CLACKAMAS WATER TRAIL, OREGON
Where else can you boat one of the most beautiful stretches of urban river in America and enjoy the thrill of grabbing trash, recyclables, and other oddities not belonging in the wild?
The Down the River Cleanup is the longest-running on-the-water cleanup event of its kind in Oregon. Since 2003 over 40 tons of garbage — well over the approximate weight of one gray whale — has been removed from the Clackamas River by more than 4,500 volunteers.
Starting the morning of Sunday, September 10th, volunteers in canoes, kayaks, rafts, drift boats, or with SCUBA or snorkel gear, will set out from a public launch to clean one of the four sections of the Clackamas Water Trail. Cleanups end just after noon, and once boats have been loaded and shuttles completed, volunteers enjoy a cookout celebration and thank you at Barton County Park. Event ends at 4pm.
The Clackamas Water Trail covers the 22 mile undammed lower portion of the Clackamas River in Oregon,with dozens of class I riffles and a few class II rapids. The river is home to endangered salmon, drinking water for over 300,000 Oregonians, and a recreational outlet for thousands. The Clackamas River is named for the Clackamas (Tlakamas) people, who from time immemorial have called this area home and are still strongly connected to the river today.
Key event information:
- Register online until Friday, September 8th, 2023 (https://welovecleanrivers.org/events/down-the-river-cleanup-2023/)
- The event is free and open to all ages (youth must be accompanied by a parent or guardian).
- On-the-Water volunteers: Boaters and swimmers (if SCUBA certified or experienced snorkeler) must be familiar and comfortable with the Class I – II waters of the lower Clackamas River.
- Volunteers are responsible for their own boats, river gear, and vehicle shuttle (some shuttling will be available for those who cannot arrange their own).
- Riparian Volunteers: We need help off the water, like staffing the morning check in stations and cleaning up riparian zones (area next to the river) around the launches. No river experience required!
- All registered volunteers will receive parking passes, cleanup bags, litter picking equipment (gloves and mechanical grabbers), and a cookout at Barton Park immediately following the cleanup.
The river is much cleaner than it was 20 years ago thanks to the annual Cleanup, the Stash the Trash bag program, and all the ongoing conservation outreach and projects led by the Clackamas River Water Providers, Clackamas River Basin Council, and many other organizations, efforts and dedicated volunteers. Many thanks to all, and see you on the river!