China’s Sponge City Initiative

Weiwei Wang, a visiting Scholar at PSU’s College of Urban and Public Affairs, presented on China’s extensive Sponge City Initiative, to incorporate green infrastructure and address issues related to water resources, ecology and water resilience simultaneously.

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Community Stabilization and Job Creation in the Lents Floodplain

Lisa Huntington and Kate Carone, Eastside Watersheds Team, City of Portland Environmental Services presented on the BES’s initiative to protect floodplain homeowners, prevent displacement, and promote job growth by reducing Johnson Creek flood impacts in the Lents and Powelhurst-Gilbert neighborhoods.

February Meeting Annoucement

DATE:    Wednesday, February 28th
PLACE:  Hawthorne Lucky Lab Brew Pub, 915 SE Hawthorne Blvd
TIME:     11:30 a.m. Networking, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
TOPIC: City of Gresham Pollution Prevention Partnership with PPRC
SPEAKER: Keri Handaly, Stormwater Permit Coordinator and Mitchell Frister, Oregon Manager Pacific NW Pollution Prevention Resource Center (PPRC)

Gresham Watershed staff have pursued innovative collaborations to reduce commercial/industrial sector stormwater pollutants.The Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center, a non-profit, is contracted to augment Gresham’s business inspection program.  Their services focus on the automotive and landscaping industries and provide audits and free technical assistance to enhance their use, management, cleanup, and education related to their indoor and outdoor operations.  Businesses that go above and beyond get certified and receive free advertising.  Ecobiz audits have significant benefits beyond standard code inspections for stormwater and wastewater because they address chemical substitutions to reduce toxicity, bulk systems to reduce waste and prevent spills, energy efficient lighting, etc. Gresham also developed a stormdrain cleaning program that reduces the cost to businesses to incentivize annual cleaning and utilized local interns to inspect and GPS all private drains.  Gresham staff then require unmaintained drains to be cleaned.  Interns were also trained to report unkempt/dirty outdoor storage areas that staff could follow up and enforce.  This approach of having a few carrots and a code enforcement stick has resulted in many cleanup and maintenance success stories.


Keri started in the pollution prevention field 20 years ago at Oregon DEQ.  She has been working in the Gresham Water Resources Division as the Stormwater Permit Coordinator and Toxics Reduction Educator for the past 15 years and has expertise in the social marketing theory of behavior change.  She holds degrees from the University of GA, BS Environmental Science and Universty of WA, MPA, Environmental Policy and she loves bulldogs and hiking all over Oregon.

As Oregon Manager, Mitch oversees business outreach and technical assistance programs for local government partners including Clean Water Services, Clackamas County, and the City of Gresham. Each of these programs aims to eliminate pollution generated from commercial businesses and reduce the use of toxic chemicals. He also manages EcoBiz, an environmental certification for automotive and landscaping business, as well as public agencies, who go above and beyond compliance.Prior to his work at PPRC, Mitch studied Community Development at Portland State University. As a student, he helped to develop innovative recycling systems for the Port of Portland and provided sustainability outreach to hundreds of businesses throughout the Portland area.

PPRC is a Seattle-based non-profit that works collaboratively with business, government, non-government organizations, and other sectors to promote environmental protection through pollution prevention. PPRC believes that environmental and economic vitality go hand in hand, and that both are necessary to protect the high quality of life enjoyed in our region.

January Meeting Annoucement

DATE:    Wednesday, January 31st
PLACE:  Hawthorne Lucky Lab Brew Pub, 915 SE Hawthorne Blvd
TIME:     11:30 a.m. Networking, 12:00 – 1:00 p.m.
TOPIC: The Urban Beaver Study: An Examination of the Effects of Beavers on an Urban Streamscape
SPEAKER: Erin Poor, USGS


Agencies are seeking alternative ways of restoring and enhancing resilience in urban stream networks within the constraints of existing infrastructure. One potential strategy may be to support beaver recolonization of urban streams. Beaver dam building activity has been found to attenuate streamflow and provide ecological uplift in areas that have experienced minimal human impact. But does this hold true in urban streamscapes? The urban beaver study seeks to answer this question and provide resource managers with science that will inform strategic management and planning decisions.

Erin is an avid outdoorswoman who has been hiking trails in the Pacific Northwest since she was just six-weeks old. Hiking may be an exaggeration as her parents did most of the work back then, but nonetheless her passion for nature and curiosity about stream systems was sparked at a young age. Erin currently works as a hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey, Oregon Water Science Center. As a member of the water quality team Erin examines issues facing urban streams.