Willamette River Initiative

Willamette River Initiative

User menu

Why the Willamette

As an Oregon grantmaker, the Meyer Memorial Trust sees Willamette River restoration as a high priority for focused, strategic funding.

Uniquely Oregon

Home to two-thirds of the state's population and 75% of its economic output, the Willamette Basin is one of the defining features of Oregon.  The Willamette River is an important part of our history and our sense of place, and - because the river and its tributaries are located entirely within Oregon's boundaries - its destiny is largely in our hands.

Time For A Change

Though its water quality has improved considerably since the 1960s, the Willamette faces an uncertain future. Many parts of the river exceed state standards for bacteria, temperature and mercury, and contamination from toxic pollutants is a growing concern. Important habitats and the species that depend on them have declined significantly. The population of the Willamette Valley is expected to nearly double by 2050, placing additional pressure on the river and surrounding lands.

A Role For Private Philanthropy

As a private foundation, the Meyer Memorial Trust has the flexibility to test new approaches to supporting and strengthening the impact of restoration efforts. We work with other funders and diverse stakeholders to develop shared priorities and improve coordination of restoration activities. Through these efforts, we hope to steer the Willamette toward a clean, cold, swimmable and fishable future.