Legislators seek river funds

Oregon legislators push for federal funds to help clean the Columbia River.

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Sen. Jeff Merkley and Rep. Earl Blumenauer have written legislation calling for federal funds to help clean the Columbia River.

The Columbia River Basin does not receive dedicated federal funding to clean up contamination, unlike other important systems like the Puget Sound and the Great Lakes. In addition, the basin lacks federal money to repair damaged habitat.

“There has been investment to restore habitat and reduce toxics in the Columbia Basin, but it is less than a few million dollars a year and focused on habitat restoration or one time isolated studies,” Debrah Marriott, executive director of the Lower Columbia River Estuary Partnership told the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee.
“The magnitude of the problems exceeds what this level of investment can accomplish. Oregon and Washington invest heavily in the Willamette River Basin and Puget Sound. The Columbia does not share that level of financial support,” she said.

Read the full story at OregonLive.com.

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