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Partnerships work for clean rivers

Posted by Allison Hensey at Oct 16, 2012 09:25 AM |

OEC held a workshop October 4 in Hood River to share stories about Pesticide Stewardship Partnership Projects.

willamette riverOEC held a workshop October 4 in Hood River to share stories about Pesticide Stewardship Partnership Projects.  

These collaborative, community-led programs have led to dramatic improvements in water quality in several Oregon watersheds. They're a win-win approach for our health, environment, and economy. 

These partnerships begin with water quality sampling by Oregon's Department of Environmental Quality to identify where pesticides are above levels of concern in our waters. Then, local community leaders, farmers, businesses, and Oregon State University Extension work together to identify strategies to reduce pesticides of concern in the water. They reach out to the community to encourage people to use these strategies. 

They work well because land managers and businesses have flexibility in how they control pests, weeds and diseases. In current projects, these strategies have included adoption of less toxic pest control methods, transition to less toxic pesticides, better targeting of pest control methods to ensure effectiveness and avoid waste, and spraying pesticides away from rivers and streams. Continued  water quality sampling allows project leaders and participants to assess the effectiveness of their strategies, and demonstrate success.

You can read more about pesticides in Oregon and Pesticide Stewardship Partnerships in a recent article in the Oregonian, and read one of the success stories from the workshop in the Capital Press. Also, see an article about partnerships in the EarthFix blog.

This is the right approach for Oregon to take. Locally-chosen solutions to protect water quality have demonstrated success. OEC supports adoption of this strategy throughout Oregon, as well as state resources to make these projects possible.

Thanks go out to our workshop partners: Oregon Departments of Agriculture and Environmental Quality, Salmon Safe, U.S. EPA and the Columbia River Toxics Working Group.

image by flickr user B. Zyrogerg

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