Slough News

Here’s what’s new in the Slough!

For more information about Council events and programs please contact our staff at 503-281-1132 or email


Regatta Registration Open!

Friday July 10, 3:13pm

Join us out on the water August 2nd from 9 AM - 1 PM for a paddle on the Columbia Slough.  Discover this beautiful hidden waterway by kayak or canoe!  Registrations are open for participants to rent a boat from the council or to bring their own.  Spots are going fast, register today!  To learn more visit our event page.

Explorando sucess!

Wednesday July 08, 3:02pm

Thank you to our 524 participants and over 70 staff, volunteers and partners; you made Explorando a success!  Visitors took canoe trips down the slough, explored Whitaker Ponds and learned through hands on activities provided by our partners.  From groundwater activities to fish printing, there was lots to discover!  Visitors had the treat of entertainment by several local performance groups including, Danza Azteca & Bajo Salario Collective, storyteller Omar Vargas and Lol-Be Yucateco dance group.

Thank you to all our sponsors!  You made this possible.

  • AAA Oregon
  • City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services
  • East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District
  • Kraft Foods - Nabisco
  • Leatherman Tools
  • Multnomah County Drainage Districts
  • New Seasons
  • Oregon Screen Impressions
  • Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board
  • Portland Parks & Recreation
  • Portland Timbers
  • Portland Water Bureau
  • REI
  • Sheraton Portland Airport Hotel
  • Squires & Associates, P.C., Attorneys at Law
  • The Boeing Company
  • Verde

    Looking for photos or videos from Slough Celebration?

    Wednesday February 11, 2:42pm

    A selection of photos from the event are posted on our Facebook page.  All images are available on Flickr.

    Each award winner was honored with a humorous video skit that highlights their work.  View this year’s award videos here.

    Slough Stories

    Tuesday February 10, 1:48pm

    The Columbia Slough Watershed Council celebrates its 20th anniversary this year and there are a thousand stories to tell. This video is a compilation of a few of the stories told at the Slough Stories event in November 2014. This is part of an effort to document efforts large and small that have improved the Columbia Slough watershed and raised public awareness of the waterway and the region. Enjoy this trip down memory lane (or should we say a paddle down memory slough).

    Aquifer Adventure -  a Piratey Sucess!

    Monday September 22, 10:06am

    On Saturday, September 13th over 500 pirates of all ages joined the Portland Water Bureau and the Columbia Slough Watershed Council for an event like no other, a pirate-themed groundwater education festival. Now in its twelfth year, Aquifer Adventure teaches families about our underground treasure - not gold, but groundwater, a precious resource that flows below our feet!

    The event featured a groundwater obstacle course, water conservation activities, information on green household cleaners, edible aquifers made from ice cream, canoe rides on the Columbia Slough and more. Attendees also had the chance to explore a drinking water well site and learn how a real aquifer works from Portland Water Bureau experts.

    What makes groundwater so important?  Groundwater from the Columbia South Shore Well Field is a secondary source of drinking water for Portland and is a critical component of the region’s drinking water system. Groundwater is used to help meet higher summer water demands and to provide water during emergencies or when Portland’s primary drinking water source, the Bull Run watershed, is not available. Having a back-up water supply source also helps the City avoid having to build and operate an expensive water filtration plant for the Bull Run source.

    Aquifer Adventure is a part of the outreach efforts of the Portland Water Bureau’s Groundwater Protection Program. The Cities of Portland, Gresham and Fairview have implemented this program to protect the Columbia South Shore Well Field – a drinking water source for over 900,000 Oregonians. One of the main goals of the groundwater protection program is to educate people and businesses about how to prevent pollutants and chemical spills from seeping into the ground where they could impact our drinking water. The cooperation of everyone living and working in the protection area is crucial to keeping our drinking water safe. 

    Over the past twelve years, over 4,000 attendees have learned about the importance of groundwater through this free event. The response from participants has been overwhelmingly positive. It’s exciting to see connections even a three year old can make about where their water comes from. And of course, it’s fun to dress up like a pirate. There’s nothing like putting on an eye patch and bandana to get you excited about groundwater!

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