Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley, Representative Earl Blumenauer, Senator Ron Wyden, Representative Suzanne Bonamici and Representative Peter DeFazio yesterday introduced the Columbia River Basin Restoration Act.
The legislation would authorize $50 million over five years for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to establish a voluntary, competitive Columbia Basin grants program for projects that assist in eliminating or reducing pollution, cleaning up contaminated sites, improving water quality, monitoring the basin and promoting citizen engagement.
“The Columbia River is an Oregon icon that is central to both our environment and our economy,” said Merkley. “A clean Columbia River is essential for the health of our communities and for the strength of our fishing and recreation industries. Congress should step up and help protect this Oregon gem.”
This bill is supported by a diverse group of stakeholders including the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership, Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, Pacific Northwest Waterways Association, and Salmon-Safe.