The Willamette River has many issues from water quality to habitat. If you think about a river in a “natural state,” the river flows freely, fed by rain, groundwater, and snowmelt, and rises and falls with the seasons. In doing so, the river expands across floodplains, and recedes as the flows decrease. A natural river is also not affected by pollutants being poured into the watershed (those lands that ultimately feed into the river), nor does a natural river have pipes that pour wastewater into it. In the case of the Willamette, the river has habitat that has been greatly manipulated, it contains pollutants in some areas from both pipes and the surrounding landscape, and its tributaries are blocked by dams which prohibit fish from passing upstream and down. The dams also impact the natural flow of the river. While the river is very safe typically for recreation in terms of water quality, there are very real issues to be addressed on this River. To find out more, visit www.WillametteRiverkeeper.org
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