Portland’s goal is to improve the health of our urban rivers, streams and watersheds. Even in a big city, it's possible to have a healthy environment for people, fish and wildlife.
Parks, natural areas and green spaces in all neighborhoods
Trees, shrubs and plants help soak up the rain. They add value to our neighborhoods and cool and filter the air, which helps us save on energy costs and healthcare. Portland’s tree canopy provides over $38 million each year in environmental benefits.
Healthy streams, rivers and sloughs
Streams that flow naturally and have good water quality are better for people, fish and wildlife.
Thriving salmon populations
Portland is a key location where salmon migrate, rest, spawn and mature in many of our waterways before continuing to the ocean or returning to other streams in the Willamette basin. Healthy habitat and improved water quality will make sure salmon are here for future generations.
Safe and resilient neighborhoods
As the climate changes, healthy urban forests, floodplains and wetlands help protect our homes and businesses from damaging floods and fires, and increased air temperatures.
Places for fish, birds and other wildlife
Even in the city, it’s important to have networks of habitat with food and refuge for fish and wildlife. Our parks, natural spaces, trees and even gardens help support a wide variety of wildlife, from herons and beaver to hummingbirds and pollinating insects.
Protected infrastructure investments
Managing rainwater with natural approaches, and protecting our streams and hillsides from erosion and landslides, can cost less and protect the investments we make in sewer pipes, roads and bridges.
Places for people to access nature
Healthy rivers and natural areas provide places for people to play outside, exercise and enjoy nature. Studies show that access to nature in the city improves physical and mental health.
When rainwater soaks into the soil, it replenishes groundwater. Groundwater is the underground water supply that keeps our streams flowing in the summer when it’s hot and dry.