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Stewardship Drinking Water

On the water stewardship for paddlers, floaters, and anyone enjoying the water. 

  1. We PADDLE in it. We FISH in it. We PLAY in it. And sometimes… We just sit and LOOK at it. 
  2. We also DRINK it, and the basic health of our community depends on it. 
  3. When you visit and enjoy the Clackamas River, please remember that it supplies drinking water to hundreds of thousands of people. 
  4. By preserving the Clackamas River as a high quality drinking water source we can help minimize future drinking water treatment costs while being good stewards of the river.  Sustaining this precious resource is one of our top priorities. 
Stash Trash


Your Trash 

Produced in collaboration with the Clackamas River Basin Council and SOLV, these reusable bags are design to collect river litter (and drain the water out!). Grab one before your river trip, or bring your own bags and Stash the Trash!

Adopt Clean Boating Practices

Use proper fueling techniques. Use oil absorbent materials in bilge areas when needed. Use phosphate-free, biodegradable, and non-toxic cleaners. Dispose of fish waste properly, and help keep Zebra/Quagga mussels out of the Clackamas River. “Never Launch a Dirty Boat.” Take the clean boater Pledge:

Use Restrooms 

Keep human waste out of the river. Human waste threatens fish and wildlife, and can cause human illnesses such as hepatitis or gastro-enteritis. Use restrooms at the various parks located along the river – if a toilet is not available, bury all human waste and toilet paper at least six inches below the ground, and at least 200 feet away from the edge of a river or any other water source.

Clean up after your Pets 

When our pets leave those little surprises, rain washes that pet waste and bacteria off the land, and it can end up in the Clackamas River. Dispose of pet waste properly by picking it up and disposing of it in a toilet or garbage can so that it doesn’t pollute our River. Plus, it is a courtesy not to leave pet waste for others to step into.

Stay on Trails

Trails are there for a reason. Staying on them helps keep stream banks from eroding. Trampling plants in riparian areas removes the protection of plants and roots needed to lock soil in place. Exposed bare soil can runoff when it rains. This runoff can cause water pollution that contaminates drinking water and disrupts the ecosystem of our river and wetlands. Maintaining and improving riparian buffer conditions ensures clean water and a healthy river.

Respect Private Property

Although the river is a public resource, it should be assumed that property is private unless otherwise noted on a sign or map. Respect all No Trespassing and No Hunting signs. The success of the Clackamas Water Trail and other river recreation is built on public lands, and respecting our private neighbors. 

Sensitive habitats/restoration sites

Exploring islands, beaches and side channels can be fun, but there are sensitive habitats along the river that have been rebuilt for fish habitat and the river does host endangered species (it is one of the last remaining wild Coho Salmon runs in the lower 48 USA). Check out the restoration sites on the map and try to avoid active plantings and stay on trails.

Interested in getting involved?

If you love our Clackamas River, please consider volunteering your time and helping out with the various restoration projects occurring along the Clackamas and its tributaries. Volunteer opportunities include planting trees, removing invasive weeds, removing trash, and placing Christmas trees in rivers for fish habitat.

There are several organizations offering volunteer opportunities in the Clackamas basin. Please visit the Clackamas River Basin Council’s website for up to date volunteer events near you:

Join or Lead a Cleanup! WE LOVE CLEAN RIVERS
This annual trash sweep is the largest and longest-running on-water cleanup event of its kind in Oregon. Taking place at the end of summer, it covers a 20+ mile stretch of the Clackamas River from Estacada to the confluence with the Willamette River in Oregon City.

In rafts, kayaks, SCUBA gear, drift boats and any other safe vessel, upwards of 200 volunteers rally together to scour the stream bed and banks for trash, collecting an average of 2 tons with over half recycled. Since 2003, over 40 tons of garbage — well over the approximate weight of one gray whale — has been removed from the Clackamas River by more than 4,500 volunteers!

If you are interested in volunteering in the Down the River Cleanup, or by doing it yourself on a day of your choosing (River Ambassador DIY Cleanups!) please go to the We Love Clean Rivers website.