“Clean water = humanity”

By Stefanie Henning, OEC Emerging Leaders Board Member, and Stacey Malstrom, OEC Water Communications & Outreach Director

Oregon has more wild and scenic rivers than any other state. Water unites us across everything – our health, our jobs and businesses, the natural places that we escape to in our own neighborhood or across the state – and it’s our promise to the next generation.

At OEC’s 5th annual Get Dirty benefit concert and auction, more than 100 people gathered in Portland to dance, celebrate Oregon, and elevate a conversation about water pollution across the state.

Recent headlines have revealed that Oregon has the second-worst water quality permit backlog in the country. Nearly 22,000 stream miles and more than 30 lakes and reservoirs are considered “impaired” under the Clean Water Act. Increasing numbers of wildfires and aging infrastructure will threaten drinking water supplies for millions of Oregonians. And in some places, wells and streams are going dry because officials have promised more water than nature can provide.

We can no longer take clean and unlimited water for granted in Oregon – and last Saturday, Portland showed up. Through an interactive activity, individuals shared why clean water matters to them and their communities.

Here’s what they said:

What does clean water mean to you?

“A recent week where storm overflow took our city water offline in Yamhill County reminded me of how critical and valuable this daily resource we take for granted is.” 

“Being able to drink water unfiltered straight from the tap. Being able to swim in all of Oregon’s waterways without concern.”

“It means good health. The ability to have clean water allows us to maintain and sustain healthy communities. Preserving our water resources is not just necessary for human health, but rather universal and global health.”

“Clean water = humanity.”

Tribes, businesses, landowners, and organizations across the state are doing great work for our watersheds, restoring rivers and fighting to keep pollution out of our drinking water and our favorite swimming holes. But it’s a bigger problem than any one group can tackle alone, and that’s where you come in.

Share your story about clean water to highlight what Oregonians’ care about most and to keep the pressure on policymakers to protect this precious resource. Help us build a chorus of public support to ensure the state is investing in the health of our children and future generations.

Get Dirty for Clean Water is an annual event hosted by Oregon Environmental Council’s Emerging Leaders Board, a group of young professionals working to advance the efforts of the state’s longest standing environmental advocacy organization. Proceeds support OEC’s efforts to ensure clean and reliable water for all Oregonians and help our state lead on climate change.

Thank you to all of the generous business donors that made this event a success!

Amira Streeter, Bar Method, Bendistillery, BIKETOWN pdx, Breakside Brewery, Brew Dr. Kombucha, Brewvana Brewery Tours, Cafe Mam, Cascade Alchemy (Bend), Chinook Book, Cnoc Outdoors, Coco Donuts, ComedySportz, Cooper’s Hall, Cycle Portland, Datsusara, DIY Bar, EarthHatz, Eastside Distilling, Equal Exchange: Fairly Traded, Eva’s Herbucha, Fire on the Mountain, Fishpeople, Float On, Garden Fever, Gold Paw Series, Goodwell Co., GRAYL, Heron Lakes Golf Course, Hillsboro Hops, Icon Tattoo Studio, Lindsey Maser, Lompoc, Love Belizean Resturant, McMenamins, MeeSen, Moberi, Mountainshop, Mt Hood Meadows, Next Adventure, Oaks Park, Ox, Patagonia Portland, Planet Granite, Por Que No, Portland Center Stage, Portland Design Works, Portland Japanese Gardens, Portland Timbers/Thorns, Portland Trail Blazers, Portland’s Culinary Workshop , Pushfins, Red Duck Foods, REI, Secret Aardvark Trading Co., Sensi Graves Bikinis, Sizzle Pie, Sky High Sports, Smith Tea, Starvation Alley, Tender Loving Empire, the AERO space dance studio, Thomas & Sons Distillery, Toro Bravo Inc., Townshends Tea, VAVA Lingerie, Wanderlust Tours, White Witch Massage Therapy and Healing, Wild Roots Vodka

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