Willamette River Initiative

Willamette River Initiative

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Mainstem Willamette River

River Discovery Program

A big part of the mission of Willamette Riverkeeper is to inform, involve and connect Oregonians with the Willamette River. They do that by providing opportunities for residents to get out on the river and know it firsthand through guided, educational or service-based experiences. Find out more about the group's River Discovery Program and upcoming opportunities to get out on the river.

Geomorphological Research and Mapping of the Willamette - Phase 1

For this project, Benton SWCD acts as a fiscal sponsor for the Oregon Water Science Center (OWSC) of the United States Geological Survey (USGS). The project seeks to identify major geomorphic issues related to channel, riparian, and floodplain conditions and processes; assess the current state of knowledge on these issues; and provide a plan for addressing gaps in geomorphic knowledge about the Willamette.

Geomorphological Research and Mapping of the Willamette - Phase 2

For this project, Benton SWCD acts as a fiscal sponsor for the Oregon Water Science Center (OWSC) of the United States Geological Survey (USGS). The project seeks to identify major geomorphic issues related to channel, riparian, and floodplain conditions and processes; assess the current state of knowledge on these issues; and provide a plan for addressing gaps in geomorphic knowledge about the Willamette.

Willamette Falls

Willamette Falls is the largest existing waterfall by volume in the Pacific Northwest - second in the United States after Niagara Falls. It is also one of the last remaining places where Native American tribal members can gather to fish for Pacific lamprey, as they have for thousands of years. Read more about this remarkable site and how new efforts to redevelop the old Blue Heron paper mill are looking to highlight and enhance the special natural features and historical significance of Willamette Falls.

Harkens Lake

Harkens Lake is an historically important Willamette River floodplain. Public land managers, private landowners and Greenbelt Land Trust have been working together to conserve and restore over 600 acres in this area.

Half Moon Bend Riparian Restoration

Half Moon Bend Landing is an Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) Willamette River Greenway property in Benton County, located along the mainstem Willamette between Albany and Corvallis. WRI funds support the restoration of 27 acres of previously farmed land that have converted to perennial weeds, creating a void in the surrounding intact bottomland floodplain forest.

Willamette Mainstem Cooperative

This Basin Wide Impact project is focused on the stretch of the Willamette River between Albany and Corvallis, a section with several big bends, areas of relatively intact floodplain forest, and greater interaction with the floodplain than other stretches of the river. WRI funds support Benton SWCD to explore opportunities and develop partnerships for protecting and enhancing the high value habitats along this stretch.

Floodplain Restoration at Green Island

In 2003, the McKenzie River Trust acquired Green Island, a 1,000-acre farm located at the confluence of the McKenzie and Willamette Rivers. In 2010, with funding assistance from the Bonneville Power Administration, MRT acquired an adjacent 56-acre sand and gravel mining property. This area is one of the most dynamic and ecologically important areas in the Willamette system, providing critical habitat for many protected species of fish and wildlife.

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