On Tuesday, December 17, 2019, the Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Directors unanimously approved Watershed Council Support Grants totaling $118,000. Ten watershed councils are located wholly or partially within Clackamas County boundary. The grant funds represent the second of three years of ongoing support for our partners.
Grant support provided by the District to the watershed councils is designated as unrestricted funds. This allows councils to cover operational and administrative costs essential for day-to-day operations. Local watershed councils share District goals and values and make a significant positive impact on the local environment, economy, and community.
Why Move to 3-Year Grant Cycle?
Moving to a 3-year grant award process should assist councils in securing funding from other grantors including OWEB, who require the councils to have matching funds to receive grants. It should also cut down on administrative time for the District and provide a higher level of confidence to council staff and their boards as they make plans for their futures and the futures of their communities.
The Clackamas Soil & Water Conservation District has been a tremendous source of support in our growth as an organization and in the work that we do. We are grateful for this partnership. – Rita Baker, Greater Oregon City Watershed Council
What Do Watershed Councils Do?
A watershed council is a locally organized, voluntary, non-regulatory group established to improve the condition of a local watershed. Councils can be very helpful in realizing conservation goals in a local watershed.
Depending on the capacity of the watershed council, there are a number of actions they make take to improve watershed health. They may:
- Bring together varied interests to form a common vision for the ecological and economic sustainability and livability of their watershed
- Plan, develop, and implement projects to maintain and restore streamside areas
- Monitor and improve local water quality
- Identify and remove invasive weeds
- Establish and preserve fish and wildlife habitat
- Mobilize their powerful volunteer base to accomplish on-the-ground projects
- Educate and inform local citizens about watershed processes and functions
2019-2020 Support Grants have been awarded to the following watershed councils:
- Clackamas River Basin Council
- Greater Oregon City Watershed Council
- Johnson Creek Watershed Council
- Molalla River Watch
- North Clackamas Watersheds Council
- Oswego Lake Watershed Council
- Pudding River Watershed Council
- Sandy River Watershed Council
- Tryon Creek Watershed Council
- Tualatin River Watershed Council
The watershed council support funding enables the Pudding River Watershed Council to manage its operations more confidently and competitively. We are very thankful for the support, particularly in the years while the council reorganized; we simply couldn’t have done it without CSWCD. – Anna Rankin, Pudding River Watershed Council
Each of our Support Grant recipients have demonstrated their ability to plan and implement conservation activities that help conserve our precious natural resources. The District is pleased to partner with these organizations by participating in joint projects and by providing funding to support the councils and their work.
When our partners are successful, we are also more successful!