Cleaning up the Deschutes Rivers’ trash, one piece at a time

Cleaning up the Deschutes Rivers’ trash, one piece at a time

Each summer, close to a half a million kayakers, paddle boarders and floaters enjoy the Deschutes River while traveling through the Bend area.  But sometimes, people leave garbage behind.

“When I first started coordinating the river clean-up, we mainly removed old mill debris, said Kolleen Miller, Enjoy Protect Respect committee member and Education Director for the Upper Deschutes Watershed Council. “Now, we are removing cell phones, flip-flops, Go Pros, wallets, bikes, and hundreds of bottles out of the river. Ultimately, it is our goal to remove pollutants, but we also hope to raise awareness about the problem to prevent garbage from making its way into the river in the first place.”

BendBroadband is partnering with the Enjoy Protect Respect movement, which is calling on all river-goers to do their part to keep the Deschutes River clean so our community can enjoy the river for many years to come.

Every summer, boaters, stand-up paddlers, floaters, and swimmers flock to the river for activities. Among those, an estimated 240,000 floaters passed through Bend during the summer of 2017.  As a result, hundreds of pounds of garbage and unsecured personal belongings made their way into the river.

Join us on July 28th, 2018 for the Deschutes River Clean-up event hosted by the Upper Deschutes Watershed Council. Help us remove harmful weeds, instream debris and various types of garbage from the river.

It’s a fun activity and you know if feels really good going through and cleaning up the river, said one volunteer last year.  “When we bring out all these beer and pop cans out of the river, we hope people realize that they shouldn’t leave their mess here. They should take it with them.”

Miller reminds the community that garbage gets into the Deschutes River one piece at a time, and that’s the only way to take it out. To volunteer or learn more about Enjoy Protect Respect, contact Kolleen Miller at

In addition to its annual Deschutes River Clean-up event, the Enjoy Protect Respect committee is launching a public awareness campaign to encourage locals and visitors to practice river stewardship by enjoying it safely, protecting the habitat and respecting the experience. The committee believes that active engagement in river stewardship and respectful floating behavior are at the core of long-term river conservation and protection.

How you can help?

  • Enjoy the river safely by wearing a life jacket and securing all of your gear properly.
  • Protect the river by picking up your trash and belongings.
  • Respect the river by only entering and exiting in specified approved access points.




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