Oregon's watersheds are a rich and vital source of wellbeing, from filtering and storing much of our drinking water to providing habitats for plants and animals, including the iconic wild Pacific salmon native to this region. Pressures from development, recreation and climate fluctuation can put our watersheds at risk, and affect the lives and livelihoods of Oregonians.
Oregon Sea Grant has a long history of watershed science, education and public engagement, from our early involvement in watershed habitat restoration to recent research into how warming stream temperatures spur the growth of salmon disease-causing parasites. Our Extension faculty have collaborated with external partners to produce how-to manuals for homeowners and developers interested in low-impact development and using alternative gardening methods to conserve and even clean the water that falls as rain.
Today, many of our efforts focus on watersheds as living classrooms for teaching young people STEM principles through hands-on water-quality monitoring projects via our StreamWebs program, and partnering with water resource agencies to encourage recreational boaters to comply with the Clean Vessel Act.