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The City of Portland, Oregon

Environmental Services

working for clean rivers

Phone: 503-823-7740

Fax: 503-823-6995

1120 SW 5th Ave, Suite 613, Portland, OR 97204

More Contact Info

About Watershed Report Cards

Four important factors of watershed health

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:

  1. Water quality in streams and rivers
  2. Hydrology (how water flows over land and in streams)
  3. Habitat (the environments that support fish and wildlife)
  4. Fish and Wildlife (the diversity and health of populations of fish, birds and other wildlife in the city)

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, updated every four years.

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. That includes addressing our responsibilities as a City under the Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act and other laws, and to meet our local goals for sustainable, livable neighborhoods.

Improving our rivers and streams requires a citywide, long-term effort. Urban development over the last 150 years, ongoing pollution that continues today, 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 every four years, but it will take time to see improvement in the scores. Progress is slow, and Portland is still growing and developing. The health of our watersheds depends on all of us. Learn more about what you can do to be a partner for watershed health.

What the Scores Mean

More information about the A to F scale

What We Measure

Descriptions of the indicators used in watershed report cards