Follow the Water

FollowTheWater_Graphic_Underline_WATER

Connecting people in Oregon, SW Washington,
Columbia River & Coastal communities

Follow the Water

FollowTheWater_Graphic_Underline_WATER

Connecting people in Oregon, SW Washington, Columbia River & Coastal communities

Follow the Water is the work of the Clean Rivers Coalition, a voluntary collaborative partnership of over 60 water organizations in Oregon and Southwest Washington. We work together to bring you insights about WATER—the science, the stories, and the positive actions we can take—from diverse voices in our communities.

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Stories from our Community

Video

In this video we explore:

Why water is so important.

How our communities have been impacted by our current treatment of water.

"Water is our first medicine. When you have nothing else - Water"
- Judy Bluehorse Skelton

Water is Life. Water is Sacred

Chapter One: Connection

Water is the reason this planet is so special and unique. Everything that lives here, relies on water. Listen to personal stories about the powerful connection we have with water, our food supply, and our wellbeing. The purity of our water sources is crucial to this connection but recovery for our water, our health, and our environment is possible.

Water will take you where you need to go...

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Are we disconnected from our water?

Chapter Two: Disconnection

Do you know where your drinking water comes from? Do you know where your rainwater goes? We have an expectation that we can turn on the tap and we know that good clean water is there but we have lost our connection to our water.

Video

You Will Learn

How disconnection impacts our health

How disconnection impacts the environment

"We're often disconnected from water because we don't have to go get it" - Katie Holzer

How can we live in a way that is more in tune with the land so that it can continue to provide for us?

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Video

In this video we explore

Reconnection through photography

Reconnection through running

Reconnection through first foods

How will you reconnect

"It's one of my favorite things now to live in a city with such a strong path along the river" - Mareshah Jackson

How Can We Reconnect?

Chapter Three: Reconnection

Begin the journey to reconnect. We all take an active role with our water. Sometimes it can be beneficial, sometimes it can be detrimental but we all have an impact. In this video local members of our community share personal stories on the simple ways they were able to reconnect with our water in positive ways.

Water Connects Everything

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    Together, we can take better care of the water we drink, play in, live near, and rely on...

Deer walking through a river

Photo from Caz Zyvatkauskas - Female deer photographed crossing Johnson Creek near Gresham Main City Park

Friends you may see on our rivers

Black-Tailed Deer

They love coniferous upland forests and will visit rivers and other water sources to drink water. They can jump high and are very good swimmers.

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    Did you know?

Willamette Falls waterfall in Oregon City

Understanding Local Place Names

Willamette, pronounced “will-AM-it,” is derived from the Kalapuyan word wallamt, which means “still water,” describing a place on the river near Oregon City. The Kalapuya were one of many tribes who lived year round or seasonally in the Willamette Valley before being removed during the reservation era. Descendants from Kalapuya and all these tribes, including Molalla, Clackamas and Chinook peoples, still maintain cultural, spritual, or harvesting ties to the area.

Willamette River, Willamette Water Trail, Willamette National Forest, Willamette Valley
For more on place names, visit - TravelOregon.com

Featured River Spot

The Willamette Falls

"Willamette Falls served as an important cultural site for Native American tribes. John McLoughlin built the Pacific Northwest’s first lumber mill here. And, in 1844, Oregon City became the first incorporated city west of the Rocky Mountains." - Willamette Falls Legacy Project

  • Directions to view the Falls

Find Out More

Willamette Falls waterfall in Oregon City

“Coyote came to that place [around Oregon City] and found the people there very hungry. The river was full of salmon, but they had no way to spear them in the deep water. Coyote decided he would build a big waterfall, so that the salmon would come to the surface for spearing. Then he would build a fish trap there too.”  - Excerpt from the Clackamas Chinook story, "Coyote Builds Willamette Falls the Magic Fish Trap"

Follow The Water

Follow The Water

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Follow the Water is about our relationship with our water in Oregon, Southwest Washington, and the communities along the Columbia River. We want to connect people with our rivers—where we live, work, and play.

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In OPBs Science from the Northwest, The Beaver Coalition have discovered the crucial role of the beaver in preventing wildfires and drought. Beavers are known to be water engineers as they build and create damns that form into ponds and wetlands. These newly built streams have helped protect animal habitats, irrigate farmers land, and reduce toxic sludge from going into streams. Learn more about how we can co-exist with beavers: https://watch.opb.org/video/opb-science-from-the-northwest-beaver-and-wildfires-02iws1/Illustration by Emily Fairfax

In OPB's Science from the Northwest, The Beaver Coalition have discovered the crucial role of the beaver in preventing wildfires and drought. Beavers are known to be "water engineers" as they build and create damns that form into ponds and wetlands. These newly built streams have helped protect animal habitats, irrigate farmers' land, and reduce toxic sludge from going into streams. Learn more about how we can co-exist with beavers: watch.opb.org/video/opb-science-from-the-northwest-beaver-and-wildfires-02iws1/

Illustration by Emily Fairfax
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5 days ago

Comment on Facebook

You don’t need to be an Oregon State U. grad to be a Beaver Believer. But we fluvial geomorphologists were early converts.

It is officially National Water Quality Month! To celebrate, Clackamas SWCD has created a list of simple things you can do to preserve water quality.- Keep paint and other hazardous waste out of storm drains
- Wash your vehicle at a car wash
- Properly dispose of pet waste
- Use natural home and yard care products
- Reduce the use of chemicals on your lawn (check out our campaign Whats Your Lawn Style!)
- Participate in a clean-up events with your local watershed councilsTo learn more about National Water Quality Month: https://conservationdistrict.org/2021/august-is-national-water-quality-month-2021.htmlIllustration from Studio A Landscape Architecture and Engineering, DPC

It is officially National Water Quality Month! To celebrate, Clackamas SWCD has created a list of simple things you can do to preserve water quality.

- Keep paint and other hazardous waste out of storm drains
- Wash your vehicle at a car wash
- Properly dispose of pet waste
- Use natural home and yard care products
- Reduce the use of chemicals on your lawn (check out our campaign What's Your Lawn Style!)
- Participate in a clean-up events with your local watershed councils

To learn more about National Water Quality Month: conservationdistrict.org/2021/august-is-national-water-quality-month-2021.html

Illustration from Studio A Landscape Architecture and Engineering, DPC
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6 days ago
We hope that this summer takes you out to explore rivers near you or around the Pacific Northwest. There are many resources to help you plan on our website! We include interactive maps, hiking trails, websites, and more! We hope these links are helpful for you: followthewater.info/resources

We hope that this summer takes you out to explore rivers near you or around the Pacific Northwest. There are many resources to help you plan on our website! We include interactive maps, hiking trails, websites, and more! We hope these links are helpful for you: followthewater.info/resources ... See MoreSee Less

1 week ago
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Simple ways you can help protect our water

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