"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world.

Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has"

Margaret Mead, Anthropologist
(used with permission)

"If you don't like the news .... go out and make some of your own !!"

Wes "Scoop" Nisker, Newscaster


Government is a slow and tedious process. While it often includes citizen and neighborhood involvement, non-governmental, private organizations have created movements and interesting groups which can create positive change in our cities and towns.

I am fascinated by the way groups are created and how they influence public decision making. This blog merely recognizes them and forwards the description of these groups from their own websites.

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Willamette River Initiative

Location: Oregon

Website: www.willametteinitiative.org

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.

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. The purpose of the Willamette River Initiative is to achieve meaningful, measurable improvements in the health of the Willamette River and selected tributaries by 2018 and to create a national model for effective philanthropic involvement in the restoration of large, complex ecological systems. Meyer Memorial Trust established the Willamette River Initiative in July 2008. Through WRI, the Trust makes grants to groups working to improve the health of the river and its tributaries and invests in the development of research and planning tools to help identify restoration priorities.

In 2009, MMT entered into a partnership with the Tides Center, a national fiscal sponsor organization, to support administration of WRI program activities. Through this partnership, grants associated with WRI are administered directly by MMT, while program management and communication activities are administered as a project of the Tides Center. We work with key partners to improve coordination of Willamette restoration efforts through shared goals, common measures of success, and joint learning and networking opportunities. Our closest working partnerships are with the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board -Bonneville Environmental Foundation. University of Oregon’s Environmental Sustainability Lab Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife are also important partners, as are many other public agencies and non-governmental organizations.

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