Annual Report

Columbia Riverkeeper 2021 Annual Report

Our Mission

To protect and restore the water quality of the Columbia River and all life connected to it, from the headwaters to the Pacific Ocean. 

Our Vision

A Columbia River that unites people to fight for clean water, abundant fish and wildlife, and our climate.

Our Commitment

Embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion at every level of our work. Communities are the backbone of what we do. As an organization that advocates for the health and safety of river communities, we must fight for social justice and take a stand against racism.



Columbia Riverkeeper is powered by members who invest in clean water and a healthy climate because the fight is urgent and the time is now. You accomplished great things.

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Stopping Pollution

  • Pounds of illegal toxic pollution discharge our Clean Water Act lawsuits prevented annually: 50,000
  • Amount polluters paid to nonprofit organizations as a result of lawsuits in the last five years: $2,850,000
  • Lawsuits filed in 2021 against public ports for violating the Clean Water Act: 2
  • Percent by which the level of cancer-causing PCBs found in some resident fish caught near Bradford Island exceeds the safe level: 3,200,000
  • People who signed petitions demanding EPA to list Bradford Island and surrounding waters of the Columbia: 1,500
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Fighting Fossil Fuels

  • New fossil fuel terminals you defeated in last decade: 15
  • New fossil fuel terminals built on the Columbia in that time: 0
  • Legal victories over fossil fuel projects in the last six years: 18
  • Petitions asking Washington state to reject the Kalama methanol refinery: 25,000
  • Million metric tons of greenhouse gas pollution per year stopped by defeating methanol refinery: 4.8 (That’s equivalent to 3.2 million cars off the road.)
  • New fracked gas power plants to be built in Oregon after we defeated Perennial Windchaser: 0
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Saving Salmon

  • Maximum water temperature (Fahrenheit) in which salmon can survive in the Columbia River: 68
  • Days the Columbia exceeded 68 degrees this summer: 80+
  • Online views of underwater video we captured of salmon dying in hot water: 3,000,000
  • Number of media outlets that featured the video: 30 Lawsuit victories in 2021 to force federal dam operators to stop rising water temperatures: 1
  • Miles of salmon and steelhead habitat in the Lewis River blocked by dams without fish passage: 100
  • Endangered Species Act-listed fish species that will benefit from our campaign to secure the Biden administration’s commitment to Lewis River fish passage: 4
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Engaging Communities

  • E. coli samples collected annually at Columbia River beaches: 245
  • “Conoce Tu Columbia” bilingual radio shows and podcasts aired in 2021: 24
  • People who volunteered with Comunidades, a Latino/a/x-led environmental and social justice group fiscally sponsored by Riverkeeper: 700+
  • Middle-school curriculums released on how to tackle toxic and other water pollution: 4
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Cleaning Up Hanford

  • Tanks containing radioactive and toxic waste at the Hanford Nuclear Site: 177
  • Gallons of radioactive and toxic waste regulators estimate have leaked from Hanford’s tanks: 1,000,000
  • People who signed petitions demanding the federal government abandon plans to delay removal, treatment, and disposal of radioactive hazardous waste: 770

$2.11 Million raised in last year

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Ways to Give

Columbia Riverkeeper is committed to maximizing every donation to fight for clean water. Giving to a local organization ensures your money is put to work here. Your donations are powering victories to protect the places you love. In addition to donating online or mailing a check, you can set up monthly giving, donate stocks, cryptocurrency, or property. More and more people are making tax-smart donations from IRAs and retirement accounts, or leaving a legacy gift for clean water. If you have ideas or questions, please contact, 541-399-9119, or visit

Annual report, guide star

As we wrap up a year of victories, let's hear from a few members who made it all possible.

Donor Spotlights:
Deena Grossman
Deena Grossman
What draws you to this work?

Climate change is upon us. We must act to cherish, protect and restore our planet, the only home we have. I support Columbia Riverkeeper as a donor and also as composer-in-residence with my music.

I got involved in the fight against the Kalama methanol refinery, which if built, would have been an environmental disaster for the Pacific Northwest. After seven years the company finally withdrew their plan, thanks in large part to organized protests and legal challenges brought by Columbia Riverkeeper.

Tell us about connecting your music to Riverkeeper’s work.

In early spring of 2020 I began walking and observing the waterways in my neighborhood, from the headwaters of Crystal Springs Canyon through Westmoreland Park, to Johnson Creek and the Willamette River, continuing to Sauvie Island at the confluence of the Columbia River and finally out to the Pacific Ocean at Astoria. The result was Waterways, a quartet for two flutes, viola and cello, inspired by the waterways and dedicated to Columbia Riverkeeper. Please stay tuned for a live concert, benefit performance of Waterways in 2022 and join me in continuing to support Columbia Riverkeeper’s work!

Cambria Keely
Cambria Keely
How did you learn about Columbia Riverkeeper?

When I was 14, Columbia Riverkeeper held an informational session about the world's largest fracked gas-to-methanol refinery proposed to be built in my hometown of Kalama. Most recently, I was graciously offered a Community Organizer internship, giving me a peek into the brains behind Columbia Riverkeeper.

Why does our work for clean water and our climate matter to you?

Columbia Riverkeeper is one of few organizations that considers every issue affecting the health of the river, and the impacts of an unhealthy Columbia. From uplifting Native voices to protecting estuaries to fighting dams in confluencing rivers to terminating fossil fuel dependency, Columbia Riverkeeper leaves nothing unconsidered. What made you decide to support Columbia Riverkeeper? I wanted to give back to the organization to expand its reach to even more communities that are facing a direct climate threat.

John Laursen
John Laursen
How did you learn about Columbia Riverkeeper?

I was approached by a canvasser in 2014, and immediately knew that Columbia Riverkeeper was worth supporting.

Why does our work for clean water and our climate matter to you?

I've always loved the Columbia, but during the six years that Terry Toedtemeier and I spent creating “Wild Beauty: Photographs of the Columbia River Gorge 1867–1957,” I had grown much more aware of how deeply impacted the river has been by dams and other human activities over the last century and a half. I later presented free slideshows of the book’s photographs in communities all along the Columbia and, in doing so, became even more connected to the river.

What made you decide to support Columbia Riverkeeper?

The grassroots effort epitomized by this organization is tremendously valuable. We want to believe that governments will fix our climate disaster, but taking care of our own backyard is critically important for protecting water and habitat. Over the years I have continually been impressed with the work of Columbia Riverkeeper and have been very happy to add my support.

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