Rick Bastasch, from the City of Portland Office of Healthy Working Rivers, talks about a strategy to get people pumped about recreationally using the once polluted Willamette river again.


Think the Willamette river in Portland, Oregon is nasty? Think again. Actually quite the opposite says the City of Portland Office of Healthy Working Rivers.

Thanks in part to Portlanders’ commitment to fixing Combined Sewage Overflows and better stormwater management, the Willamette’s a far cry from the polluted mess of the early-20th century where fish suffocated and just touching the water made you sick. It’s a river safe for all sorts of boating, salmon fishing, and even swimming.

Not only is the river clean again, it was given a water quality index rating of excellent on a scale developed by DEQ.

This goes with out saying that problems still exist. But the city is committed to addressing the further needs of the river