Willamette River Initiative

Willamette River Initiative

User menu

River People

  • Planting crew member Meichen Plumhoff scans the landscape as she works to plant thousands of native saplings at Willamette Mission State Park. 

Armed with shovels, hard hats, and hip sacks full of native saplings, the Willamette Valley’s restoration crews are on the front lines of a massive effort to restore our waterways and the land that touches them.

Through a cross-border partnership with Mexico’s Río Laja watershed, the Willamette River restoration community is finding opportunities to share knowledge, learn from international peers, and collaborate on projects to benefit both watersheds.

Meet three community organizers working on behalf of Portlanders to secure a strong, fair plan to clean up the Portland Harbor Superfund site. For Rahsaan Muhammad, Mary Ann Warner and Irina Phillips, the fight for environmental justice is deeply personal.

The Willamette is a long way from Kentucky and even further from Asia. That’s where Joe Moll spent much of his time getting to know and love rivers before making a home in the Willamette River basin. Now, as the Executive Director of the McKenzie River Trust, a big part of his job is helping others see how much their everyday lives depend on a healthy river...

For state parks, there are park rangers. For the Willamette River, there is Scott Youngblood. Scott is the Willamette River Greenway Ranger for Oregon State Parks, responsible for maintaining 2,800 acres of public land along the Willamette River. Some days, that means going out in a boat to survey invasive weeds on the riverbanks. Other days, like when I met up with him, it means taking a chainsaw to a massive fallen tree to clear a boat ramp...