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Adopt-A-River Program Does a Waterbody Good
For Immediate Release -8/16/11
SOLV and the Oregon State Marine Board have a unique partnership, through the Adopt-A-River Program, that supports individuals and organizations in cleaning and preserving their favorite stretch of waterway (river, lake or stream) anywhere in Oregon.  The Adopt-A-River Program focuses on watershed health and creating stewards of the waterways through organized cleanup efforts.  Thanks to this program, many of our waterways are getting the care and love they need by the people who understand the importance of taking care of our natural resources.  The key is instilling the importance of picking up and properly disposing of human garbage in the first place.    
Over 600 miles of river have been adopted through the Adopt-A-River Program since the program’s inception in 1993.  Adopted river sections include the Sandy, Willamette, Columbia, Clackamas, Salmon, Umpqua, Powder, Deschutes, Rogue, North and South Santiam, Siletz, Coquille, Molalla and John Day Rivers.  Many smaller creeks and streams have also been adopted.  For 2009-2011, 250 clean up events were organized, removing 99,264 pounds of garbage, 212 tires, and using the collective efforts of 3,318 volunteers.  But considering the fact that Oregon has more than 111,000 miles of rivers and streams, a lot more help is needed. 
The 2011 Legislature authorized the Adopt-A-River Program to remove known invasive species from river banks.  When events are coordinated, a representative from SOLV will provide technical assistance to volunteers about invasive species and proper removal techniques to ensure native vegetation can thrive.   
When a stretch of river is adopted, SOLV provides a resource guide, technical assistance, volunteer recruitment, and project supplies (such as bags, gloves, and safety gear).  An adoption is also entered in the Oregon River Registry.  
The Marine Board allocated $62,000 during the 2009-2011 biennium and SOLV contributed $23,176 for a program total of $85,176 toward the Adopt-A-River cleanup efforts statewide.  
Adopting a waterway is simple. It only takes one person to get things started.  Community organizations, fishing or boating clubs, school groups, businesses, associations or any environmentally concerned citizen can Adopt-A-River.  Every project, no matter how large or small, makes a big difference!