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Rogue Riverkeeper Celebrates 10 Years!

In 2009, KS Wild staff member Lesley Adams saw a niche for aquatic advocacy in the Rogue Basin. From suction dredge gold mining and stormwater pollution to dam removal and wild and scenic designations, the Rogue deserved more advocacy, specifically the protections afforded by the Clean Water Act. In 2009 Lesley started the Rogue Riverkeeper program as a member of the Waterkeeper Alliance and we are proud to be the watchdog for 

Thanks to strategic thinking, foresight, dedicated staff, and the many who love the Rogue, we have become a force for aquatic advocacy in the Rogue Basin. We have seen many successes over the years including the removal of Gold Ray Dam, growing a base of supporters 3500 strong, and getting legislation passed to prohibit suction dredge mining in over 24,000 miles of waterways throughout Oregon! We've also had plenty of challenges but we keep going because we believe everyone has a right to clean, drinkable, swimmable, fishable waters. 

We look forward to celebrating our 10th anniversary with you and at least 10 more years of clean water defense for the Rogue! 


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Join our $10 for 10 program!

For 10 years Rogue Riverkeeper has been the watchdog for the Rogue River Basin and we hope to continue to be for the next 10 but we can’t do it without YOU!

Can you give $10 a month for 10 more years of Rogue Riverkeeper?

You won't get fundraising asks! You won't get reminders to renew your membership! And you won't have to ask when the last time you donated was.

You will get the joy of knowing you're supporting a cause that you believe in. You will get cleaner, safer waterways. You will get Rogue Riverkeeper for another ten years. Sign up today!

 
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SOU student & volunteer Robyn Janssen creates photo postcards to send to elected officials as part of the Save the Wild Rogue Campaign in 2009.

SOU student & volunteer Robyn Janssen creates photo postcards to send to elected officials as part of the Save the Wild Rogue Campaign in 2009.

2009

In 2009 Rogue Riverkeeper was born. KS Wild staff member Lesley Adams saw the need for aquatic advocacy in the Rogue River Basin because of threats like suction dredge mining, stormwater pollution, and a massive fracked gas pipeline proposal for the Rogue. KS Wild’s Rogue Riverkeeper program was created and has been a force for clean water in the Rogue Basin ever since.

Rogue Riverkeeper’s first year was full and with only one staff member busy! Focus was primarily on organizational development, getting things up and running and figured out. Campaign focus included Clean Water Act permit reviews, Jordan Cove LNG, Gold Ray dam removal, suction dredge mining, and the Save the Wild Rogue campaign.

Thank goodness Lesley had the foresight, dedication, and determination to create a voice for the river we all love so much.

Cheers to 10 years!


2010

In our second year, we were busy getting our feet wet. And we had a lot to celebrate! In 2010 we….

  • Founded a monitoring program for pollution permits. Over the past 10 years, we're reviewed and commented on more than 125 Clean Water Act permits for the waters of the Rogue that set limits on pollution. We make sure that polluters, developers, and industries are held accountable for meeting those limits on pollution.

  • Launched our Water Quality Monitoring Program to test for bacteria pollution.  After reports of high levels of bacteria in Ashland Creek, we started our monitoring program in collaboration with the City of Ashland and Southern Oregon University. Findings from our study are being used right now to inform a proposal to pipe the TID canal to protect and conserve water for the City of Ashland. Today, we sample for bacteria pollution at more than 20 sites across the watershed!

  • Celebrated the removal of the 3rd largest dam on the Rogue. In August 2010, the 100 year old Gold Ray Dam was removed to restore a free flowing river, improving fish passage and habitat. We joined river lovers for a "Victory Float", celebrating as we floated through the dam site, unobstructed for the first time in 100 years.

We are proud of these successes. Join us for another 10 years of victories for the Rogue!

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2011

Water quality warnings in Lithia Park

Water quality warnings in Lithia Park

Year three. As watchdog for waterways in the Rogue Basin, we were keeping a close eye on pollution, bacteria, and other impacts to clean water. In 2011, we released a study in partnership with SOU and the City of Ashland on the findings of our water quality samples from 2010.

The City of Ashland was regularly posting “No Wading” signs in Lithia Park because of high bacteria levels in Ashland Creek. To determine the cause of the bacteria, we set sample locations along Ashland Creek from the reservoir to downtown Ashland. We also set sample locations along the Talent Irrigation District’s (TID) canal which runs through the hills of Ashland and then discharges into Ashland Creek above Lithia Park. After a summer of sampling and testing, we determined that the source for the bacteria was in fact the TID canal.

This issue, in turn, created our summer water quality monitoring program which continues to grow and provide a source of information to the public about where it is safe to recreate. Every summer volunteers, managed by an SOU intern, collect water samples from across the valley which are then tested for Ecoli to see if the waterway is safe for human contact. We post the test results to Swim Guide so people can see where it is safe to swim, boat, fish, and recreate. Today, we test more than 17 sites with the help of 10 volunteers and an intern.

Our Ashland Creek bacteria study is still being used today to help inform a decision by the City of Ashland to pipe the canal so as to conserve water and reduce bacteria levels in Ashland Creek.