The Eugene City Council approved the purchase of EWEB's former riverfront headquarters property at a meeting on Jan. 30. The terms of the deal state that the City of Eugene will purchase the 4.4-acre property, which includes two buildings and parking lots, for $12 million.Find Out More
An EWEB-supported program provides firewood for people affected by the 2020 Holiday Farm Fire. The McKenzie Firewood program was developed by Pure Water Partners (PWP) in 2021.Find Out More
At EWEB, we do what we can to help others in need. That’s been the reality for several of our electric and water crews over the past few weeks as we’ve responded to mutual aid requests for storm response and drinking water restoration, locally, and out of state.Find Out More
After evaluating several proposals and opportunities, EWEB is focusing its negotiations to sell the former riverfront headquarters property to the City of Eugene. The exact terms and details of the deal will be negotiated during the next few weeks.Find Out More
Despite an ice storm and a few windstorms in Eugene and the McKenzie Valley in the past few weeks, EWEB has so far fended off widespread weather-caused power outages – largely because of investments in year-round system maintenance and infrastructure improvements.Find Out More
EWEB makes electric mobility available to anyhone though e-bike rebates, car sharing and grants for local organizations with electric mobility projects.Find Out More
The EWEB Board of Commissioners started off their first meeting of 2023 by choosing a new board president and vice president.Find Out More
In response to a call for aid this week, EWEB’s water division jumped into action to assist the town of Mapleton after a leak in their water system left about 260 homes without running water.Find Out More
Commissioners supportive of General Manager's recommendation to remove Leaburg DamFind Out More
On a chilly November day, third graders from Adams Elementary School in Eugene learned about the lifecycle of native salmon on a field trip to Lake Creek near Triangle Lake. The field trips take place all month as part of a program funded by EWEB grants. EWEB dedicates a portion of customer rates to inspiring kids to explore the wonders of science and learn about watershed health, water quality, and emergency preparedness.Find Out More
At the Nov. 1st board meeting, EWEB Commissioners got an update on the budget and rates for next year and the EWEB quarterly report.Find Out More
Imagine if heavy snowfall and freezing rain hit Eugene this winter. Imagine damaged trees, road closures and widespread power outages. What would you do?Find Out More
By partnering with ShakeAlert and the Oregon Hazards Lab, EWEB gets an early warning of the effects of earthquakes on hydropower facilities.Find Out More
EWEB held its Poster Contest for 5th grade students in our service territory for Public Power Week, October 2-8, receiving more than 100 entries from classrooms across the area.Find Out More
EWEB's elected Board of Commissioners has voted to authorize General Manager Frank Lawson to pursue and negotiate the sale of the former EWEB headquarters building.Find Out More
October 09, 2017
After an hour's ride up Highway 126, 30 excited middle school students spill from the bus steps and into the quiet of the upper McKenzie River watershed. Justin Demeter, McKenzie Watershed Council education coordinator and chairperson of the local Salmon Watch Steering Committee, greets the students and sets the stage for the time they will spend at EWEB's Carmen-Smith spawning channel.
"What you are about to experience is something so special, few people get the chance to experience it firsthand," Justin says. He states this at the beginning of each Salmon Watch field trip, and each time his sincerity is evident.
In the days leading up to the field trip, students have learned a little about the salmon life cycle and ecology and today they will witness the moment where the cycle both ends and begins again. Having journeyed for many months from the Pacific Ocean, adult Chinook salmon have arrived — at the location where they hatched — to lay their own eggs. After spawning, the salmon die, returning valuable nutrients to the freshwater ecosystem.
While at the spawning channel, the students rotate through four volunteer-led stations to gain a greater understanding and appreciation of salmon and the watershed.
On a short walk through the forest, along the river's edge, students consider the role the riparian area — or land next to a body of water — plays in a healthy watershed. They feel the soft thorns of the native nootka rose and imagine the path of a raindrop as it hits the the tree canopy, then the shrubs and smaller herbaceous plants, eventually making its way to the river.
On this particular day, Nancy Toth from EWEB's Source Protection Department brings her expertise and enthusiasm to the riparian station.
When asked why she commits her time to Salmon Watch, Nancy responds, "It's important we help the community stay connected to the watershed, not only to be good stewards for salmon and other wildlife, but in Eugene we rely on the McKenzie River for our drinking water as well."
Along the bank of the river, near the mouth of the channel, students gather around a table for the water quality station. Here, they test the water in the channel for pH, temperature, dissolved oxygen and turbidity. As they discuss the results the volunteer educator prompts them to draw conclusions around how the state of the riparian area might affect the water quality, and how both might affect the survival of the salmon. After a pause, someone throws out a partial answer, which another students builds on, and another, until as a group they develop a response.
Following the water quality station, the group moves on to fish biology where they focus on the star of the field trip. Walking along the channel wearing bright pink glasses glasses with polarized lenses to reduce the glare off the surface of the water, the students count salmon. About halfway up the channel, Kelly Reis from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife points to a fish lying her on side using her tail to dig in the gravel.
"What do you think she's doing?" Kelly asks the students.
"Digging her redd," a few kids reply at once, seeming excited they know the terminology.
They continue walking, pointing out salmon to each other, until they reach the final station.
With the rush of the McKenzie as a backdrop, the students gather in front of small white basin containing river water, some debris and aquatic macroinvertebrates. The volunteer leading the station shows them how she collected the specimens by scrubbing the rocks along the the bed of the river, using a net to grab the small insects as they float downstream. The students begin poking in the water with plastic spoons and pipets, attempting to move each macroinvertebrate into a cell of an ice cube tray, after which they use a simple key to identify the species.
Watching the kids as they peer into the basins and try to figure out if what they have is a mayfly or a stonefly (it's almost always a mayfly), is a reminder of the power of experiential learning. A year from now they may not remember the details of what they learned today, but they might remember the spark of excitement they felt seeing that salmon dig her redd or the sense of discovery as they connected the concepts from one station to another.