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					healthy waters         volume 02 / issue number 02   free

  students connecting with their home waters

healthy waters   Take me to your leader.

         Wanted: Invasive Species
           Why might a species be
           invasive in one country
           but not a big problem in
           its native land?
              As an example, consider
           a plant that is a major
           weed in the US but in its
           native land it may be a
           minor pest. Many weeds
           have chemical defense
           systems that make them
           taste bad. In the weed’s           Zebra Mussel
                                              Origin: Southeast Russia
           native land the animals
                                              Aliases: Dreissena polymorpha
           that feed on the weed              Description: Fingernail-sized, with
                                                                                            Common Starling
                                                                                            Origin: Eurasia
           often evolve along with            striped patterns on its shell. Eats up
                                                                                            Aliases: Sturnus vulgaris, Poorman’s Myna
           the weed and become                the food that’s usually consumed by fish,
                                                                                            Description: Small, with shiny black
                                              and can suffocate native mussels.
           resistant to the weed’s            An adult female zebra mussel may
                                                                                            plumage spangled with white. It hops
                                                                                            rather than walks, can mimic sounds it
           defense systems [so they           produce between 30,000 to 1,000,000
                                                                                            hears, and will eat almost anything it can
           don’t mind the bad taste].         eggs per year.
                                                                                            fit in its mouth. About 200 million
                                              Method of Control: Keeping boats and
              In its native land, the         fishing equipment clean, so that these
                                                                                            starlings exist in North America today,
           weed may have insects                                                            all descendant of about 60 birds released
                                              guys aren’t spread between water bodies.
                                                                                            in New York City many years ago.
           that eat its roots, others                                                       Method of Control: Starlicide is a slow-
           that bore into its stems,                                                        acting poison that is highly toxic to
           and still other insects                                                          starlings, but must be used carefully as it
                                                                                            can be dangerous to other species as well.
           may eat its leaves.
           Additionally, there may
           be rodents that also feed
           on its seeds.
              If this weed then starts
           growing in a new country,
           there may not be any               Sea Lamprey
           animals that are attracted         Origin: Atlantic Ocean
           to this weed as a food             Aliases: Petromyzon marinus
                                              Description: Jawless, eel-like fish with
           source. One way to control
                                              a toothed, funnel-like sucking mouth,
           the weed is to go to its           used to bore into the flesh of native
           native land and look for           fish to suck their blood. Grey-blue on
                                              its back and silver-white underneath,
           what are called “natural
                                              measuring between 12–20 inches.
           enemies,” that is, diseases        Method of Control: One method involves
           of the plant and insects           special chemicals called lampricides, which   Nutria
           that prefer that weed              are spread near lamprey nests to kill off     Origin: Argentina
                                              young lamprey (but that don’t harm other      Aliases: Myocastor coypus, swamp
           species as food. These             fish). Using another method, biologists       beaver, Argentine beaver
           natural enemies are then           sterilize male lamprey, and when these        Description: Brown rodent about 14 inches
           tested to see if they              fish are released back into streams, they     long, with three layers of fur and long
                                              compete with non-sterilized males for         whiskers. Also notable are its orange teeth
           would attack plants in
                                              spawning females, lowering the number of      and webbed feet. Demolishes vegetation in
           the US, other than the             lamprey produced in the next generation.      wetlands and coastal marshes, eroding soil.
           intended weed. If there                                                          Method of Control: Nutria can be trapped,
           are no problems, then the                                                        fenced off, or controlled using electric wire
                                                                                            barriers, but they’re pretty smart and can
           natural enemy might be                                                           smell trouble.
           released on the weed.

   What’s up?
                                                                                                                     Contents       healthy waters

                                                                          Contents:                         volume 02 number 02

                                                                          The Journal of the Healthy Waters Institute

                                                                    Accuracy is everything page 3

Bringing developed-over streams back to the light of day, page 16
                                                                                     02   Editor’s Letter
                                                                                     08   H20 Rockstars:
                                                                                          Simon Spencer and Valerie Steig
                                                                                     20   Guest Essay:
                                                                                          Robin Cody

                                                                          03   Student Watershed Research Project
                                                                          05   Dissolved Oxygen
                                                                          06   Alien Invasion
                                                                          08   Headwaters of the Columbia
                                                                          10   Opal Creek: A Photo Journal
                                                                          12   Reed Canyon Restoration
                                                                          14   Student Reflections On Water
                                                                          16   Daylighting Streams in Ashland
                                                                          18   The Stream Team
                            The city kid has a question. page 18

                                               Tim Brandy’s class at Walker Elementary, Robin Cody, Susan Cross, Walt Hollands, Noah
                                               Jenkins, Mark McCollister, Tony Moreno, Marty O’Brien’s class at Reynolds High, Mary Ann
          [on the cover] Don’t fall in:        Schmidt, Caitlin Theriens’s class at Cleveland High, Serena Talcott’s class at Cleveland High,
          Westmoreland Park’s pond             Jordan Vinograd, Karen Wegner, Kolleen Yake
          is no bathtub. A misty morning
          in Reed College’s canyon.            Photography: Tim Brandy, Bridget Chipman, Jim Grano, Walt Hollands, Ethan Jewett, Johnson
          Nice gloves: Serena Talcott’s        Creek Watershed Council, Toshio Meronek, Reed College, Siuslaw News, Serena Talcott,
          class in action.                     Kolleen Yake
                                               Copyediting: Tom Tattam and Andrea Woodworth Special thanks to Irwin Hodson and FlexCar

healthy waters   Editor’s Letter

   Intro: From the Editor
A Question of                                                                         Dear Editor,
                                                                                      I like the article “Working

                                                                                      with Wheat and Water”
                                                          YOU ASKED,
                                                                                      in the second edition of
                                                          WE RESPONDED!
                                                                                      the Journal. I think that
                                                                                      it is also really cool how
                                                          After reading our last
   Some people claim that they could                      issue, some of you
                                                                                      you are putting kids’
   never have too much ice cream, or                                                  writing in here too. One
                                                          sent letters our way.       of the questions I have       Dear Editor,
   too many Xbox games, or too many                       Mark McCollister, a         is, what percentage of
                                                          biologist at Oregon                                       I liked the article about
   new clothes, or too many Jessica                                                   our rivers are polluted?      the Deschutes River but it
                                                          Trout, provided answers.
   Simpson mp3s. Maybe you’re one                                                     I would like to know how      had a lot of complicated
                                                                                      they got that way too.
   of these people.                                       Dear Editor,                                              words in it. Maybe next
                                                                                               Jacob Hollister      time you could use less
                                                          The water filter project                                  complicated words. It
   The truth is that everyone’s got a limit. Too much     in the second edition                                     would make more sense.
   ice cream and you’d be in for a long date with                                     Dear Jacob:
                                                          of the Journal of the                                     I liked the article because
   the toilet; too many Xbox games and your fingers       Healthy Waters Institute    Unfortunately, we do          it told a lot about how
   would fall off from handling the controller; too       is cool. I was wonder-      not know the percent-         the river worked and how
   many new clothes and your friends would call you       ing if anything can         age of Oregon’s rivers        deep it was. I also liked
   vain; and too many Jessica Simpson mp3s—               filter out salt water.      that are polluted because     the pictures. I used to live
   do I need to explain this last one?                                                only a small fraction of      by the Deschutes River. I
                                                                   Mia Randazzo       Oregon’s 125,000 stream
      Too much or too little of anything is never a                                                                 guess I just forgot what it
   good thing. It’s all about finding the right amount                                miles have been checked.      looked like. The pictures
                                                          Dear Mia:                   The agency responsible
   of balance.                                                                                                      refreshed my memory.
                                                          Yes, it is possible to      for evaluating our rivers
      My current home is Oregon’s biggest city,                                                                             Amanda Trumpf
                                                          make drinking water         and protecting them from
   Portland. Over 500,000 people live here, but it’s      from saltwater. In fact,    pollution is the Oregon
   different from other major cities. In this issue       millions of people get      Department of Environ-
   of healthy waters, we spotlight what’s going on        their drinking water        mental Quality (DEQ).
   in East Portland’s Johnson Creek Watershed.            from saltwater every        They have determined
   Mckenzie Debusk, a junior from Cleveland               day, though it is too       that 13,300 stream miles
   High (whom I joined on the Student Watershed           expensive in most           are known to be polluted
   Research Project trip you’ll read about later in       situations. Three ways      and they appear on the
   this issue), put it well: “One of the reasons I love   to make freshwater          303(d) list, a list named
   Portland so much is because we’ve preserved            from saltwater are          for section 303(d) of the
   some of our natural habitat and, you know, you go      filtration, distillation,   Clean Water Act. Listed
   to other cities and it’s just really different.”       and reverse osmosis.        waters are a priority to
      You’ll also find a few stories dealing with         Cities in Florida and       be cleaned up. Because
   balance. Balance between urban and natural,            California are either       rivers are only tested if
   between native species and nonnative species,          using or currently          they are suspected of
                                                          building desalination       being polluted, we are        If you’ve got something
   even between class time and field trips. The                                                                     to say about this edition
                                                          plants that use reverse     unable to calculate the
   outcomes of these constant tug-of-wars often                                                                     of healthy waters, let
                                                          osmosis to help meet        percentage that are pol-
   depend on you and me, because in many cases            their drinking water        luted. We do, however,        us know! We’ll be sure
   our actions will decide not only whether or not        needs. Reverse osmosis      know how rivers get           to get back to you, and
   Jessica Simpson scores another hit album, but          removes the salt from       polluted: loss of riparian    we might even print
   whether a species such as the native salmon-           saltwater by forcing        habitat which shades and      your letter.
   berry can compete with invasive English ivy.           it through a semi-          filters water before it en-   Send it to:
                                                          permeable membrane.         ters streams, discharge of    healthy waters
   Yours in the quest for balance,                                                    urban industrial, agricul-    Letters to the Editor,
                                                                                      tural pollutants, untreated   65 SW Yamhill Street,
                                                                                      sewage, and the runoff        Suite 300,
                                                                                      from hardened surfaces        Portland, OR 97204
                                                                                      like roads, rooftops, and
                             Toshio Meronek, editor                                   driveways into streams.       [And thanks to Kolleen Yake!]

                   Testing the Wa†ers
                                                                                                            Urban Waters    healthy waters

                           The STudeNT WaTerShed reSearCh ProjeCT

A student monitors water
near Portland’s Tideman
           Johnson Park

    . Portland

                           IT oNLy CoMeS oNCe a year                              space for biological processes to occur, and
                           “Happy Holidays!” Cleveland High junior Ruby           bacteria resulting from algae blooms uses up a lot
                           Sparks exclaimed when I clued her in to the fact       of the available dissolved oxygen. Even so, the
                           that, by coincidence, we happened to be out            macroinvertebrate group was able to come up
                           testing water quality on World Water Monitoring        with some water creatures that Talcott’s class from
                           Day. Every October 18, people from Portland to         last year didn’t find, and the diversity of macroin-
                           Peru are out testing their local waters for tem-       vertebrates as compared to last year, Talcott says,
                           perature, pH, dissolved oxygen, and turbidity.         “is encouraging.”
                           Along with Ruby and the rest of her classmates in         She quickly amends that statement, noting that
                           Serena Talcott’s Northwest Ecology course, I was       the freshwater clams and crayfish one group
                           out in Southeast Portland’s Westmoreland Park          discovered “can survive in just about anything,”
                           sitting in as students were taking measurements        and that the existence of these animals shouldn’t
                           for the Portland State University-based Student        cause too much excitement—you still wouldn’t
                           Watershed Research Project (SWRP)—a collective         want to take a bath in Westmoreland Park’s pond.
                           of teachers, students, scientists, and others coming   One of the kids searching for macroinvertebrates
                           together to collect high quality data on local         is wary of getting in. A classmate yells, “Just take
                           water quality.                                         your shoes off!” to which he replies sarcastically,
                              In addition to the four water quality indicators    “It’s tempting,” and then runs for some boots. Just
                           mentioned above, groups tested for streamflow,         downstream, the streamflow team has no trouble
                           phosphorus levels, and macroinvertebrate and           at all getting down and dirty, with several pairs of
                           invasive species populations [see sidebar]. Two        abandoned shoes and socks lining the banks of
                           mild winters in Portland have left the pond in         their section of the pond.
                           Westmoreland Park at a less-than-desirable             Another group of students joins the field trip,
                           dissolved oxygen level. Less water means less          from Portland State University. Working with

healthy waters   Student Watershed Research Project

        QuaLIfIed daTa CoLLeCTorS                                                                                     IT’S abouT aWareNeSS
        SWRP’s Torrey Lindbo, they are here                            view High in Portland, Blaine Biadburn         A classmate of Holden’s, Amy Hart,
        to aid with the Cleveland students’                            remembers: “It was just awesome to             recalls a SWRP project she found to be
        tests. Not that they need too much                             see how everyone discovered results            most interesting, one that tested to see
        help. “Time-sensitive,” “precision,”                           and their effects they never would             whether human development was
        and “accurate” are words that can be                           have known about if they (hadn’t)              affecting the nutrient levels in a local
        heard coming from any given group                              taken part in SWRP.”                           stream. “We hear it all the time—
        in Talcott’s class. Tests are timed, and                         Cleveland’s project from last year           ‘Companies pollute river’ and ‘Trash
        run several times to check that they                           dealt with the decline in health of            builds up in local creek.’ But these people
        are done right, and for good reason.                           Crystal Springs Creek in Southeast             had hard evidence to support local
        The data collected by Talcott’s class                          Portland. Former Talcott student and           construction as contributing to point
        will go into a database on Portland-                           SWRP participant Severin Holden says           and non-point pollution,” Amy says.
        area water health. About 25 high school                        he “learned a bit about dealing with              “We would spend hours of class time
        classes together monitor anywhere                              people who were under stress,” and             preparing ourselves and making sure that
        from 50–80 stream sites. In the past, the                      remembers well the famous cookies              we knew how to do all the tests cor-
        data has been used by the Clackamas                            and lemonade from 2005’s summit.               rectly,” reports Amy. “And then suddenly,
        River Basin and Tualatin River water-                          “They were phenomenal!” he says.               while you’re out there actually doing it,
        shed councils in watershed health                              No word on whether the refreshments            it hits you that your testing had better be
        assessments. The data is available to                          will be back in 2006, but rest assured         right because it’s going to be published. I
        anyone via SWRP’s website, http://                             that SWRP projects will be of similar          didn’t want to mess up!”                                                  caliber as compared with previous                 Having had a year to gain some
           The SWRP year culminates in an                              years—and expectations are that the            perspective, Hart looks back positively.
        annual end of the school-year summit,                          summit will only get bigger. Next              “I had a really good experience in our
        where students from around the state                           year’s summit is planned for May 19            Northwest Ecology class, and working for
        converge in Portland to present projects                       at the University of Portland, and             SWRP definitely made me more aware of
        with titles such as “Land Use vs.                              SWRP’s Lindbo encourages anyone                how I impact the natural world around
        Phosphate and Nitrate Levels” and                              interested to attend.                          me . . . whether I realize it or not.”
        “Variation in Water Quality Parameters
        and Their Relationship to Fish Presence
        in Wilsonville Streams.” 2005’s summit                             STreaM SeCTIoNS LoST To deveLoPMeNT
                                                                           IN johNSoN Creek
        was the largest ever, with 425 students
           Reflecting on the summit and SWRP
        in general, student Sarah Gillis from
        Reynolds High in Troutdale says
        being a part of the program helped her
        to realize “I can be involved in more
        than just school and help out in my
        community. The information could be
        valuable some day.” And from West-                                                 Stream Status
                                                                                                 Current Streams 62%
                                                                                                 Historical Streams 38%
                           Source: Metro Urban Growth Service, 1997                              Sub-basin Boundaries
                                    Portland Bureau of Environmental
                               Services Watershed Boundaries, 1999

                                                                                                                                                           Alsea        healthy waters

                           A Closer Look: Dissolved Oxygen
                         Just like those of us who live on land, water creatures need oxygen.
                         The availability of oxygen determines whether or not an aquatic organism will survive, and affects its growth
                         and development. The amount of oxygen found in water is called the dissolved oxygen concentration.

                           hoW IS dISSoLved
                           oxygeN MeaSured?
           n Dissolved  oxygen is measured in milligrams per
           liter of water [mg/l], or parts per million of oxygen
           to water [ppm].
           n Whatfactors can affect dissolved oxygen levels?
           How does water obtain more oxygen?
           aLTITude. The higher the air pressure, the more oxygen
           water can hold. Air pressure is lower at higher elevations,
           meaning there is likely to be less oxygen in the water on
           Mt. Hood than there is on the coast.
           WaTer agITaTIoN. The turbulence of running water
           and the mixing of air and water in waterfalls and rapids
           add significant amounts of oxygen to water.
           WaTer TeMPeraTure. The warmer the water, the
           lower the amount of oxygen present, because it is easier
                                                                                        hoW MuCh dISSoLved oxygeN
           for gases like oxygen to dissolve at colder temperatures.
                                                                                        IS Needed To SuPPorT LIfe?
           TyPeS aNd NuMberS of PLaNTS IN or arouNd
           The WaTer. Plants produce oxygen for their own
                                                                                            Maximum Dissolved Oxygen Concentration at Various Temperatures
           processes, leaving less dissolved oxygen in the water.
           LIghT PeNeTraTIoN. Algae and other plants convert
           sunlight to oxygen through photosynthesis, some of which
           ends up in the water. So, more sunlight usually means more
           oxygen can be produced.
           aMouNTS of dISSoLved or SuSPeNded SoLIdS
           IN The WaTer. Dissolved or suspended solids absorb
           heat, increasing the temperature of water and decreasing
           the dissolved oxygen level.
           CoNTaCT WITh aIr. As water low in oxygen comes into
           contact with air, it absorbs oxygen from the atmosphere.

                    macroinvertebrates: animals without backbones that are
In-THe-Know words

                    big enough to see with out a microscope. Water quality
                    effects which macroinvertebrates can survive in a given
                    water body, making them good water quality indicators.
                    pH: a measure of the activity of hydrogen ions in a solution           Compiled from Streamkeepers Field Guide, DEQ Administrative Rules, Project WILD Aquatic,
                    and, therefore, its acidity or alkalinity. If a water body is too      Stream Scene, Investigating Our Ecosystems
                    alkaline or too acidic, it cannot support life.
                    phosphorus: a key element necessary for growth of plants            The scientific term for a complete absence of dissolved oxygen
                    and animals, it is found in most fertilizers. If there is too       is anoxia. A low dissolved oxygen level, from 2 ppm down to
                    much phosphorus in a water body, aquatic plants will grow           0.5 ppm, is called hypoxia.
                    excessively, using up a lot of the available oxygen and
                    hurting the ecosystem.                                              WhaT are dead ZoNeS?
                    streamflow: the discharge of water from a stream.                   Lack of dissolved oxygen can create “dead zones” where
                    Can affect dissolved oxygen, turbidity, and other factors.          aquatic life cannot survive. Recently one has been found off
                    temperature: a measure of average kinetic energy of the             the coast of Oregon between Newport and Florence (others
                    particles in matter. Or, how hot or cold something is. If a         have been found in the Mississippi River and in Puget Sound in
                    water body is too hot or too cold, it cannot support life.          Washington). Less fish are being caught, and many dead crabs,
                    turbidity: the degree of cloudiness in water, caused by             birds, and other organisms have been found on nearby beaches.
                    suspended solids. The cloudier the water, the more turbid           Many scientists believe global warming and pollution cause
                    it is considered to be. Higher levels of turbidity can result       dead zones.
                    in a lack of sunlight penetration, affecting organisms that
                    get their food from photosynthesis.                                                                                                                05
 healthy waters      Controlling Invasive Species

                                                                By Karen Wegner


                       here are aliens living among         Below are just a few of the more             cavity nesting sites (those holes in old
                       us. You probably pass by sev-     than 96 species of nonnative fish and           trees), and males are known to peck
                       eral everyday; you may even       wildlife species in Oregon. There are           holes in the eggs and to kill nestlings
               like some of them. Aliens in the form     hundreds of nonnative plant species.            of other already-nesting species.
               of plants, frogs, fish, snail, mussels,   There are so many species of alien                 For more information about
                mammals, and birds are all around        plants that we won’t attempt to describe        invasive birds in Oregon contact
                us, and some are devastating             them all here, but don’t be surprised to        the Oregon Chapter of the Audubon
               Oregon’s ecosystems.                      find a few alien plants popping up in           Society (
                  What does it mean to be an alien,      other parts of this issue. You can also         states/index.php?state=OR).
               invasive, or exotic species? Usually,     find out more by checking out the                  Nutria are extremely common
                 it means that the alien organism        links throughout this piece.                    wetland pests. They look like a cross
                   evolved somewhere else, and was                                                       between a beaver and a muskrat, and
                    transported here by humans                                                                 are native to South America. Like
                     intentionally, or by accident.                                                           bullfrogs, nutria were brought here
                    Sometimes it is a disadvantage                                                           for economic reasons. It was hoped
                   to be an alien (kind of like in                                                             that their large size would help
                 the book and movie The War of The                                                             supplement the fur industry since
                    Worlds) because the new environ-                                                     beaver populations were diminishing.
                                                                          Smallmouth Bass
                     ment will prevent growth and                                                        The nutria pelt was never popularized
                      reproduction, or there may be         Smallmouth bass, brown trout,                and the nutria farms went out of
                     diseases that the alien is unable   green sunfish, Atlantic salmon,                 business. It was too late, though,
                  to fight off. Sometimes, when a        channel catfish and many other species          because by the 1930s populations were
               new species is introduced, the native     of fish have been introduced as sport           establishing themselves in the wild.
               population, the one with no experience    fish. Some of theses species are a threat       Nutria cause damage by girdling
               dealing with the introduced species,      to native amphibians and salmonids.             trees, over-foraging wetland vegeta-
Crab           may suffer. Oftentimes species that          Bullfrogs were brought to the west           tion, and burrowing into stream
               survive introduction are “generalists”    between 1890 and 1920 and were                  banks, which can cause erosion.
               and can survive broad climate changes,    farmed for food. Settlers from the East            Feral pigs are another growing
               and can out compete native popula-        who enjoyed the deep call male                  problem in Oregon. These are pigs
               tions for food.                           bullfrogs make also brought the frogs           that were once domesticated animals
                  After habitat lost to human            west to keep in their farm ponds as a           but escaped. They present a danger
               development, invasive species pose        reminder of home. The large frogs often         to the environment and to humans.
               the greatest threat to the survival       escaped and they thrived in their new           Boars are large, weighing up to 500 lbs,
               of native plants in the US. It is such    environment. In some cases, ducklings,          they have sharp tusks, and they can be
                a problem that in Oregon, our state      hatchling turtles, and small rodents have       very aggressive. Don’t ever approach
                  government has set up the Oregon       been found in bullfrog stomachs.                a feral pig! Rooting by swine results
                      Invasive Species Council, which       Like plants, there are many alien bird       in damage to agricultural and forested
                           deals specifically with       species in Oregon. Some birds like                        lands, and can lead to damage
                                controlling invasive     turkeys and pheasants are used                                in riparian areas by
                                   species.              as game birds. Others, like                                      increasing soil erosion.
                                                         European starlings, are
                                                         nuisances for our native birds.
                                                         The starlings were introduced
                                                         intentionally in Portland in 1889.
                                                         They are adaptable, aggressive, and
                                                         compete with native species for food,

                                                                                                              Watch for Them.        healthy waters

                                                                                              bY THE NUmbERS
                                                                                              42%: The percentage of threatened and
                                                                                              endangered species in the US whose decline
                                                                                              is due, in large part, to invasive species.
                                                                                              $137,000,000,000: The amount of
                                                                                              money lost to the battle against invasive
                    Zebra Mussel                                                              species in the US every year.
                                                                                              4,600: The number of new acres of
                                                                                              government land, such as national parks,
                                                                                              conquered by weeds every day.
         Other non-native mammals include          water they are introduced into.
       opossums and eastern gray squirrels.           The mitten crab’s natural habitat       400%: The increase in the amount of
         Zebra mussels were accidentally           is coastal rivers and estuaries in Korea   government land covered by weeds in one
       introduced into the United States in        and China. These crabs burrow, and         decade [1985–1995].
       1986. They were discharged in ballast       can weaken levees and increase bank        10%: The value of a 1,300-acre ranch
       water from ships in the Great Lakes.        erosion. One was found in the Colum-       near Klamath Falls infested by leafy spurge
       Since then they have spread to more         bia River in 1997. They are known to       [an invasive], compared to surrounding
       than twenty states, usually by              eat salmon, trout, and sturgeon eggs.      property that was not infested.
       attaching themselves to the hulls of        The crabs may also carry an organism       7,000,000: The number of acres of
       boats. They are about the same size         that is a threat to humans, the oriental   US national park land infested by invasive
       as a fingernail, so they can attach         lung fluke.                                species.
       themselves almost anywhere: includ-
       ing the inside of water intake pipes        How can you help?                          1: The number out of every 100 species
                                                                                              introduced to our country that will likely
       and all over boats. Females can lay         What can you do to help prevent            become invasive.
       1,000,000 eggs a year. The voracious        alien species from taking over our
       zebra mussel is a filter feeder, and        native ecosystems? Check out the           95%: The percentage of the US food sup-
       they filter about one gallon of water       links listed below and those associated    ply that comes from introduced plants and
       per day, ingesting all living micro-        with the species we’ve mentioned.          animals.
       scopic organisms, leaving little food       Some groups, like the No Ivy League        8 to 12: The number of weeks it takes
       available for larval fish and aquatic       (, have         to train a dog to detect select foreign
       insects. Without food the young fish        work parties with the objective to         foods and invasive species for the USDA’s
       and insects can’t survive, so their         eradicate the particular invasive          Beagle Brigade. [At airports, we often
       populations will begin to decline.          species. It is fun work and you are        depend on dogs to sniff out invasive fruits,
       To report sightings of Zebra Mussels        making a difference!                       vegetables, plants, and seeds.]
       contact Oregon Invasive Species                The most important action you           These facts came from a variety of sources, including the
                                                                                              Oregon Invasive Species Council’s website (http://www.
       Hotline. Call 1-866-INVADER or              can take is NO ACTION—do not      Even though we believe everything to be
       1-866-468-2337 (toll free in Oregon).       release any new organisms into our         accurate, please crosscheck anything you wish to use.
         The New Zealand mudsnail is very          ecosystems. Never introduce an
       small, but don’t let its size fool you.     animal to the wild, this includes
       In a very short time, mudsnails have        dogs your family can no longer care
       the reproductive ability to take over       for, a pet turtle you’ve lost interest
       aquatic sites and out compete native        in, or fish from your aquarium.
       snails and insects. They have no
       natural predators here in the United
       States, so they have the potential to
       overwhelm just about any body of

Scotch Broom



healthy waters   Cleveland High, Portland

   Simon Spencer
   & Valerie Steig                                                                                        Coast
                                                                                            to theColumbia River
                                                                                            a tour of the
                                                                                                 B Y WA LT H O L L A N D S

                                                                                                 How much do
                                                                                                 you know    about
           Simon Spencer and valerie Steig are two Cleveland high
           juniors studying water quality in the johnson Creek Watershed’s                      the Columbia River?
           oaks Crossing. After participating in an after-school extra-credit outing             Where does it begin
           removing invasive English ivy with the organization SOLV, Simon and
           Valerie became interested in doing more research around Oaks Crossing’s
                                                                                            and end? Which industries
           environmental health. The two have since come together with Portland’s
                                                                                              rely on the river’s water?
           Parks and Recreation Bureau to work on several water quality monitoring           What’s being done to restore
           projects that will continue through next summer. The data they generate            the Columbia right now?
           will be used by the City of Portland in local water quality assessments.
                                                                                                 Last summer, 28 residents of
           how did your projects come about?                                                   the Columbia River watershed
           Simon: We had both been doing restoration projects since freshman year.             spent two weeks following the
           Our teacher, Mr. Staab, influenced us to go do restoration work, and every         Columbia River and learning the
           once in a while he’d take some water sample probes, and I got interested in         answers to these questions and
           that kind of water testing. Past research lets us know that there are a lot of     more. Six of those river wanderers
           nitrates in the Willamette, and I was interested in seeing if that influenced            were Oregon teachers.
           the ponds and wetlands (nearby in Johnson Creek). Over the summer, I went
           on a trip with a few teachers and we found a giant pothole out near Oaks          The Columbia River Headwaters to
           Park where a landfill had been. It was just gross; oil was leaching out into       the Coast Tour followed the river
           the nearby pond. Portland Parks got involved and they started talks about me     from its headwaters in the Canadian
           doing water quality research to see whether the Willamette has any effect on     Rockies to where it meets the Pacific
           the wetlands. valerie: For my first trip down to Oaks Crossing, we basically           Ocean at Astoria, Oregon.
           checked out the area and discussed what the area could be like years from
           now if the place were restored. I noticed there was a big difference between
           two ponds in the area. One was fairly natural and going its own course, and
           there was another one that until recently had city water pumped into it year
           round, I guess to look aesthetically pleasing. I was struck by how little
           natural cover there was, and how many invasive species were present, and
           I got the idea of doing some water quality tests and coming up with a
           landscaping plan that would benefit the two ponds, which are connected.
           Simon’s project is going to be groundwater-based, whereas mine will be
           ground level, so we’re working toward the same goal of restoring Oaks
           Crossing, but using different strategies.
                                                                                                            TOUR STATS:
           Is this kind of work something you would consider as a career?                                   13 days
                                                                                                            Over 500 miles covered
           valerie: I’ve taken physics classes and I’ve taken biology classes, and I’ve
                                                                                                            10 Teams of 2 to 4 people,
           come to realize that physics is not the area for me. I can connect so much                        including at least 1 teacher
           more with the environmental view of things, and feel like I’m having a                           Teams came from Oregon,
           bigger impact.                                                                                    Washington, Idaho and
                                                                                                             Western Canada
                                                                                                            Teams included people from
           What are the next steps you’re taking for your projects?
                                                                                                             art teachers to biologists
           Simon: Cleveland High School has adopted the Oaks Crossing area, so . . .                         to city councilors
           valerie: Myself and some of the other people who are taking this Science
           Field Research class with Mr. Staab will probably enlist some of the
           freshman and crack the whip— Simon: I’ll be right along side you.                Geologist Chris Murray explains a glacial erratic
                                                                                            in the Yakima Valley

Walt [a teacher from Grant High School in Portland]
kept a diary about the trip:
DAY 2. At the Kootenai National Wildlife Refuge in Idaho,
we watched a moose swim across a pond and disappear into
the woods. The next day we counted thousands of tiny fish in
giant tanks, part of the Kootenai Tribe’s desperate attempt to
rescue a vanishing population of sturgeon. These huge, ancient
fish have not reproduced naturally in the Kootenai River for
years. After a fascinating presentation by a Ktunaxa tribal elder
on their culture and language, we were told that we were in the
former mission school where children were beaten for uttering
their native language. The next day we visited the tribe’s native
plant nursery, which provides plants for habitat restoration
throughout the region.                                              Teachers inspect sturgeon fry at Kootenai Tribe’s hatchery
DAY 3. After dipping our feet in pristine Columbia Lake and
                                                                    Organized by the Environmental Education Association of
paddling the river’s wildlife-rich headwaters, we toured a metal    Oregon and the North Cascades Institute, and funded by the
smelter near the US–Canadian border. There we learned of            Environmental Protection Agency and the National Park Service,
decades of air and water pollution, leaving treeless hillsides      the Headwaters tour required each participant to give something
and fish laden with heavy metals. A lot of the trip was like        back. Each of the ten teams went back to their community with
this, mirroring the highs and lows of the river’s history.          a plan. Here are some of those plans:
                                                                                                                                 DID YOU KNOW:
DAY 6. After the first week, we got a rare inside look at Hanford   n  The team from Vancouver, Washington wrote new             n   The Columbia starts as a
Nuclear Reservation in eastern Washington. Hanford is the           lyrics to famous Woody Guthrie songs about the               giant, spring-fed Canadian
place where the atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki was made.           Columbia, telling of current river issues. The songs,        lake, not as a tiny stream?
It is also one of the most polluted places in the country, with     being performed for school groups in the Northwest,
                                                                                                                                 n   Only about 100 of the
                                                                    are available on CD as well.
liquid nuclear waste seeping through the ground toward the                                                                       Columbia’s roughly 1,200
Columbia River.                                                     n Trail, British Columbia: the team here is creating a       miles still flow as a river?
                                                                    giant mural for their city. The mural will focus on the
DAY 7. We learned that some farmers in the Yakima valley                                                                         n   Many times over the last
                                                                    Columbia River and will inspire the citizens of Trail to
are switching to drip irrigation to save water for fish. We also    bring salmon back to their part of British Columbia.         15,000 years, the Columbia
learned that many dam operators are spilling water—trying to                                                                     surged with a quantity of
                                                                    n In Portland, three teachers are planning and planting
help young salmon get to the sea. We learned that the Port                                                                    water greater than all of
                                                                    a bioswale at their school. Using wetland plants and
of Portland is struggling to maintain shipping in the Columbia.                                                               Earth’s rivers combined?
                                                                    soils as natural filters, the bioswale will divert storm-
We got a view of the whole watershed and gained an under-           water runoff before it flows into Portland’s Johnson Creek.
standing of the many issues affecting it.
                                                                    As cool as these projects are, they alone won’t bring the Columbia
DAY 8. Passing through Hanford by boat, we saw coyotes, deer,       River back to its former splendor. That will require all of us to
ospreys, egrets and spawning grounds for the thousands of           learn about our local watersheds and devise plans of our own.
salmon that spawn in this rare, dam-free section of the river.      What will you do?

The group stands in the Columbia River headwaters
healthy waters   Opal Creek Wilderness

       In the fall of 2005, the environmental science
       class from Reynolds High School’s Natural           To stay at a reduced rate at a lovely lodge in
       Resources Academy took a trip to Opal Creek,        Jawbone flats we did some restoration work. In
       a wilderness area located near Salem. It’s been     other words we spent some quality time ripping
       protected since 1996, and according to photo-       out scotch broom, a nonnative species originating
       journalist and Reynolds High student Bridget        from Europe that happens to take over. It currently
       Chipman, the place “has since become proof          has taken over about 35 acres of land, which the
       of the undeniable beauty of the natural world.”     Opal Creek staff would like to use for farming.
       This photo journal is Bridget’s experience there.   So we spent some time digging it up.

        Our hosts at Opal
        Creek served delicious
        vegetarian food, partly
        grown in their own
        garden they hope to
        expand as soon as the
        scotch broom is under
        control. All power
        generated for
        Jawbone Flats is                                   Our home for the next three
        made on site with                                  days was a former mining
        a hydroelectric                                    camp known as Jawbone
        generator.                                         Flats. Through it was a road
                                                           we walked on, only our bags
                                                           got the free ride into camp.
                                                           The hike was fun with the
                                                           guides to tell us of the area.

                                                           The Opal Creek area is part of the little north fork of
                                                           the Santiam River Watershed. The area is considered a
                                                           rainforest and gets ample amounts of rain throughout
                                                           the year. The creeks boasts trout but no salmon. The
                                                           water is amazingly clear and pure in the many creeks
                  A photo journAl                          in the area. The lack of turbidity may be due to the lack
                    by bridget chipman                     of sand and silt in the creeks and the abundance of
                                                           plant life in the riparian area.

                                                                                           Student Journal   healthy waters

                                                              In the 1930s
                                                              the area was
                                                              mined for
                                                              copper, zinc,
                                                              silver and
                                                              lead. There
                                                              are still
                                                              mines and
                                                              scattered over
                                                              the land.

Because it is a healthy old growth forest, very
moist fungus thrive. This is a neat fungus I found
on a nurse log called strawberries and crème.

For the next two days we spent a lot of time venturing     There is no doubt that Opal Creek is Oregon’s uncut gem
on trails and seeing all it had to offer. We also took a   and the trip was a memorable one. The people that
plot of forest and measured for large trees, counted       work there really care and made the trip all the more
snags and nurse logs to determine if the plot could be     pleasurable. I was sad to leave but hope to return soon
considered old growth. Because the area is largely         to see more of this wonderful old growth forest.
undisturbed, the vegetation is dense, helps prevent
erosion and keeps soil healthy. The whole forest
depends on fallen trees decomposing on the forest
floor to thrive.

healthy waters        Reed College Canyon

              How one man [with a lot of help]
              fought invasive plants to bring Reed
              C o l l e g e’s c a n y o n b a c k f r o m t h e d e a d

              Founded in 1908, Reed College is a school of about 1,200                   HARDEST OPPONENTS
              students located in Portland’s southeast quarter. Separating               The college has identified 13 weeds on the campus that are
              the north side of campus from the south side is a canyon,                  the worst enemies of native species, including clematis. But
              which until the last few years was not a pretty sight. Filled              among these 13 are a couple outlaws that are especially
              with trash and invasive species, “it was a very sick portion               vicious. Nonnatives such as blackberries, ivy, and clematis
              of the campus,” recalls “Keeper of the Canyon” Zac Perry,                  can be controlled by “manual hand pulling—they actually
              a staff member at Reed.                                                    have a root, a source from their growth,” Zac explains.
                                                                                         Before working at Reed, Zac worked for the US Department
              T H i S WA S A D U m P                                                     of Agriculture, figuring out the best way to grow black-
              Zac continues: “When I first saw this place it was a sea of                berries for people to eat. “But in doing that I had to learn
              blackberries and ivy.” The nonnative species had choked out                how to kill blackberries just as much as I had to learn how
              all of the native ones, apart from some trees. It was so bad               to grow them.” The biggest enemies facing the “Keeper of
              that “you had a situation where the weeds were trying to                   the Canyon” are reed canary grass and morning glory.
              compete with each other, wild clematis being choked by the                   Reed canary grass and morning glory grow using rhizomes.
              morning glory. It was very overwhelming.” And as for trash,                “You can pull out ten feet and there are still roots,” whereas
              there were “water heaters, tires, concrete blocks, clothes,                with easier-to-control ivy, for example, “it’ll do the same
              asphalt, roofing shingles,” Zac says. “This was a dump.”                   thing but with repetition it will go away.”
                 Before Zac talked to the college about restoring the
              canyon, Reed either never had the money or an interest in                  WA N T T O H E l P ?
              making the place well again. For about 90 years, it was too                The canyon has flourished under Zac’s direction. But
              full of garbage and nonnative plants to have any environ-                  the job is ongoing, because invasive species and human
              mental or scientific benefits for the campus.                              pollution are ever-present problems. If you’re in Portland,
                 Today it’s a place where people from the college and the                you can help. Twice a year, Canyon Day is an opportunity
              surrounding neighborhood come to hang out, walk their                      for the community to make sure the canyon continues to
              dogs, or to jog. Biology students now leave their labs to                  thrive. What does it involve? “A little bit of invasive plant
              study in the canyon, examining the wildlife and testing                    removal, and a mass planting. The last couple Canyon Days
              the lake’s water quality. However, getting rid of trash and                we’ve planted somewhere in the neighborhood of 1300
              invasive species has been a fight that continues today.                    native plants in a day, while filling up a dumpster with ivy
                 “Clematis can grow five feet a week during the summer                   and other weeds,” Zac says. “There’s a student bluegrass
              months, and you let that grow for 90 years and it basically                band that comes down and plays in the woods with us.
              suffocates everything,” Zac remarks on this particularly                   There are t-shirts for everybody that shows up, there’s food
              tough invasive species, which climbs trees and can completely              for everybody that shows up and it’s literally a work party.”
              cover them, blocking out all sunlight and killing the trees.               The next Canyon Day is scheduled for April, 2006. “It’s

                                                                                                                                                               (FROM THE OLD CHEMISTRY DEPARTMENT)
                 “When I started, this place was 95% weeds. We spent                     just a day of hanging out in the woods, listening to good
              two and a half years just weeding. We spent two and a half                 music and working hard, and at the end of the day getting
              years with machetes in our hands,” remembers Zac, citing                   blown away by how much work we all got done as a
              the preferred tool of the trade. (Reed doesn’t like to use                 group.” Email for more info.
              chemicals to control weeds.)
                                                                                                                                                               OLD GLASS TEST TUBES

              The Blackberry Rubus armeniacus                                                                            How’d it get here?
        More On

                                                                                                                         Asia, by way of England.
                   Many of us in Oregon have enjoyed eating wild blackberries from the side of the road every
                   August, but did you know that the majority of these blackberries are originally from Western              What’s its problem?
                   Europe? Known as Himalayan Blackberries (confusing, we know), these plants grow so fast they              A colony of Himalayan black-
                   can make it hard for native plants, including the Oregon Blackberry (Rubus laciniatus), to survive.       berry can widen by 10 feet or
                                                                                                                             more per year, overwhelming
                   One of the most important things Zac says he learned while working with blackberries at the               every plant in its path.
                   USDA was that they have a root storage life of about five years, meaning that they can survive
                   about five years without any food. Blackberries, like most plants, get their food through             How can we control it?
                   photosynthesis. So, when attacking the blackberry bushes, he didn’t bother attacking the roots,       Beyond hiring goats to get rid
                   he went for the food source—the photosynthetic leaves. “If you don’t grub out the roots,              of the problem blackberry, hand
                   and you just remove the vegetation, over a period of a couple years you deplete the food              weeding and use of blackberry
                   source, at which point that plant just fails and disappears.”                                         leaf rust (harmless to native
                                                                                                                         species) can control this invasive.

                                                                                                                                                                        Cleaning It Up           healthy waters

                                                  Find some of the invasive garbage that Zac’s team has found in the bottom of the canyon:

                 Hidden Treasure? We think not.

                                                                                                                                   A CHINA PLATE FROM THE EARLY 1900S

                                                                 Canyon Day clean-up April, 2005 (left) and 1916 (above). The Reed canyon fish ladder (below).

                                                                                        METAL PIPES

                           TIN CANS

                                                                                                                                                                                                      S, N

               OLD BIKES

                                                                     PETRI DISHES
healthy waters   Students Write About Their Home Waters

                                   R E F l E C T i O N S O N WAT E R
                                   R E F l E C T i O N S O N WAT E R

                                                                                                           Make your own model watershed

           Clean water runs                           A Salamander’s Surmise
              Through creeks and rivers
                  Refreshing us
                                                      [Based on a true story]
                                                                                             How to Make a Watershed

                                                      It was a cold and dreary night         A watershed is a grand thing. From
           Matthew Dennis, Reynolds HS                I spent inside my bath                 the mountains that catch the rain, to
                                                      The day had really been too trite      the ridges that channel the water into
                                                      (Not the kind that does excite)        tributaries that empty out into an
           Helping watershed                          And I still had to finish math.        ocean bound river. They are crushed
              Involves messy carcass toss                                                    by hands, carved by erosion, and
                So salmon can live                    The door was locked, for I despise     painted by the refreshing rains. A
                                                      Those who just meander                 masterpiece of art worthy of being
           Claudia Martinez, Reynolds HS              And so imagine my surprise             hung in a museum. A mere human
                                                      When I stared into the glowing eyes    could never make such a sculpture,
                                                      Of a red salamander.                   but you can do it on a smaller scale.

             Come together now                        The salamander, unabashed              First Step: Get a piece of paper,
                Water falls in common place           Said, “Sir, I’m your salvation!        recycled, if you have any. Hold that
             In nature we’re one                      Your hopes of a peaceful bath,         piece of paper firmly, being careful
                                                      Have, so suddenly, been dashed         not to tear, and crumple it up into a
           Marilyn Jean Huddleston,                   But you need education.                ball. Continue smashing the paper as
           Reynolds HS                                                                       much as you want.

                                                      “I have been sent here to be
                                                      Your wise and aged tutor               Second Step: Now uncrumple the
           Silence                                    I think we’ll get on splendidly        paper, but not all the way since you
              All was silent,                         (I’ve been told that you agree         will need a few rough angles and
                among the trees and shrubs.           With most anti-polluters).             edges. Place each corner of the paper
              You could see the river moving                                                 on a scrap piece of paper with tape.

                     Quickly, with a current          “The watershed named Johnson Creek
                  strong and pushing                  Is not at all devoid                   Third Step: Using a washable marker,
               Along like heavy wind,                 For though it can be cold and bleak    trace the tops of the edges that jut out.
                the echo underneath                   It is a home to meadow leeks           Also trace the edges with curved tops.
              The bridge was like                     And many salmonoids.                   Do not worry about putting on too
                    the sound of thunder                                                     much ink.

            The wood bridge was still                 “150 years have past
                      while the river                 Since the fish were thousands strong   Final Step: Using a sprayer or a hose
                 Made it scream.                      Because our numbers dwindled fast      on gentle mist setting, slowly drench
               Nothing was too perfect,               Now the empty creek seems vast         the papers you have put together.
             But everything was in its place          Can a few hundred fish be wrong?       Now dry in the sun. You yourself have
               This made the site seem so great.                                             crushed, carved, and painted your
                                                      “So sir, grow up with this in mind     very own watershed. The watershed
           Stephanie Sequeira, Reynolds HS            Oh, and incidentally                   you made however is only a model of
                                                      The next time you feel inclined        a watershed and not an actual water-
                                                      To leave behind a lemon rind           shed. The mere model could never
                                                      Please think environmentally!”         replace any of our planet’s beauties.

                                                      Daniel Felder, Cleveland HS            Max Lavallee, Reynolds HS

                                                                                          Portland and Medford   healthy waters

Reflecting                                                              Water Story

When I was little I lived in one of those lake towns for a few years.   There is lake water.
If you’ve ever lived near a lake, you know that there are two kinds          There is snow water.
of communities near the lakes. There’s high class, and low class.         There is rainwater.
At the time, we were considered low class.                                    There is blue water.
                                                                            There is green water.
My friends and I spent a lot of time jumping off a broken wooden         There is ice water.
dock that was floating in a small cove. There were collapsing,                There is cold water.
abandoned boat houses surrounding the cove, and giant tires                 There is hot water.
protruding from the surface. By the general public, our playground        There is a cup of water.
wasn’t considered very sanitary, but we were young, and we loved it.
A few times a year we had to stay away from the water because           Victor Balero, North Medford HS
of how dirty it was.

We would race across the cove and though it wasn’t a huge area,         My Life
we thought that if we could make it across without stopping we were
gods. We had a few good scares after run-ins with snakes, but for the   I saw a stream and it was pretty and big
most part it was like heaven for us. We learned how to do back flips        And the water was blue and clear and then I
off of the edge of the dock, and would have contests to see who           Saw ponds and they had frogs and fish and
could do the “coolest” dive.                                                   Trees and birds and they were big

What no one knew is that when the sun was setting and everyone          James Swift, North Medford HS
else was home, I’d go back and sit on the dock by myself,
daydreaming and changing endings to recent or future events.
I’d stare at ripples and follow them until they faded, and made         People Need Water
pictures out of the jumping reflections the sun made on the water.
                                                                        People need water to drink
It would get so silent in the evenings that you could hear every fish     And people need water to take a shower
jump out of the water, and every ripple hit the earth. I would sit             And water is blue and green
and watch those images and listen to those sounds and get lost in          And people need water to live
my own little world.
                                                                        Cody McCallister, North Medford HS
Even though the rest of the world looked at the cove as dirty and
dangerous, it was my comfort zone.

Veronica Miller, Reynolds HS

healthy waters    Daylighting

   SOmeOne TuRn THe LIgHTS On!
   D AY l i G H T i N G                                   CREEKS
   Do you live in a city? Have you ever been to Portland,
   Salem, Eugene, or Ashland? If your answer is yes to any of
   these questions, chances are good that you’ve walked over
   some hidden streams without even knowing it.
      Ever since people started living in cities, we have diverted
   streams, straightened them, put them into pipes, and confined
   them in concrete canals to make way for development. For
   example, in East Portland’s Johnson Creek watershed, almost
   40% of the watershed’s original streams have been altered:
   paved over with asphalt, underneath soccer fields, schools,
   Plaid Pantries, you name it. Today, groups of people are
   trying to change this, by bringing the creeks back to where
   they once were, to see the light of day.
   Why should you care about whether or not a stream is visible
   above ground? There are plenty of reasons:
   s Fish and animals can usually get around easier in an open
     stream than in a concrete pipe.
   s Water quality is improved by exposing water to air,
     sunlight, plants, and soil, all of which help to neutralize
   s Flooding can occur when manmade pipes are too small.
     Natural streams can often adapt to how much water is
     flowing, while concrete pipes cannot.
   s People can play or relax around a stream. Who wants to                i T ’ S N O T A l WAY S E A S Y
     hang out near a concrete canal?                                       Daylighting does present challenges . . .
   s Science classes can use the streams as “outdoor labs.”
                                                                           t Finding the original channel of the stream is sometimes
                                                                           t Hauling away lots of dirt and debris to uncover a stream
                                                                             can be hard work.
                                                                           t Reshaping where the stream starts and ends can cause
                                                                             stormwater issues—what if a stream overflows when
                                                                             it rains?
                                                                           W H AT ’ S H A P P E N i N G AT WA l K E R E l E m E N TA R Y
                                                                           Daylighting has become an issue that the students in teacher
                                                                           Tim Brandy’s fourth and fifth grade class at Walker Elementary
                                                                           in Ashland know well. A couple years ago, the kids noticed
                                                                           they could hear the sound of running water near the school,
                                                                           but had no idea where it was coming from. Sprinklers? No.
                                                                           A leaking sink? No. The class researched it and found there was
                                                                           once a stream alongside the school, but that it had been run
                                                                              Now, together with the City of Ashland’s Public Works
                                                                           Department, Tim’s classes are slowly bringing the stream back
                                                                           to the light. A couple times a week, everyone goes out to where
                                                                           the stream once was and works, digging the creek bed and
                                                                           sculpting the area with rocks. Every fourth and fifth grader
                                                                           has a native plant species that they monitor and care for. The
                                                                           class also plans to work at several local plant nurseries to earn
     Tim Brandy’s fourth and fifth grade classes work to create a stream
                                                                           some native willow and spirea. The “ecotone,” as it is called,
     bed that will eventually return running water to the edge of Walker
     Elementary School                                                     is already being used as a Living Science Lab.

                                                                                                               Walker Elementary Digs in     healthy waters

       healthy waters asks

       Tim Brandy’s class
       “In our class we have the tradition of each kid having a specific species
        of plant planted in the ecotone to take special care of and watch it grow.
        Before a fifth grader graduates from grade school, they pass on their plant to a
        third grader. This way each plant gets passed on and cared for by many kids.”
                                                                 —Theannah Hannon                               culvert: A pipe or other conduit

                                                                                           In-THe-Know words
                                                                                                                that carries water underground.
       “When I’m grown up, I’ll come back here with my kids and show them                                       daylighting: Any project or action
        my oak tree, my handprint, and the creek. When I come back with my kids                                 that deliberately exposes the flow
        there will hopefully be salmon. I love this ecotone and I hope everybody                                of a previously covered river, creek,
        who sees it does too.”                                                                                  or stormwater drainage.
                                                          —Mariah Ruth Ferguson                                 ecotone: A transition zone between
                                                                                                                two ecosystems.
       “I can’t wait until I’m about 30 or so to come back and look at the creek.
                                                                                                                hydraulics: The study of water
        I will remember which rocks I put in the creek and the plants I planted.                                flowing in channels or pipes.
        Even now when I’m walking through the ecotone I say, ‘I planted that!’”
                                                                  —Lily Davidson                                xeriscape: landscaping that doesn’t
                                                                                                                require a lot of water.


Tim Brandy’s class has been working on the ecotone since the
year 1992 and I have worked on it for two years. An ecotone
is a kind of garden that is between two ecosystems.
   Right now we are working on a creek that we will daylight
and it will run through the ecotone. Before we had the idea to
daylight the creek, our place in front of the school was called
the xeriscape. A xeriscape is a garden that does not use water.
   Every child that is in Tim Brandy’s class gets a plant that
they take care of. When a fifth grader graduates, he or she
gives their plant to a third grader that will care for it in the
fourth and fifth grade. My plant is a red alder, it is a tree and
it can grow up to 50 feet tall.
   The xeriscape started in the year 1992 because of a drought
in Ashland. To save water Tim and his students replaced a big
lawn with plants that didn’t need any water.
C l A S S m AT E m A x H i E N S E x P l A i N S
HOW iT All bEGAN . . .
In 1982 there was no xeriscape, much less an ecotone. It was
also the year of a great drought. It was so serious that you
could get a ticket for watering your lawn or washing your car,
you would get a ticket for just about any water use outside
your home.
  Unfortunately, Walker School had a big green lawn.
  So that’s how the xeriscape started [xeri is the greek word
for dry, and scape is short for landscape: xeriscape, dry
landscape]. Tim’s class ripped up the lawn and started
planting plants that needed little or no water, like madrone,
beech, and the oak.
  A few years later in the year of 2004 we brought back a
creek that used to flow in front of Walker School. It had been
put into a pipe underground in 1950.

healthy waters   Florence

The Stream Team                                                                                           Florence .

Rain or shine, Jim Grano’s Stream Team is making a world of difference in the Siuslaw watershed

   The day started out playing a game well-known to people
   raised in small towns like this one on Oregon’s central
   coast, Florence (population 6,865). Spot the City Kid.
   As teacher and watershed extraordinaire Jim Grano
   escorts me from Siuslaw Middle School’s office to their
   volunteer-built outdoor equipment room, one of his
   students motions to the sandals on her feet, pleading, “I
   don’t have to wear flip-flops, right?” Definitely a city kid.
      It wasn’t supposed to rain today, but light showers
   are coming down and continue intermittently through-
   out our field trip. Taking attendance, Grano notes just
   a few absences. “I suspect they’re all city kids,” he jokes,
   indicating the rain.
      “Not me! I’m a city kid!” yells one, and there are plenty
   of exceptions to the rule (this writer being one, too).
      It’s cold and wet as our bus pulls around, but what’s
   more chilling is the lack of complaints from the kids.
   Even the city kids are quiet on the subject of the poor
   weather. I want to attribute this to some spectacularly
   well-behaved students, but the day reveals that Grano
   himself is responsible for making the kids excited about
   what they’re studying to the point where grumbling is
                                                                  A mallet is used to hammer willow cuttings into the ground. Not this one!
      “We rehearsed this,” Grano says, panning around a chaotic              Oregon was not particularly affected, but someone had the bright
   room full of chest waders, hip and rain boots, ponchos, and               idea of bringing reed canary grass, which does a good job of
   middle school students trying and, in all but a few cases,                keeping dirt in place for farming and grows like wildfire, into the
   succeeding in donning the gear on their own.                              state. The plant quickly spread, taking over meadows and
      On what is already the third field trip of the year, in a time         devastating native species.
   when public school field trips are an endangered species, we are             Soon we’re planting willows, which is nearly effortless. Place
   headed to Enchanted Valley, roughly a twenty-minute drive from a cutting in wet dirt, hammer it into the ground with a mallet,
   town. It’s an area well loved by the community, every summer              and watch and wait. Unlike reed canary grass, willows are native
   attracting hundreds of locals who come to pick blackberries,              to Oregon, provide much-needed shade and their roots break
   walk dogs, and hike.                                                      up the speed of the stream, making it easier for salmon to swim
                                                                             upstream when necessary.
   A N E N C H A N T E D VA l l E Y                                             Johan Hogervorst, a hydrologist with the Forest Service, leads
   Jim’s “Stream Team” has been coming to the Valley for about               the team. In the past he’s also headed up prison crews who come
   seven years, collecting data on invasive species levels, releasing        out to the area to plant willows. The last crew cut the willow
   native fish species into the creek, and planting trees in an area         pieces backwards, and though one of the students breaks a
   of forest that was cut down in the early 1900s to farm a crop             mallet after pounding with a little too much enthusiasm,
   unusual for the climate, corn.                                            according to Hogervorst, “By far, kids are a better workforce
      One hope is that this area of Enchanted Valley will be returned        than prison crews. They’ve got youth and energy and it’s great
   to its original state, before the creek was moved to the edges of         that they’re learning at the same time.” Much of the credit has
   the valley to allow for cultivation. To this end, the Stream Team         to go to Grano, he says. “Jim’s passion is just inspiring.”
   has been working with the Forest Service, local sport fishermen,
   and, says forester Dan Segotta, “the wildlife—beavers help to             T H E x FA C T O R
   raise the water table as they build their dams along the creek.”          So how do you get a bunch of seventh-graders excited about
      Three men and one woman from the Forest Service arrive on              measuring invasive species levels? “They see that it’s really
   the scene to help the kids with their transects—using a PVC-pipe          important,” Grano says. “Some kids will live here for the rest of
   square, they estimate the amount of native vs. nonnative plant            their lives, and they’ll get to see those trees continue to grow.”
   life. Having prepped for this back in the classroom, the only                “This is awesome . . . I’d rather do this than go to class or play
   direction that the kids require is to stop being so precise.              video games,” says Mallet-Breaker Stefan Woosley, to some of
      The major invasive species to look out for is reed canary grass,       the other kids. “Go to class,” maybe, but sacrifice video
   which was introduced during the 1930s, when the Dust Bowl saw             games in order to plant some trees? Something very, very
   much of the Midwest’s farming land turned, literally, to dust.            peculiar is going on here.

                                                                                             Long-range Restoration on the Siuslaw      healthy waters

Above: Coho with split tail. Below: Measuring the amount of   Tom Kartrude, Port of Siuslaw, Jim Grano, Anthony, and Eric plant trees to restore port
native vs. non-native plant life with a transect              property near the Siuslaw River

   Siuslaw Upper Watershed Outreach Coordinator and
AmeriCorps member Catherine Adler sees great potential for                  Grano’s work doesn’t end with the school year. He’s one of the
bringing what Grano does to other area schools. “What I do                  people who have made several watershed summer camp sessions
with [my own students] could be modeled off what Jim does.”
                                                                            happen every summer for the last few years. 2005 saw a dearth
   Of course, there have been and continue to be some chal-
lenges. “We could do a lot of positive stuff,” Grano explains,              of funding, so only one session was held, but you can be sure
but because so much of the curriculum in today’s schools is                 that the students who went clamming, crabbing, visited an active
oriented toward benchmark tests, classes like Jim Grano’s are               timber shoal, and got the downlow on old-school Native American
of a rare breed. The local environment isn’t something you’ll               tools last summer had a blast. Keep your eye on the Siuslaw
often find on a federal standardized test. Funding was hard                 Watershed Council’s webpage [].
to come by for the first couple of years. Funding sources
are diverse: sport fishermen, the Forest Service, the Oregon
Watershed Enhancement Board and, it took a few years, but the
local school district has recognized the importance of the Stream
Team, and will help to fund the course starting next year.
   Results from the Stream Team’s past work is already being
seen—there’s been up to a ten-fold increase in the juvenile
fish population returning year after returning year since
the restoration of Enchanted Valley began, and hydrologist
Hogervorst motions toward some willow trees off in the
distance that were planted by Grano’s class a couple years
ago. All are already taller than your average seventh grader.

A F U T U R E F O R T H E S i U S l AW
All the willow cuttings have been planted. It’s time to go.
Hogervorst closes, saying, “I think I hear the fish,” and
assuming a fish voice, he yells “THANK YOU!”
   “We’ve got everything here,” Grano says after listing off the
Siuslaw watershed’s array of natural resources that allow for
logging, fishing of Coho, steelhead, cutthroat, and Chinook,
and hunting and mining. “As long as we manage it well, it’ll
stay that way.” The watershed is a heavyweight at 500,000
square acres. That’s a lot of area to cover, even with a well-
organized watershed council, but with watershed superstars
like Jim Grano it’s hard to be pessimistic about how the                                                                    Part of the Stream Team
watershed will look in a few years time.
healthy waters   Natural and Urban Smoosh Together

   guest essay: River City                                  by Robin Cody

        lately I’ve been poking around Portland
        by boat, catching the sights and smells
        here at the confluence of two great
        rivers. At water level I get a new angle
        on the city. Familiar arrangements can
        appear to be marvelous.
           One summer Saturday I headed up
        the Columbia and into the Willamette,
        where the natural and the human gave
        every sign of getting along. Herons and
        kingfishers worked the water near the
        growl and diesel whiff of a working
        tug. Men in small boats, fishing for
        steelhead, were catching and tossing
        back shad. Ocean-going ships took
        on lumber, gave up Toyotas. In the           other urban folk. We wrap ourselves        the bottom-fish. In the paper I read
        foreground, an osprey lifted a wide-         in the River City myth but measure         sickening reports of one-eyed fish with
        eyed shad to a nest atop pilings.            our well-being in economic terms.          crooked spines, and of river otters with
        Behind that, a crane lifted buckets          The danger of a working river rises to     withered penises, shrunken testicles.
        of gravel from a barge.                      consciousness only occasionally, when
           In the background, Forest Park.           we have to break out the sand bags.        Another time, on another outing, I
           Spring chinook already had passed,        Or ludicrously, when a gravel barge        anchored overnight near the edge of
        but a great sustaining notions of this       runs over a dozen rugged individualists    city limits.
        place is that salmon and steelhead still     from Nike rowing an unlit dragon boat         When the morning sun rose high
        surge through the heart of a metro area      at night.                                  enough to catch the bank, a small river
        of 1.6 million people. One of America’s         As a people we Euro-Americans           otter emerged from willow roots and
        great fishing holes lies within view of      came here busting woods and taming         slid down into the water. Then another
        a Merrill Lynch office. Here is a heron      rivers. Now that we’ve mostly done         slid the mud bank. And another. Five,
        rookery within paddling distance of          that, our sense of identity hinges on      in all, liquid black and glossy, climbed
        NBA basketball. I can dock the boat          what we have left of woods and rivers.     up the bank and went skidding down
        and stroll to the world’s best bookstore.    We could easily lose what is unique        again, nosing into the water without
           Where else on the continent—on            and beautiful about this place. Or we      a splash.
        the planet—do the great intentions of        could learn to coexist with the crea-         The otters started wrestling in the
        nature and people come braided so            tures and features of the wild.            water. They made of themselves an
        closely together?                               The encouraging thing is that we got    otterball. Heads over tails over heads
           It’s what sets us apart, and always       here too late to have completely screwed   over tails, the otterball went churning
        has. Captain John Couch, a city founder,     things up. And in the last couple of       along the surface, throwing up spray.
        had his eye on commerce. Seafaring           decades, the notion of responsibility      When that got old, they dived and
        ships could probe this far, and no           toward the habitat has begun to            surfaced separately. One little show-off
        farther, into the Willamette. But what       penetrate city life. Kids these days are   came up near the boat with a crawdad
        really got Couch—what he wrote East          alert to the connectedness of things—      between his teeth. He cracked and ate
        about—was that he could shoot ducks          of woods to salmon, and of rivers to       the crawdad.
        from his front porch.                        our sense of spirit and well-being.           When I glanced up, I saw the otters’
           Although Portlanders are now a fully         We’re getting wiser.                    parents. They had come out to watch,
        urbanized people, the rivers still make         Will we be wise enough in time?         and to watch me watching.
        us who we are. Never too deeply buried          More and more people are coming.           I felt, for my own crowding species,
        in the urban ethos is an imaginative         As more of my species crowd the river,     on the spot.
        truth, that not so long age we emerged       the threat is more subtle, more quietly       You don’t have to live here to wonder
        to a riverside clearing, the sons and        insidious, than toxic outflow from a       —to take heart or to find despair—at
        daughters of pioneers, self-selected for     paper plant. It’s the threat of losing     whether or not America’s greenest big
        rugged individuality.                        in small increments the surrounding        city can save what makes it unique.
           Oddly, the view from a boat suggests      greenspaces to asphalt and condos,
        how we insulate ourselves, with bridges      of leaching small poisons from drive-      Robin Cody is the Portland author of
        and sea walls, from the river. In a          ways and lawns. From a boat the river      Ricochet River, a novel, and Voyage of
        darker mood I think we might be as           looks and smells clean to me, but I        a Summer Sun, exploring the Columbia
        estranged from natural rhythms as any        am haunted by warnings: Do not eat         River at water level.

                                                                                                   Stop alien invaders.    healthy waters

    Invasive Species

                                                                                                 do you CaLL . . . ?
                                                                                                 Using vocabulary
                                                                                                 you learned in this issue
boar                                                                                             of healthy waters,
Origin: Domesticated pigs gone wild                                                              write in the correct word:
Aliases: Sus scrofa, Captain Cooker,
                                                                                                 What do you call . . .
Description: The wild ancestor of the
domesticated pig, it can reach up to 440                                                         1.
pounds and 6 feet long. It over-forages and                                                      exposing the flow of a
creates erosion while rooting (digging for    Mudsnail                                           previously covered river
vegetables).                                  Origin: New Zealand
Method of Control: Baiting the pigs to eat
                                                                                                 or creek?
                                              Aliases: Potamopyrgus antipodarum
poison hidden in food traps. Care must be     Description: Housed in a horn-like shell,
taken to ensure that other animals don’t      the mudsnail is only about 5mm,                    2.
eat the poison. Shooting and trapping are     but it is hungry and reproduces quickly,           a complete absence of
other methods of control.                     using up much of the available food                dissolved oxygen?
                                              source wherever it is introduced.
                                              Method of Control: Keeping boats and
                                              fishing equipment clean.                           3.
                                                                                                 the discharge of water from
                                                                                                 a stream?

                                                                                                 a species that occurs
                                                                                                 naturally in an area?

                                                                                                 species that was brought
                                                                                                 into an area by humans,
                                                                                                 but is not necessarily
Mitten Crab
Origin: China
Aliases: Eriocheir sinensis,
Shanghai hairy crab
                                                                                                 A Note on Methods of
Description: Dark in color with dark hair
                                                                                                 Control for Invasive Species:
on its claws, it’s about the size of a
human palm. Competes with local species,      reed Canary grass                                  What we’ve listed are some of
and its burrowing causes erosion.             Origin: Europe (though there is a North            the more conventional ways of
Method of Control: Difficult to control,      American strain that isn’t as invasive)            keeping these invasive species
because most things that would kill it        Aliases: Phalaris arundinacea, marsh hay           under control. Some methods have
(such as chemicals) would also kill off       Description: 2–9 feet tall, the grass has rough-   side effects that can harm native
other aquatic life. Fishing is one option     textured, tapering leaves. It grows using          species, and many only offer
(in China, they are commonly eaten).          rhizomes that quickly dominate the soil.           short-term relief from invasives.
                                              Method of Control: Annual, controlled              Are there better, less potentially
                                              burning of this plant can do the trick, but        harmful ways to control invasive
                                              only after many years. Also, some herbicides       species such as these? Email
                                              have been shown to be effective.                   editor @
                                                                                                 and let us know what you think

                           healthy waters
                           The Healthy Waters Institute [HWI] is a research and teaching institute
                           working to provide Oregon students with the knowledge of their local land and water.
                           As the education program of Oregon Trout, Healthy Waters Institute is dedicated to developing
                           generations of knowledgeable and motivated young citizens.

                           healthy waters institute staff          oregon trout             Chuck Boggess             advisory council
                           Susan Cross, Regional                   board of directors       Tim Boyle                 Anita Murray Barbey
                            Education Coordinator                  Henry Ashforth, III      Hunter Brown              Douglas Campbell
                           Mary Ann Schmidt, Regional              Scott Sandbo             Norm Daniels              Cal Cole, Founder
                             Education Coordinator                   Co-Presidents          Craig Dewey               Bob Groves
                           Bill Smiley, Assistant Director         Mark Metzdorff, MD       Steve Emery               Carrie Groves
                           Craig Stewart, Director                   Vice-President,        Paul Fortino              Dar Isensee
                           Karen Wegner, Regional                    Programs               David J. Johnson          Ethan Jewett
                             Education Coordinator                 Al Alexanderson          Wendy Johnson             Art Kayser
                           Kolleen Yake, Regional                    Secretary              Patricia McCaig           Jim Lichatowich
                             Education Coordinator                                          Craig McCoy               Roger Millar
                                                                                            T.J. McDonald             Wade Mosby
                           healthy waters publications                                      Tim O’Leary
                           Toshio Meronek, Editor                                           Bradley B. Preble         executive director
                           Chris Michel, Design and Illustration                            Hadley Robbins            Joe S. Whitworth
                                                                                            John von Schlegell
                                                                                            Daniel Wisdom

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