Water is a vital resource that is essential for all life. It is crucial that our communities understand its value and know how to protect it. Watershed awareness and water pollution are regional issues that require regional solutions with statewide support.
The Clean Rivers Coalition (CRC) is comprised of partners whose organizations are committed to water quality and protection such as watershed councils, soil & water conservation districts, nonprofits, and public agencies. Our partners work to alleviate the degradation impacts on watersheds from our cities and roads and almost 150 years without environmental regulations. Since the Clean Water Act mandated stormwater pollution reduction programs in 1996, water protection agencies and groups have been trying to reach the public to empower them to make positive choices to protect our waterways. But we were small voices in a crowded arena of big money, for profit marketing.
In late 2014, a small group of passionate public agency water outreach educators came together to innovate a new approach of unifying our voices into one that is larger and louder. We asked, “If water could speak what would it say?” We want to help build a cultural identity around the protection of water.
In 2016, the Clean Rivers Coalition became more formalized and created a steering committee of representative voices from around the state. The Coalition began hosting stakeholder forums to analyze our common goals, our common threats to water, wildlife, and people and how to work collaboratively. To date, over 60 organizations have participated in the dialogue of reaching and inspiring our constituents and facilitating not just awareness, but also behavior change. Together we are working to move people from awareness to action.
In 2019, CRC commissioned a survey of 1,000 Oregonians that indicated many people in our communities are not aware of the health of our rivers and streams or how their actions are connected to water pollution or protection. We aim to develop a cultural connection between people and their local waterways, and to build an understanding of actions needed to protect water resources.
Diverse communities are engaged in creating and enjoying clean water.
Build the bridge between clean water and healthy communities through education and engagement.
The CRC’s work within communities and across stakeholders strives to deliver water health education and outreach in an equitable, inclusive, and culturally appropriate manner that reaches and benefits diverse populations.
- Roy Iwai, Multnomah County
- Keri Handaly, City of Gresham
- Kathy Eva, City of Eugene
- Lara Christensen, Oak Lodge Water Services
- Deborah Topp, City of Salem
- Nate Woodard, Ecologist
- Kaileigh Westermann, City of Keizer
- Eric Lambert, Clark County
For more information about CRC and how to get involved, please visit our CONTACT page.