It’s been a remarkable year here at Columbia Riverkeeper.
2023: Looking Back, Feeling Such Gratitude
It’s been a remarkable year here at Columbia Riverkeeper. We will likely remember this year as not only transitional, but indeed pivotal; full of change, challenge and success. Like everyone else, we continued to emerge and recover from the impacts of the pandemic. For our organization that meant working on major improvements (sorely needed) to our Portland office space, onboarding critical new hires, and adjusting our events schedule toward more in-person gatherings whenever possible.
We’ve been fortunate to be able to count many achievements and victories this year, most of which you can read about in detail in our Victory Issue newsletter. Highlights from our five core program areas include:
- Fighting Fossil Fuels: Nine members of Congress and thousands of people urged the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to deny TC Energy’s massive GTN Xpress fracked gas pipeline expansion, in response to incredible political strategizing and community organizing.
- Stopping Pollution: Columbia Riverkeeper prosecuted and settled six Clean Water Act lawsuits in 2023, which will prevent a whole lot of toxic and other pollution from flowing into the Columbia River.
- Engaging Communities: Columbia Riverkeeper brought together volunteers to collect over 1400 pounds of garbage at events along the Columbia.
- Cleaning Up Hanford: Over 750+ Columbia Riverkeeper members and supporters advocated for improvements to the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s proposed Hanford Nuclear Site cleanup plans.
- Saving Salmon: Columbia Riverkeeper and a coalition of fishing, environmental, and renewable energy groups reached an agreement with the Biden Administration, Oregon, Washington, and the Nez Perce, Yakama, Warm Springs, and Umatilla Tribes. The agreement acknowledges that Lower Snake River dam removal is necessary to restore abundant salmon and commits to a package of federal actions to pave the way for dam removal. Columbia Riverkeeper agreed to pause our litigation over the dams, so long as the federal government honors the agreement.
Our victories also included important “behind the scenes” strides forward implementing new strategies, or innovations. For example, our communications team led the charge to make our newsletters and other publications more accessible to everyone. You can now hear our newsletter by clicking on the “Listen as a Podcast” option whenever you look for our newsletter online. Please share this good news with your family, friends, and colleagues.
Now, with this pivotal year coming to a close, there’s so much we have to be grateful for here at Columbia Riverkeeper—truly too many things to name, or to count. But certainly among them is the commitment of our donors, partners, staff, and thousands of members. Through our shared commitment to the river and productive climate action, we bring together our many communities, various identities, and vast diversity of resources to forge a bond that has grown to become formidable in the past 23 years. With a steady clip, we continue to develop the capacity to tackle some of the planet’s most challenging environmental crises and the perseverance to see it all through to satisfying completion.
Thank you Columbia Riverkeeper friends for being with us, for sticking with us, for your commitment and dedication to our work and our mission together. With you, we are able to face the new day and the New Year with profound gratitude and hope. And that means everything.
Columbia Riverkeeper will continue protecting clean water.
Your Impact in 2023
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