WaterWatch of Oregon WaterWatch of Oregon

WaterWatch of Oregon

The Portland-based nonprofit environmental organization protects and restores Oregon's rivers to sustain native fish, wildlife, and residents of the surrounding communities.

Addressing the Imbalance Between Private and Public Uses of Water

WaterWatch of Oregon

In the 1970s, a group of anglers began to restore fish habitat in the Rogue River Basin in Oregon through use of logs, boulders, and plantings, only to discover that more water was flowing into irrigation canals for agricultural and industrial interests than into these streams. One of the anglers, Tom Simmons, crossed paths with Oregon water-rights activist Audrey Jackson, and the pair learned that the state was giving away this public resource for free, and that waterways across the state were being depleted by corporate interests. In 1985, the duo founded WaterWatch to seek structural and legal reform to improve water quality and water policy through citizen monitoring and action. WaterWatch focuses its work on and with the legislature, the courts, state and federal agencies, and the media in search of sound water policies to ensure healthier rivers and streams in Oregon for all.

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