April Meeting Annoucement

DATE:    Wednesday, April 26th, 2017
PLACE:  Hawthorne Lucky Lab Brew Pub, 915 SE Hawthorne Blvd
TIME:     11:30 a.m. Networking, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
TOPIC: Western Oregon LID Guidance Template
SPEAKER: Maria Cahill, Green Girl Land Development Solutions


The Oregon Environmental Council, in cooperation with technical assistance from Green Girl Land Development Solutions LLC, developed a Low Impact Development guidance template that cities and counties throughout Western Oregon are using to create their own customized stormwater management manual. This template, titled “Low Impact Development in Western Oregon: A Practical Guide for Watershed Health” takes a watershed health approach to water quality, emphasizing practices that not only treat water, but also prevent it from leaving the site to reduce hydromodification and flooding.

For those jurisdictions currently adapting the template, it provides the detail needed to ease the successful implementation of LID to meet stormwater permit regulations and TMDL requirements. Designed for cities throughout Western Oregon, it eliminates problems caused when cities simply refer to the City of Portland manual, which may be inappropriate for their climate, geology, and stakeholde
rs and too complex for their needs.
Within the guidance, there are tools and resources that practitioners in the public and private sector, whether they have a stormwater management manual or not, might find useful including:

  • – A watershed health focused stormwater hierarchy;
  • – A decision matrix to quickly identify the best “best practices” for their site conditions and stakeholders;
  • – Simple and quick hydrologic models for sizing infiltration facilities; and
  • – The annual water balance model that helps users account for the runoff reduction volumes of practices such as vegetated roofs, compost amended soils, and tree planting.

Maria has collaborated on interdisciplinary teams to implement low impact development and green infrastructure in engineering and landscape architecture offices and her own firm for almost 20 years. In 2015, Maria wrote the LID Guidance Template for Western Oregon, which the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) funded, endorsed, and posted for download. Since starting Green Girl in 2008, Maria has trained jurisdictional staff throughout Oregon and provided technical resources and tools to help them meet their state water quality regulations (e.g., TMDLs, MS4). She recently completed a 6-week position at NOAA NMFS to provide technical assistance on the new SLOPES for HUD and the future SLOPES for Stormwater, Transportation, and Utilities, due in 2017. She currently works part-time in a limited duration position as a Stormwater Permit Writer for the DEQ while continuing to manage contracts with Green Girl. Maria has also taught numerous highly rated classes at colleges and to development industry professionals.

March Meeting Reminder

DATE:    Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017
PLACE:  Hawthorne Lucky Lab Brew Pub, 915 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland
TIME:     11:30 a.m. Networking, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Presentation
SPEAKER:  Joseph Richards, Senior Civil and Water Resources Engineer, ESA

TOPIC:  Luther Road Habitat Restoration Project, Johnson Creek Watershed


The Luther Road Habitat Restoration project was completed in 2014 by the City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services with partnership from Metro and North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District.  The project was identified as a priority in the 2001 Johnson Creek Restoration Plan because of exposure of the Lents Sewer Interceptor Crossing of Johnson Creek, untreated industrial stormwater discharges, disconnected floodplains, eroding streambanks and poor instream habitat conditions.   Successful purchase of a 10 acre parcel in 2008 made the project possible but significant effort remained to encumber industrial properties along the creek and design and permit the project.

The project includes: 2,200 feet of reconstructed channel with connected floodplains, trails that connect to the Springwater Corridor, water quality facilities and a 4-acre community park site ready for planning and design by North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District (NCPRD).  Permitting for the project included an individual permit from the Army Corps of Engineers that supports adaptive management over a 10 year period.  The project was designed to restore natural processes where feasible and to protect infrastructure and private property where necessary.  The record storms of December 2015 tested and changed the project and served as a reminder of the transient nature of river systems.


Joe is a senior civil and water resources engineer with over 24 years of US based and international water resources engineering, project management, and civil design experience.  He possesses in depth knowledge of the effects of urbanization on natural systems and has expertise in solving natural resource and infrastructure conflict issues. He often serves as a bridge between project members with different backgrounds and is adept at presenting technical information to lay audiences. Joe is a proven project leader with a commitment to seeking balanced solutions to natural resource issues where the built and natural environments intersect.  Before joining ESA he worked for eight years at the City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) as a contractor through his company Richards Engineering.  During his tenure at BES he managed company operations and assisted in the delivery of more than 30 projects.

February Meeting Announcement

DATE:    Wednesday, February 22nd 2017
PLACE:  Hawthorne Lucky Lab Brew Pub, 915 SE Hawthorne Blvd
TIME:     11:30 a.m. Networking, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m. Presentation
TOPIC: Surface Water Diversions and Fish Protection
SPEAKER: Shane Sheldon, Viento Engineering


Farmers, ranchers, hydropower producers, municipalities, fish hatcheries all commonly use surface water for their core operation. To get this water, users must build and maintain an intake and water delivery system that can transport water from a river or lake. Since these intake and conveyance systems can be located in difficult to reach or flood prone terrain miles from the point of use, operators and agencies have spent decades trying out different technologies that keeps fish, sticks, leaves, and other debris from entering the canals, clogging the system, and preventing the flow of water. While maintaining these systems is costly for water users, it has proven to be an equally large problem for fish.

Fish screens are devices placed at points of diversions to prevent the fish, organic debris, and sediment that are naturally carried along in a river system from entering the diversion. State and federal law now require fish protection screens at most diversions however Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, and California each have tens of thousands of unscreened or noncompliant diversions.

The presentation will cover:

  • – A brief background on fish screening in the West
  • – When and why do we need fish screens?
  • – Overview of the rules and regulations for fish screens
  • – The basic types of fish screens and examples where they may be appropriate
  • – Some general design considerations for a successful intake and screening project

Shane Sheldon is a water resource engineer and founder of Viento Engineering in Hood River, Oregon. He has been a part of several screening design projects across the Western United States as well as working with operators on the long term maintenance and upkeep of intake and screening systems.