah Days Street Festival on Saturday, August 16 in Multnomah Village.

The biggest little parade will march right past six green street facilities completed in 2013. These aren’t just ordinary landscaping. The facilities capture and treat stormwater runoff from 1.5 acres of pavement.

Capitol Highway in Multnomah Village is an important parking area and a major neighborhood thoroughfare. When it rains, oils, metals, brake dust and other pollutants from this high-use area wash into nearby Vermont Creek, which flows to Fanno Creek and the Tualatin River.

Trees absorb rain to reduce stormwater runoff, and the new green street facilities protect water quality and enhance the neighborhood. The green street project also widened sidewalks and reconfigured the parking layout in the village core to benefit pedestrians and cyclists.

Find out more about Fanno Creek and projects for healthier streams on the Fanno Creek Watershed page. Find out the details on Multnomah Days at