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News Releases
City Council Approves $100,000 in Environmental Services grants to community groups for watershed restoration - 08/03/22

The Portland City Council today unanimously approved $100,000 for the Bureau of Environmental Services’ Community Watershed Stewardship Program (CWSP) to provide grants to nine community projects that restore the natural environment, cultivate leadership in underserved communities, and create positive change in their neighborhoods.

Three children planting a tree, one with a shovel digging, the other two looking on, all with masks, a sword fern is sitting in a pot ready to be planted

Students from Sitton Elementary School participate in a CWSP-funded planting of native shrubs

Now in its 27th year, the Environmental Services’ program has supported more than 330 community projects that build rain gardens, turn paved areas into natural spaces, and restore green spaces while providing education and professional development opportunities for participants. It is operated by the City of Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services in partnership with Portland State University’s (PSU) Indigenous Nations Studies Department.

Each year, these partnership produces an outpouring of energy from volunteers who dig in to support these community-led initiatives. 

“As Portlanders, we love to come together as a community in support of our green spaces,” said Commissioner Mingus Mapps. “The Community Watershed Stewardship Program brings leadership from underserved communities to promote stewardship and watershed health that has lasting impact.”  

Commissioner Mapps congratulates this year’s grant recipients:

  • ELSO Inc. ($12,000) – The grant will support Black-identified youth to participate in environmental education experiences led by peer mentors, including water quality investigations, natural area revegetation, garden installation, and invasive species removal.
  • Gather: Make: Shelter (GMS) ($10,000) – The grant will support exploration and learning opportunities in the Columbia Slough Watershed's natural areas to unhoused community members who participate in the organization’s services.
  • Green Lents ($12,000) – Through the grant, the organization will expand tree cover at Lent Elementary School to provide heat relief and reduce air and noise pollution from nearby I-205, and connect the community members to urban ecology and environmental justice. Language assistance will be offered to non-English speaking participants.
  • Grow Portland ($10,000) – The grant will help the group partner with Indigenous community members to develop native planting designs, create education curricula, and enhance planting spaces at multiple garden sites.
  • Growing Gardens ($12,000) – The grant will help the organization work with inmates and correctional officers at the Columbia River Correctional Institution (CRCI) in NE Portland to build a garden and a bioswale. The project teaches healthy watershed gardening practices, and provides inmates, who are in a recovery program, with an increased sense of environmental knowledge and awareness, job credentials, self-agency, and healing.
  • Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership ($9,889) – Through the grant, the group will provide 4th and 5thgrade students from a predominantly low-income school with hands-on classroom science lessons, followed by a field trip to experience local wildlife, reinforce classroom learning, and engage in a native plant restoration project.
  • Social Justice Action Center (SJAC) ($10,000) – Grant funds will be used to create a native plant habitat at the center, and provide a safe green space where service recipients and volunteers can take refuge, be inspired, and learn about the beneficial functions of native plantings.
  • Tryon Creek Watershed Council ($10,950) – The grant helps the group involve immigrant youth in education and on-the-ground watershed restoration and training. Workshops involve an introduction to watershed science and stewardship projects to remove invasive plants and plant natives.
  • World Salmon Council ($10,000) – Grant funds will be used by students from the Blueprint Foundation, Native American Youth and Family Center, Latino Network and Girl Scouts to mark storm drains, plant trees, and restore riparian areas to learn about and participate in salmon-saving initiatives.

Find out more about the Community Watershed Stewardship Program and other Environmental Servicesgrants and incentives.

Environmental Services protects public health and our environment as Portland’s sewer and stormwater utility. We collect and recover resources from wastewater. We prevent pollution and flooding from stormwater. We protect and restore Portland’s rivers, streams, and watersheds for all Portlanders — now and for future generations. Follow our news on Twitter @BESPortland and portland.gov/BES/news.

Traffic Advisory: Intersection of NE 33rd Ave and NE Knott St to Close for Emergency Sewer Repair Project - 08/01/22

Starting August 4, construction will begin on an emergency sewer project at the intersection of NE 33rd Ave and NE Knott St. This emergency sewer repair will impact travel on NE 33rd Ave between NE Broadway and NE Fremont St and could last until September 18. Construction times will be weekdays from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays as needed.

To prevent vehicles from cutting through residential streets, traffic will be detoured to NE 15th Ave. The area just south of the intersection of NE 33rd and Knott St will be closed for the duration of the project schedule. 

Environmental Services – the City of Portland’s sewer and stormwater utility – is repairing a 110-year-old sewer main pipe that needs immediate repair. The project will install a new maintenance hole and repair a sink hole that has developed in the roadway. Those repairs are needed to protect public health, property, and the environment. 

The traveling public should expect some travel delays and street closures and is advised to follow all traffic control signage. Sidewalks will remain open for pedestrian, wheelchair, and bicycle use. Local access will be allowed on NE 33rd Ave and Knott St during construction. 

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Environmental Services protects public health and our environment as Portland’s sewer and stormwater utility. We collect and recover resources from wastewater. We prevent pollution and flooding from stormwater. We protect and restore Portland’s rivers, streams, and watersheds for all Portlanders — now and for future generations. Follow our news on Twitter @BESPortland and portland.gov/BES/news

Sewage Advisory: Overflow Near SE Market St and I-205 - 07/20/22

City crews responded Wednesday afternoon to a report of sewage flowing onto Adventist Health Medical Center property near SE Market St an I-205. The overflow is occurring from a private sewer line and is ongoing at the time of this advisory being issued.

As a precaution, the public is advised to follow posted signage and stay away from the immediate overflow area, which crosses a publicly accessible pathway. The cause of the overflow is unknown at this time, and resolution is pending actions taken by the property owner.

This incident is unrelated to the overflow at Jantzen Beach Center.

Sewage overflows often are preventable. Pipes that become blocked with grease, tree roots, and debris are the most common cause of sewage overflows. Environmental Services advises the public to prevent clogs and protect public health, property, and our environment by following these tips:

* Place grease in a container and then in the trash, not down kitchen drains. Food establishments are required to take additional measures to prevent grease from entering sewer lines.

* Avoid flushing rags, wipes, or anything other than toilet paper and human waste.

* Outside the home, avoid pouring anything down storm drains, which are intended for rainfall only.

To report sewage odors, which may indicate a sewage release, call the City’s maintenance hotline at 503-823-1700. That line is operated all hours, all days.

Environmental Services protects public health and our environment as Portland’s sewer and stormwater utility. We collect and recover resources from wastewater. We prevent pollution and flooding from stormwater. We protect and restore Portland’s rivers, streams, and watersheds for all Portlanders — now and for future generations. Follow our news on Twitter @BESPortland and portland.gov/BES/news

Sewage Advisory: Overflow at Jantzen Beach Center Parking Lot - 07/20/22

City crews responded Wednesday afternoon to a report of sewage flowing onto a parking lot at 1555 N Tomahawk Island Dr in the Jantzen Beach Center. The overflow is occurring from a private sewer line and is ongoing at the time of this advisory being issued.

As a precaution, the public is advised to follow posted signage and stay away from the immediate overflow area. The cause of the overflow is unknown at this time, and resolution is pending actions taken by the property owner.

Sewage overflows often are preventable. Pipes that become blocked with grease, tree roots, and debris are the most common cause of sewage overflows. Environmental Services advises the public to prevent clogs and protect public health, property, and our environment by following these tips:

* Place grease in a container and then in the trash, not down kitchen drains. Food establishments are required to take additional measures to prevent grease from entering sewer lines. 

* Avoid flushing rags, wipes, or anything other than toilet paper and human waste.

* Outside the home, avoid pouring anything down storm drains, which are intended for rainfall only.

To report sewage odors, which may indicate a sewage release, call the City’s maintenance hotline at 503-823-1700. That line is operated all hours, all days. 

Environmental Services protects public health and our environment as Portland’s sewer and stormwater utility. We collect and recover resources from wastewater. We prevent pollution and flooding from stormwater. We protect and restore Portland’s rivers, streams, and watersheds for all Portlanders — now and for future generations. Follow our news on Twitter @BESPortland and portland.gov/BES/news