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The City of Portland, Oregon

Nick Fish (In Memoriam)

City of Portland Commissioner

phone: 503-823-3589


1221 S.W. 4th, Room 240, Portland, OR 97204

Community watershed projects receive grant funding

June 11, 2015

The Portland City Council has approved Community Watershed Stewardship Program (CWSP) grants totaling $100,000 to 13 community groups for projects to improve watershed health. CWSP provides grants of up to $10,000 to engage volunteers in stormwater management and watershed restoration projects.

The program is a partnership between Environmental Services and Portland State University. Since 1995, CWSP has granted more than $1 million for watershed projects and helped organize more than 40,000 volunteers to work on community projects.

“Community Watershed Stewardship grants are a good investment,” said City Commissioner Nick Fish. “They support innovative neighborhood projects that help us manage stormwater, and every dollar invested in these community partnerships leverages three dollars in volunteer time and in-kind contributions.”

The program also helps the Bureau of Environmental Services comply with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations. The EPA issues permits that require cities to develop programs to reduce stormwater pollution. The EPA recognizes that those programs are more effective when community members and groups join in. Public information, public involvement and public participation are all stormwater permit requirements.

CWSP projects support Portland’s green infrastructure by providing a range of functions including rainwater infiltration, water quality improvement, stream restoration, pavement removal, watershed data collection and flood mitigation. CWSP grants will fund these 13 projects this year:

  1. Depave Saint Peter & Saint Paul’s Episcopal Church - $10,000 to remove parking lot pavement and add a rain garden planted with native vegetation.
  2. Dharma Rain Zen Center Siskiyou Community Garden - $7,448 to continue work with Madison High School, Groundwork Portland and neighbors to redevelop a brownfield into a native plant pollinator and food garden.
  3. Linnton Neighborhood Association Restoration - $6,200 to continue work with Portland Parks & Recreation and the neighborhood on restoration, outreach and pollution reduction on Linnton Creek in Forest Park.
  4. Columbia Slough Watershed Council Youth Leadership in Restoration - $8,600 to engage youth leaders from the Multnomah Youth Cooperative and students from north Portland schools to restore three acres along the Columbia Slough.
  5. Habitat for Humanity Cully Rain Gardens in the Home and on the Street - $9,940 to work with Verde and Our 42nd Avenue Prosperity Initiative to identify low income homeowners with stormwater problems, build rain gardens and provide youth leadership opportunities.
  6. Zomi Community Youth Garden and Watershed Project - $6,000 to give Zomi and Burmese refugees, including youth and children, opportunities to learn about the Columbia Slough and to work on gardening projects.
  7. Friends of Tryon Creek Environmental Education for All - $8,700 to engage the Markham Elementary School SUN after-school program and the REACH Youth$ave Program in environmental education and restoration activities.
  8. Southwest Neighborhoods African Youth Community Organization Watershed Team - $6,000 to continue a partnership to provide opportunities for youth in watershed restoration.
  9. Lents Springwater Habitat Restoration Project - $9,875 to Lents elementary school students and youth mentors from Project YESS to continue working with Portland Parks on restoration and cleanup activities along the Springwater Trail.
  10. Oregon Bhutanese Community Organization Community Garden - $6,000 to the Bhutanese community to engage seniors and youth to work in the community garden and provide youth leadership opportunities.
  11. Rose CDC Lents Youth Initiative - $9,885 to Rose Community Development, Green Lents and OPAL to hire interns to lead community improvement projects and participate in monitoring and data collection for Green Lents watershed heath projects.
  12. Portland Youth Builders (PYB) Educational Ecoroof - $5,352 to PYB students to construct an ecoroof over a dumpster at their school to reduce pollution and stormwater runoff.
  13. Iraqi Society of Oregon Mesopotamians on the Banks of the Willamette - $6,000 to provide environmental education through water quality monitoring, restoration projects and canoe paddling.

 The Bureau of Environmental Services works with Portland residents and businesses to protect water quality, public health, and the environment through wastewater collection and treatment, sewer construction and maintenance, stormwater management, and stream and watershed restoration.

Community watershed projects receive grant funding

News Release

The Portland Utility Board

June 11, 2015

Yesterday, City Council unanimously approved Nick’s proposal to launch a new Portland Utility Board (PUB). 

The 9-member PUB will serve as a citizen oversight body to strengthen accountability and transparency at our two public utilities: the Bureau of Environmental Services and the Portland Water Bureau. The PUB replaces the Public Utility Review Board and the individual utility Budget Advisory Committees.

Creating a new oversight body was one of the recommendations from our Utility Oversight Blue Ribbon Commission, chaired by former U.S. Attorney Dwight Holton.

PUB will meet year-round, and oversee financial plans, capital improvements, annual budget development, and rate setting of the City’s water, sewer, and stormwater services. They will report directly to City Council. 

Interested in serving on the PUB? We are accepting applications through July 10.  

Please submit your application, resume, and any additional information to:

Asena Lawrence:

Office of Commissioner Nick Fish, 1221 SW 4th Ave., Room 240, Portland, OR 97204

Portland Utility Board Ordinance

Portland Utility Board Applicant Criteria

Portland Utility Board Interest Form

Commissioner Fish introduces ordinance to create the Portland Utility Board

News Release

Unprecedented transparency for Portland utilities? Commissioner Nick Fish says so

Brad Schmidt in The Oregonian

Fish wants 9-person Portland Utility Board

Chris Woodard and KOIN News Staff

Portland reworks its utility oversight panels

Steve Law in the Portland Tribune

Portlanders could get bigger say on city water, environmental issues

Andy Giegerich in the Portland Business Journal

Fish submits ordinance to create Portland Utility Board

Jim Redden in the Portland Tribune 

Lilly Lee

June 11, 2015

Thursday June 4th I attended a fundraiser for De Paul Treatment Center with Commissioner Nick Fish and Aja. Here I learned how De Paul provides drug and alcohol treatment to not only men and women, but also to youth and families. With the help of many donors, De Paul hopes to help individuals recover by providing medial detox, day treatments, family therapy, and much more. I think it is really interesting that Nick Fish supports multiple local nonprofits, including De Paul. During the fundraising many people interacted with one another, and told their stories. It is a blessing for someone to open up and talk about a deep topic in their past and or current lives.

I am currently working on two projects: one about the Interstate Renovation Project with Liam Frost and the Portland Utility Board members recruitment with Jim Blackwood.

For my Interstate project, I will be collecting data for the maintenance of Portland's 225-square-mile water supply system. The Portland Water Bureau's Interstate Maintenance Facility is located near the Rose Quarter on N. Interstate Avenue. Collecting online materials was harder than I thought, you really have to play around with the search engine.

Jim gave me a project to work on using Excel, which I had never used before. This expanded my computer skills. Here I worked on organizing a spread sheet of potential Portland Utility Board (PUB) members. Commissioner Nick Fish is asking for a new nine person PUB to replace three existing oversight groups.   

Every day here in Commissioner Nick Fish’s office, there is always something new to learn. There are currently 9 people to learn from: each staff member, Nick, and myself. The goal at the end of the day here is that everyone wants to see you succeed. I feel extremely grateful to working alongside with such talented colleagues.

In addition to working on projects, I am also learning from Asena Lawrence on how to answer phones calls, prep the Council binder for Nick, and good communication skills such as greetings. Jenny is also a great helper, she helps me edit my blog postings. Aja is always here to make me feel comfortable. Liam is smart, I really admire how he points out how I can improve. All mistakes are learning experiences. I think Jim is very interesting and benevolent. Sonia is very kind and lovely, I love how bold she is. I really enjoy working with everyone here at the office. By the time you know it, work is over. This office has fun and gets the job done!

Thursday Roundup

Portland reworks its utility oversight panels

Steve Law in the Portland Tribune


Community watershed projects receive grant funding

News Release


Portland Water Bureau to Run Groundwater Supply

News Release


Notice hard water? Portland turns on its backup water supply

Andrew Theen in The Oregonian


Green Bonds: a new way to pay for clean, green projects

Steve Law in the Portland Tribune


Portland will vote on Washington Park, Mount Tabor Reservoir plans on same day

Andrew Theen in The Oregonian


State Land Use Board Dismisses Challenge to Mountain-Biking Ban

Beth Slovic in the Willamette Week


Pembina pipeline project gets letter of support

Chris Woodard and KOIN 6 News Staff


In Other News

Portland Mercury Staff


Why Portland’s top executives don’t get annual reviews: ‘it’s problematic’

Brad Schmidt in The Oregonian

Portland Pride 2015

June 15, 2015

Yesterday, Nick and his family were proud to join Basic Rights Oregon, elected officials, and community members in the 2015 Portland Pride Parade!

The Portland Pride Festival & Parade supports equality and honors our community’s diversity. The celebration was hosted by Pride Northwest, a nonprofit serving the LGBTQ community since 1994.

It has been a big year for LGBTQ rights – in 37 states, including Oregon, same sex couples now have the right to marry. And the Supreme Court of the United States will soon have the opportunity to settle the question once and for all.

Nick is proud to live in a city that is committed to equality for all families. Join us in celebrating Pride all month long!

Hundreds attend Pride Northwest Festival 2015 in Portland

Sun Times Portland