Willamette River Initiative

Willamette River Initiative

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Our Mainstem Strategy

The mainstem Willamette River spans 187 miles from Eugene to Portland and is the 19th largest river by volume in the United States. Restoring a river of this size requires strong partnerships and a shared vision.

Through our Mainstem strategy, we support projects to restore the Willamette River's natural floodplain processes. Historically, the Willamette changed greatly throughout the seasons, with winter and spring flood waters moving stream gravel, carving new river channels and creating complex, vibrant habitats for native fish and wildlife. All along the river, these dynamic processes have been greatly altered and diminished through human activity. But there is great potential to revive habitats on the mainstem while still maintaining flood protection for our communities.

In partnership with the Oregon Watershed Enhancment Board (OWEB and Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), we fund organizations working to restore channel complexity, floodplain connectivity, and riparian vegetation along the mainstem Willamette and the lower reaches of its larger tributaries.

Mainstem Grantees: Calapooia Watershed Council | Friends of Buford Park & Mt. Pisgah | Greenbelt Land Trust | Long Tom Watershed Council | Luckiamute Watershed Council | McKenzie River Trust | McKenzie Watershed Council | The Nature Conservancy | Oregon Institute for Natural Resources | Willamette Riverkeeper