From: Kaspar Murer (Wasabi Paddling Club)
Date: Fri, Jun 19, 2020 at 5:46 PM
Hi everyone – There is a BIG NEED for the human powered boating community to SEND WRITTEN TESTIMONY THIS WEEKEND, for a newly scheduled Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission meeting this coming Tuesday, June 23, 2020, 4pm – 7pm. This is the final meeting about the River Plan/South Reach. We all have a big stake in this.
This city plan is parallel to the efforts of the Oregon State Marine Board, and its Rules Advisory Committee. 6 other Calm Water Coalition members, including me, are also a part of that committee.
Without a lot of support from the human powered boating community, the plan could fail. Please be a part of this and help restore Safety for Everybody on the River.
The reason for this additional meeting is, that the wake boat community recently sent a letter to the Mayor’s office. They stated they had not been made aware that the city was working on the River Plan/South Reach for the last two years, in spite of seven well attended public meetings and Open House Sessions.
A good number of human powered representatives, floating homeowners, swimmers, environmental advocates and other interested parties have been actively participating for the past two years, sharing experiences on the river, concerns for safety, riparian and shore areas, fish habitat. As part of the plan, City Bureaus are asking the Oregon State Marine Board to install a Slow-No-Wake Zone for the stretch of the river between the Hawthorne Bridge and the Sellwood Bridge. Reasons stated were, to provide better safety for human powered watercraft, and to protect the fragile eco-system, riparian areas and habitat for the endangered juvenile salmon and steelhead.
If the Marine Board agrees to this Slow-No-Wake zone, we would like it to extend another half mile past the Sellwood Bridge, to the northern border of Waverley Country Club. This would protect 32 floating homes at Portland Rowing Club, and two marinas on the east shore, and Powers Marine Park on the west shore.
Here is how you can participate: The meeting is this coming Tuesday, June 23, 2020, 4pm – 7pm. At the meeting, online, individuals have 2 minutes to testify.
1. Highly recommended: Submit written testimony from now until before the meeting starts , on this Map App (link).
Click on “River Plan/South Reach”
On the next page, click on the “Testify” button. Testifying on the Map App is easy, and you can proof read, before you send it.
An easy template: Complete the required name, etc. information in the blue boxes. In the testimony box, state your connection to the river. Thanks BPS staff and the commissioners for the work they have done. Why you are testifying: i.e. Safety, Environment, More Access to the River, Experiences you had, etc. Keep it short but state the things that are most important to you.
2. Testify at the hearing: The deadline to sign up for testimony at the meeting is Monday, June 22 at 5:00 pm. (link).
Individuals have only 2 minutes to testify. The meeting is this coming Tuesday, June 23, 2020, 4pm – 7pm.
3. You can watch the public hearing (live stream and recorded - link).
We expect the commission will receive many comments from the wake boat community in opposition to the plan. This could put the whole plan into jeopardy.
You can help support the River Plan/South Reach as it is currently written.
Some of the goals in the plan are:
- Bring people closer to the river to foster an improved understanding of river history, economy, and ecology.
- Increase Portlanders’ enjoyment of, and direct experience with, the Willamette River
- Provide for safe, enjoyable, and valuable on‐water recreational experiences for all users.
- Efforts to bring back the Multnomah County Sheriff’s River Patrol, more boater education and safety.
- A new boat launch, parking and loading area at Sellwood Park
- Non-motorized boat launches at Willamette Park and Staff Jennings
- Oaks Amusement Park partnership to develop a public swimming beach if it is feasible
- Seek funds to create better bicycle and pedestrian access to the river from Brooklyn Neighborhood
Feel free to send me questions or comments
Thank you for doing this.
Safety for Everyone on the River!