The stories we tell about the Columbia River and the people who live and work on this river are important.
Columbia Riverkeeper in Your Newsfeed
The stories we tell about the Columbia River and the people who live and work on this river are important. Our team makes it a priority to tell those stories. On any given day, Columbia Riverkeeper’s conservation director keeps a button-up shirt in the back of his car so he’s TV-ready. You might find our senior attorney tromping around riverbeds looking for sockeye salmon with a photographer, or our community organizers working the phones to connect volunteers with reporters to share their stories of triumph. On a calm day, our executive director might be on the water taking a journalist for a tour of the Columbia, sharing the beauty and challenges the river holds.
Independent journalism plays a pivotal role in campaigns to protect the Columbia and our climate: calling on our leaders to do the right thing, sharing information, and inspiring people to get involved.
Across the nation, people are taking notice of our work on the Columbia River thanks to your support. In 2021, Riverkeeper's work made international and national headlines—from The New York Times and Seattle Times to The Guardian and German national public radio, to name a few. In fact, over 100 media outlets featured Riverkeeper’s work, including regional and local newspapers like The Tri-City Herald, The Columbian, and Columbia Gorge News. Why? The issues we face on the Columbia River feel universal for many as we hold bad actors like polluters and the fossil fuel industry accountable.
Here is a look at our work in 2021 through the media lens.
- “The difference is that this isn’t recreation for the salmon. They have no choice. They either make it or they die.” - Brett VandenHeuvel, Executive Director
Video shows salmon injured by unlivable water temperatures after heatwave, The Guardian, July 27, 2021
- “With [the Goldendale Pumped-Storage Hydroelectric Project], we’ve seen these disastrous impacts that will happen to Tribal cultural resources, and so to call this a responsible, green project for our future to combat climate change is just false.” - Simone Anter, Staff Attorney
Washington denies permit for Goldendale Pumped Hydro, Spokane Public Radio, June 24, 2021
- “We’ve got a lot of questions and a lot of concerns. Whether it’s renewable energy or fossil energy, we need to understand how a project is going to impact people that rely on the Columbia for salmon and for clean water.” - Lauren Goldberg, Legal and Program Director
A Stronger Electricity Grid Is Crucial To Cutting Carbon. Does That Make It Green?, Crosscut, July 22, 2021
- “El Gorge, como le dicen, es la meca de los deportes extremos. Cuando vienes a estas zonas pues el ‘wind surfing’, ‘kite boarding’, deslizarse en el agua con papalotes, mucha gente latina empieza a entrar a ese deporte.” - Ubaldo Hernández, Senior Organizer
Sinfín de actividades y paisajes que ofrece el Gorge, Univision Portland, April 15, 2021
- “More and more people were recreating outdoors. People were pushed into their environment. A lot of people got out there and thought, this is pretty great. Hopefully this will create stewards of these places.” - Lorri Epstein, Water Quality Director
Swimming with the apps: Local nonprofit helps you swim without fear, Columbia Gorge News, July 7, 2021
- “We are determined to make sure those decisions are made in the interest of public health and our shared environment. It’s up to us to really make sure our city officials understand how we feel about it.” - Kate Murphy, Community Organizer
Advocates Say City Has Opportunity to Stop Zenith Expansion, City Officials Unsure, Portland Mercury, June 17, 2021
- “While we appreciate the Senator’s willingness to address BPA’s [Bonneville Power Administration] serious financial problems, the appropriate and most effective way to do this would be through comprehensive legislation that addresses the many issues touching BPA’s business and the Columbia and Snake rivers. Enabling BPA to continue business as usual is not a solution.” - Miles Johnson, Senior Attorney
Greens blast ‘get out of jail free card’ for fed hydro giant, E&E News, July 30, 2021
- “The City was very clear last week that Zenith’s crude-by-rail operation runs afoul of numerous land use goals and policies. Zenith’s air permit application has been pending for close to a decade. It’s high time the agency takes action to close the book on this dangerous facility.” - Erin Saylor, Staff Attorney
Oregon DEQ says it’s denying a permit needed for a crude-oil operation to continue in Portland, OPB, September 1, 2021
- “We continue to think the Port [of Columbia County] and Columbia County did not do an adequate analysis to show that a massive methanol refinery would be compatible with high-value farms and the nearby wetlands.” - Dan Serres, Conservation Director
Columbia County commission, environmentalists again debate rezone at Port Westward, The [Longview] Daily News, July 21, 2021
See our full list of media coverage online.
This summer Columbia Riverkeeper captured underwater video showing heat-stressed sockeye salmon dying because the Columbia River is too hot. We earned international attention—reaching millions of views across many platforms—in high-profile media outlets.
Annual report; Victories in 2021; What Lies Ahead in 2022