On Tuesday, December 19, 2023 , the Clackamas Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Directors unanimously approved Watershed Council Support Grants totaling $100,000. Nine watershed councils are located wholly or partially within Clackamas County boundary.
Grant support provided by the District to the watershed councils is designated as unrestricted funds. This means that the councils can choose to spend these funds in the manner that best suit their needs. For example, funds could be used to cover operational and administrative costs essential for day-to-day operations. Local watershed councils share District goals and values. They make a significant positive impact on the local environment, economy, and community.
What do watershed councils do?
A watershed council is a locally organized, voluntary, non-regulatory group created 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 things they might do 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
- Use their powerful volunteer base to accomplish on-the-ground projects
- Educate and inform local citizens about watershed processes and functions
2023-2024 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
- Tryon Creek Watershed Council
- Tualatin River Watershed Council
With some high priority restoration areas in Clackamas County, this funding makes a difference not just in giving us baseline capacity, but also as matching funds as we write grants. I regularly mention Clackamas SWCD as an excellent resource for community members, and am grateful for our ongoing partnership. -Alexis Barton, Tryon Creek Watershed Council
Each of our Support Grant recipients have have a 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!