Columbia Riverkeeper fights for clean water. We take polluters to court when the government turns its back on illegal pollution. We advocate for stronger laws to reduce toxic pollution in fish and drinking water. And we push government agencies to take action for clean water.
Everyone deserves to eat locally caught fish without fear of toxic pollution.
The Columbia River, and the communities that depend on it, face serious threats from toxic pollution. Every day, thousands of pipes discharge toxic pollution from industry, cities, and dirty stormwater runoff. Pesticides and heavy metals enter the river from diffuse sources, such as agricultural runoff and air deposition.
Here's a snapshot of why this matters. Visit a popular fishing spot like the Columbia River Slough in North Portland. On a sunny day, you'll likely to find dozens of people reeling in fish destined for the dinner table. In addition to being free, carp, catfish, and other resident fish have cultural value to many people with eastern European and Asian heritage. Unfortunately, industrial pollution dumped into the Columbia has a tragic impact on this food source: off-the-charts levels of toxic pollution including mercury and cancer-causing polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs).
We use the law and grassroots organizing to ensure corporations and the federal government clean up toxic waste sites on the Columbia River. Learn more about Riverkeeper’s campaign to hold the federal government accountable for toxic pollution near a popular fishing area: the Bradford Island cleanup.
Riverkeeper works for accurate, protective toxic pollution limits—called water quality standards—to reduce cancer-causing pollution in the Columbia. Water quality standards set limits on how much pollution is allowed in a river—that’s important. While it’s not glamorous to push state agencies to adopt better pollution limits, that’s what we do!
Support clean water and protect people’s health: demand the Trump administration abandon its proposal to increase toxic pollution in Washington’s rivers.
Your membership protects and restores the mighty Columbia River now and for future generations.
Science on unregulated pollution
Partnering with scientists at Oregon Health & Science University, Riverkeeper participated in a study on the distribution of the commonly prescribed pharmaceutical, metformin, on the Columbia River.