Oregon Pesticide Stewardship Partnerships identify potential concerns and improve water quality affected by pesticide use around Oregon.
The partnerships combine local expertise and water quality sampling results to encourage voluntary changes in pesticide use and management practices. State agencies including DEQ, Oregon State University’s Extension Service, Oregon Department of Agriculture and Oregon Department of Forestry work with diverse parties, including watershed and other natural resource groups, local landowners and growers, soil and water conservation districts and tribal governments to find ways to reduce pesticide levels while measuring improvements in water quality and crop management.
The goal is measurable environmental improvements, making Oregon waters safer for aquatic life and humans.
What partnerships do
- Identify local, pesticide-related water quality issues
- Share water quality monitoring results with local communities and other stakeholders
- Provide context for water quality data and water quality criteria or benchmarks
- Help pesticide users identify and implement solutions
- Use long-term monitoring to measure success and progress
Stewardship partnerships in action
Since 2000, DEQ and other state agencies have worked closely with partners in several watersheds to assess pesticides in streams and improve water quality. Currently there are eight partnerships in seven watershed areas. The eight include Hood River; Mill Creek and Fifteenmile Creek (in Wasco County); the Walla Walla River; Clackamas River; Pudding River; Yamhill River (Yamhill Pesticide Stewardship Partnership for rural and urban areas, and South Yamhill River Pesticide Stewardship Partnership, for a forested area of the watershed); and the Amazon Creek watershed project in Eugene.
These partnerships receive guidance from an inter-agency Water Quality Pesticide Management Team. This team developed a statewide plan to protect water quality from pesticide impacts. It also designates priority pesticides that could affect water quality, and helps evaluate monitoring data. In 2013, the Legislature allocated stable funding to ODA and DEQ to expand the program to additional watersheds.
In addition, DEQ and ODA work with many of the same partners to conduct pesticide waste collection events in watersheds where Pesticide Stewardship Projects are active, as well as other areas of the state. The purpose of these events is to reduce the risks of accidental releases of unwanted pesticides into surface or groundwater and provide a cost-effective disposal option for pesticide users. For more information, see DEQ's 2011 pesticide waste collection events fact sheet
. To be notified about upcoming pesticide collection events, contact Kevin Masterson at 541-633-2005.
Biennium summary released
The Pesticide Stewardship Partnership Biennium Summary gives an overview of the actions and accomplishments of the PSP Program over the past two years. View the summary for a status report on each of the program's major elements.