2015 in review

The nonprofit sector isn’t always known for taking the time to celebrate accomplishments. I’m not sure if it’s because the problems we’re trying to solve in the world are so difficult and daunting, or if it’s because we’re so busy, or if there’s something else at play, but with the advent of a new year, I’d like to rectify this oversight. Whether the change we seek in the world is incremental or transformational, positive and productive outcomes are worth sharing.

So, without further ado, here’s a short list of highlights from 2015: Wimer Dam Group Shot

  • Surpassed our 1,200 mile goal of reopening access to historic, high-quality habitat for native fish in the Rogue Basin!
  • Helped remove two of the top ten worst fish passage barriers in Oregon: Wimer and Fielder dams on Evans Creek, a tributary to the Rogue River.
  • Transitioned our successful Freeways For Fish program to focus on municipal watersheds.
  • Launched the Drinking Water Providers Partnership with the Forest Service, a coalition that also includes the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Washington Department of Health, and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.
  • Announced the first call for grant proposals under the Drinking Water Providers Partnership, and received 20 applications for source watershed restoration and conservation projects in Oregon and Washington. We anticipate awarding up to $660,000 in early 2016!
  • Earned a seat on the Environmental Protection Agency’s National Drinking Water Advisory Council.

Looking ahead, 2016 is shaping up to be a great year too. We are partnering with water managers, academic institutions, towns, and agencies to put restoration projects on the ground and conduct research that will answer important management questions about the costs, risks, and effectiveness of restoration versus grey infrastructure (concrete, steel, and chemicals).

Our long-term goal is to make it easier for water managers to know where restoration can be used most effectively in addressing water challenges. From small coastal towns to high desert urban hubs, Working Waters is helping communities in the Pacific Northwest address the challenges of a changing climate through restoration.



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Geos Institute