Connecting Communities to the Snake River

River Cleanup_Snake River Waterkeeper


Today’s post is a guest blog from Buck Ryan, Executive Director of the Snake River Waterkeeper. The Snake River Waterkeeper is a grant recipient of the Connecting Communities to Rivers Grant Program, working to connect their community to the Snake River and its tributaries.




The sun is out, temperatures are up and spring runoff is in full swing. River season is here! Whether you paddle, fish, swim or just enjoy sitting on the banks, rivers offer something for everyone! The Snake River Waterkeeper, a 2016 Connecting Communities to Rivers Grantee, has made connecting with and recreating on the Snake River easier and safer for everyone, with their new Swim Guide App, which you can download today from the Apple App Store or Android Google Store here.

The Snake River and its tributaries weave through communities in Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon and Washington. Residents and tourists enjoy the river for everything from swimming and hiking to paddling. In addition to leading and organizing annual river cleanups, Snake River Waterkeeper also works to keep river users safe while they are out enjoying the river in the summer. Last year, Snake River Waterkeeper began hosting the Swim Guide App, which provides descriptions of and directions to swim sites as well as up-to-date monitoring information about where it is safe to get out and enjoy the Snake River and its many tributaries. Snake River Waterkeeper independently collects information to help keep the app up to date and provide river lovers with the best and safest places to play along the Snake.

Along the Snake River, local communities have started the river season out strong with the Snake River Waterkeeper’s annual spring river cleanup. More than 50 volunteers along 8 different tributaries within the Snake Basin – from Jackson, WY to Pasco, WA – got out to give back and clean up their local river. After the dust settled and landfill weights were compiled, volunteers had removed more than 1,700 pounds of trash from the banks of the Snake River and it’s tributaries. By bringing local individuals together, our cleanups immediately improve riparian scenery, water quality, and stream health while encouraging rural communities to steward local waterways.

On April 20, Executive Director Buck Ryan led a group of 6 volunteers to clean up a section of the lower Owyhee River near Adrian, Oregon. Participants helped shovel nearly 1,000 pounds of remodel scrap from a dump site directly bordering the river. “Why anyone would make an extra effort to haul construction scrap past public landfills and dumpsters to mar a beautiful streambank is beyond me, but we left the place in better shape than we found it. Snake River Waterkeeper will keep fighting polluters on the water and in court until the Snake River and its tributaries are back in the pristine condition they deserve.”

June 1 launched this Snake River Waterkeeper’s ’s 2016 water quality monitoring season. Download the free Swim Guide App today,learn where the best places to swim and enjoy the Snake River are, and check sites before you go to make sure conditions are safe!! Don’t have a smartphone? Check out the online Swim Guide widget here!

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Photo Credit: Snake River System Cleanup, Snake River Waterkeeper

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