New campaign to 'Enjoy, Protect, Respect' Deschutes River

June 1, 2018
New campaign to 'Enjoy, Protect, Respect' Deschutes River

Public awareness effort before annual clean-up

By: KTVZ.COM news sources

BEND, Ore. - A coalition of agencies, business partners, and community volunteers is kicking off a new "Enjoy, Protect, Respect" public awareness campaign to enhance river stewardship on the Deschutes River.

The committee is comprised of the Upper Deschutes Watershed Council, Bend Park and Recreation District, Old Mill District, BendBroadband, the Shared Future Coalition, local business partners and community volunteers.

The Enjoy Protect Respect committee came to life with shared interests in 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 Enjoy Protect Respect campaign strives to increase community engagement to enhance the overall health and usability of the Deschutes River. The Enjoy Protect Respect team believes that active engagement in river stewardship and respectful floating behavior are at the core of long-term river conservation and protection.

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.

"When I first started coordinating the river clean-up, we mainly removed debris that had accumulated from the 80-year history of the working mills," 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."

The Enjoy Protect Respect movement is calling on all river-goers to do their part. Let's work together to promote a safe, responsible, and fun river experience that our community can enjoy for many years to come.

How can you help?

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

The group invites all to join them on Saturday, July 28th for the Deschutes River Clean-up event hosted by the Upper Deschutes Watershed Council. Help remove harmful weeds, instream debris and various types of garbage from the river.

To volunteer or learn more about Enjoy Protect Respect, visit

Share this post