Intertwine Alliance partners and friends, this summer we have a rare opportunity to give input on a new government body that is forming, to help maximize its many potential environmental justice, conservation and climate impacts for our region.
Please join us online on Thur, Aug. 25, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. to hear from staff at the Multnomah County Drainage District (MCDD) about the proposed services of a new “Urban Flood Safety & Water Quality District(UFSWQ or new district).” We need everyone who cares about just communities, the environment, and climate impacts to show up and give feedback. Strong community input at this stage can influence the foundation of what its services will be and who they will benefit.
This workshop will be the first opportunity over the course of 1 to 2 years to help inform the programs, structures and investment opportunities of the new district. The feedback collected will help shape MCDD’s planning and will be delivered to the Urban Flood Safety & Water Quality District board as it makes key decisions the rest of this year.
What is the new district anyway?
In 2019, the Oregon State Legislature approved legislation to establish a safer and more sustainable way to manage flood safety along the Columbia River in the Portland metro region. Oregon Revised Statute 550 creates a new special district responsible for operating, maintaining, and improving the 27-mile levee system that reduces the risk of flooding along the Columbia River from North Portland through Gresham, Fairview and Troutdale.
Currently, four independent historic drainage districts manage the parts of this levee system. The new district was designed to bring the current system up to modern standards for safety and efficiency. Along with its role in managing flood safety infrastructure and flood emergencies, the new district is mandated to:
- Contribute to improved water quality, fish and wildlife habitat, floodplain restoration, and landscape resilience in the managed floodplain
- Promote equity and social justice in all aspects of the district’s operations
- Prepare for and adapt to the impact of climate change in relation to the managed floodplain
- Provide the public with information regarding the cultural history of the managed floodplain. (Think Vanport.)
This expanded and more holistic mandate to protect and benefit the health of our natural and human environments offers a big opportunity for environmental stakeholders. How these goals will be achieved and funded is still being developed by the Urban Flood Safety & Water Quality Board of Directors, with support from MCDD staff. It’s time for the partners and friends of The Intertwine Alliance to make our voices and priorities heard during this initial window of opportunity to shape ongoing resource levels for the new district.
At the gathering, MCDD will share:
- What drainage districts do today
- Purpose of the new special district and where they are in the formation process
- Ideas for delivering new services related to flood safety, environment and climate
We’ll want to hear from you:
- What resonates?
- What’s missing?
- Who else should we be talking to, and about what?
- What else would you like to know or share?
Please RSVP today to become involved in this exciting work.
Questions or thoughts? Email Intertwine Alliance Co-Director Tara Wilkinson at email@example.com.