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Portland’s watershed report cards give an at-a-glance view of conditions in Portland’s rivers, streams and watersheds, and will help track changes over time.
To understand the health of our rivers and streams, we study four important factors that contribute to healthy watersheds:
Information about these factors is summarized in report card scores, based on the Watershed Health Index. The index is a tool that summarizes complex scientific information from the city’s environmental monitoring program and other data.
Each of Portland’s watersheds has a report card based on the index scores. The report cards are a way for people to learn more about Portland’s environment and the actions we’re taking for healthy watersheds. Report card scores also illustrate how people’s individual actions, like tree planting and reducing lawn chemicals, can add up to positive changes across the city.
The information that goes into the report card scores helps the city and its partners identify actions and evaluate our efforts to improve our rivers and streams. This information helps the city address regulations under the Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act and other laws, and to meet local goals for sustainable, livable neighborhoods.
Improving our rivers and streams requires a citywide, long-term effort. 150 years of urban development, ongoing pollution and other impacts have led to the scores we have now. However, many of the scores could be much worse if not for Portland’s investments in protecting natural resources.
The report cards will be updated regularly, but we may not see the impacts of all investments immediately in the scores. Often, there is lag time before the environment recovers from past damages. It can take many years to see the full benefits of actions like planting trees and restoring streams. But, working together in Portland and with partners in the region, we can make a difference.
More information about the A to F scale
Descriptions of the indicators used in watershed report cards