Annual Impact Report

Columbia Riverkeeper 2023 Annual Report

Columbia Riverkeeper’s successful formula: combine strategic legal advocacy with community organizing and creative communications. We work in solidarity with Tribes, partner with people who live and work along the Columbia, and celebrate the impact of people coming to together to fight for what they love. Here are a few of the year’s highlights by the numbers.

Fighting Fossil Fuels

9 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.

200 people participated in the Land and Water Day of Action against fossil fuels in Portland, organized by Columbia Riverkeeper and partners.

St. Johns Bridge in Portland, Oregon, with protest sign that reads, "Oil Trains are So Over!"

5 years and counting is how far NEXT Energy has fallen behind schedule in its plans to build a non-conventional diesel refinery in the Columbia River Estuary. Why? Columbia Riverkeeper and community members have won a legal challenge and disclosed the plan’s massive climate and water quality impacts, leading to permit delays and withdrawals.

Stopping Pollution

6 Clean Water Act lawsuits prosecuted and settled in 2023, which will prevent a  whole lot of toxic and other pollution from flowing into  the Columbia River.

$780,000+ paid by polluters in penalties to Tribes and nonprofit organizations as a result of our 2023 lawsuit settlements.

$25 million the Port of Vancouver USA will spend to reduce toxic copper pollution that would otherwise flow into the Columbia under a legal settlement with Columbia Riverkeeper.

3 years to prevail in a court appeal brought by Earthjustice on behalf of Tribes, Columbia Riverkeeper, and Sierra Club to overturn a Trump-era rule gutting Clean Water Act protections.

Engaging Communities

240 water quality samples collected at Columbia River beaches.

650+ kids and young adults who experienced bilingual (English and Spanish) environmental education through Columbia Riverkeeper’s outreach program.

30+ events Columbia Riverkeeper hosted or partnered in to inspire people in Columbia River communities to speak up for clean water, salmon, and our climate.

1400+ pounds of garbage collected by volunteers at community cleanup events along the Columbia.

Cleaning Up Hanford

70 students from the Yakama Nation Tribal School and Heritage University who participated in a one-of-a-kind school trip (featured on National Public Radio!), organized by Columbia Riverkeeper and Yakama Nation, to tour the Hanford Nuclear Site.

750+ Columbia Riverkeeper members and supporters who advocated for improvements to the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s proposed Hanford Nuclear Site cleanup plans.

500+ people who explored Columbia Riverkeeper’s “Water’s Walk Through Hanford” storymap that creatively explains the toxic and radioactive contamination threatening the Columbia.

scenic photo of the Hanford area

Saving Salmon

10 dams on the Columbia and Snake rivers that, after years of strategic litigation, finally have Clean Water Act discharge permits to reduce impacts on water quality.

4 Endangered Species Act-listed fish species in the Lewis River, an important Columbia tributary, that will benefit from PacifiCorp building fish passage at old dams, thanks to advocacy by Tribes and allies.

2 Tribes and 6 fish advocacy groups partnering with Columbia Riverkeeper to sue the state of Oregon for weakening protections for migratory fish like salmon, steelhead, and lamprey.

Photo of Columbia River from Mosier, by Liv Smith

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