Oregon Water Science Center

Environmental Health

Filter Total Items: 23
Date published: April 6, 2017

A Thermal Mosaic for the Willamette River

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers operates 12 dams in the Willamette River Basin. The dams alter natural temperature and hydrologic regimes. Unnatural water temperatures can negatively impact all life stages of salmonid fish species. Water temperature in the mainstem Willamette River regularly exceeds the standard of 18.0 °C (64.4 °F) designated for salmon and trout rearing and migration for...

Date published: March 31, 2017
Status: Completed

Columbia River Contaminants and Habitat Characterization Study

Fish, wildlife, and human populations along the lower Columbia River are exposed to an ever-growing variety of contaminants as a result of increasing urbanization, industrialization, and agricultural development.

Date published: March 30, 2017
Status: Active

Lower Columbia River Dissolved Gas Monitoring Network

USGS total dissolved gas (TDG) data help guide spill and discharge management from dams operated along the lower Columbia River.

Contacts: Heather M Bragg
Date published: March 23, 2017
Status: Active

Contaminants Affecting Pacific Lamprey in the Columbia River

Pacific Lampreys (Entosphenus tridentatus) have lived in the Columbia River Basin for millenia and have great ecological and cultural importance. Lamprey populations in the Pacific Northwest and other parts of the world have declined dramatically in recent decades, probably owing to multiple causes. The role of habitat contamination in the declines has rarely been studied and was the main...

Date published: January 8, 2015
Status: Completed

Nutrient Loading to Lost River and Klamath River Subbasins

The USGS has characterized nutrient concentrations in the Klamath River and Lost River drainages over multiple years, identified spatial and temporal patterns in nutrient and organic carbon concentrations, and quantified surface water nutrient loads entering and exiting the Klamath Project.

Contacts: Liam Schenk
Date published: April 23, 2014
Status: Completed

Common Weed Killer is Widespread in the Environment

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists report that glyphosate, known commercially by many trade names, and its degradation product AMPA (aminomethylphosphonic acid) are transported off-site from agricultural and urban sources and occur widely in the environment. This study is the largest and most comprehensive assessment of the environmental occurrence of glyphosate and AMPA in the United...

Date published: October 5, 2012
Status: Completed

Assessing Mercury Loads in Cottage Grove Reservoir

Cottage Grove Reservoir is an impoundment of the Coast Fork of the Willamette River and is managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) as part of the Willamette Valley Flood Control Plan.  The reservoir is currently under a fish consumption advisory because of elevated levels of mercury in fish tissue observed in an Oregon Department of Environmental Quality sampling survey in 2003 (...

Contacts: Liam Schenk
Date published: May 1, 2011
Status: Active

McKenzie River Source Water Study

Drinking water for the city of Eugene, Oregon, is drawn from the McKenzie River, a high-quality source that is nonetheless threatened by urban, agricultural, and forestry land uses upstream as well as by changes in water management in the watershed. In 2002, the USGS began monitoring dissolved pesticides in the McKenzie River and its tributaries.

Date published: April 24, 2009
Status: Active

Environmental Flow Studies for Middle Fork Willamette, McKenzie, and Santiam River Basins

Environmental flows are defined as "streamflow needed to sustain ecosystems while continuing to meet human needs."

Date published: October 5, 2007

Yakima River Water-Quality Studies

From 1986 to 2009, the USGS studied various aspects of watershed health in the Yakima River Basin. The results from these studies have been published and are available online.

Contacts: Daniel R Wise
Date published: May 16, 2007
Status: Completed

Marmot Dam Removal

Marmot Dam on the Sandy River was removed in 2007 as part of decommissioning of Portland General Electric’s Bull Run Hydroelectric Project. Removal of the 15-meter-tall dam would allow the Sandy River to flow freely for the first time in nearly 100 years and make upstream habitat more accessible to anadromous fish.

Contacts: Mackenzie Keith