Portland Harbor Community Involvement Grant Recipients Will Support Engagement Efforts Led by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color

News Article
Photo shows two youths in a canoe on the Willamette River. One youth is looking through binoculars.
The City's Portland Harbor Community Involvement Grant Program announces this year's grant recipients. Learn more about the recipients and their visions for supporting community involvement in the Portland Harbor Superfund cleanup.

To support meaningful participation of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) in the Portland Harbor Superfund site cleanup process, the City’s Portland Harbor Community Involvement Program awarded grants to eight community organizations to fund outreach, engagement, and education activities. This marks the second round of grant funding available through the program.

The City has heard from and recognizes that BIPOC communities are disproportionately affected by environmental contamination, including the Portland Harbor Superfund. The City prioritized funding a wider range of community-centered efforts that will support BIPOC leadership in the cleanup.

The grant review committee awarded a total of $180,000.

Congratulations to This Year’s Grant Recipients

Read more about recipients' visions for supporting community involvement in the Portland Harbor Superfund cleanup:

  • Black Educational Achievement Movement ($30,000) will expand and deepen its Portland Harbor educational efforts and leadership development work with Black youth. With these funds, BEAM will equip students with new skills and knowledge to facilitate their own educational tours that connect histories of the Superfund site to issues of displacement, forced migration, contamination, remediation, and reconciliation. Funds will support collaboration with educational partners, broad student-led coalition building, and activate youth to further engage in conversations about what needs to be done to clean up the river and achieve climate justice and equity.
  • Blueprint Foundation ($21,540) will host awareness raising canoe paddles that focus on teaching Black youth and adults about the history of Portland Harbor and how to support a healthy Willamette River. Blueprint will work with participating youth to create culturally specific messaging to share what they learn with family and friends.
  • Coalition of Communities of Color ($7,500) will collaborate with the Braided River Campaign to engage transportation advocates and communities affected by the Superfund site to host educational and relationship building events that focus on why the Portland Harbor is a Superfund site and opportunities to engage in the cleanup process.  
  • ELSO ($40,000) will apply a culturally relevant approach to educating Black and Brown youth about Portland Harbor. Superfund information will be integrated into ELSO’s STEAM programming for St. Johns youth, preparing them to educate their families and communities about the contamination and cleanup. A cohort of trained students will also present to other ELSO students and community members through a symposium.
  • Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership ($12,000) will provide canoe trips for Portland Harbor community grantees and their networks. LCEP will collaborate with each grantee to shape canoe trip goals that expand participants’ understanding of the lower Willamette River and Portland Harbor through direct on-the-water experience.
  • Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods ($26,490) will use funds to create and implement the Portland Harbor Community Stewards Program. This program will build community members’ understanding of how to engage in public processes related to the cleanup. NECN will also support program participants in the production, publishing, and distribution of community-focused reporting from individual perspectives about the cleanup.
  • People of Color Outdoors ($11,680) will hold field trips and seminars focused on engaging and educating BIPOC communities on Portland Harbor cleanup topics, including environmental law; environmental justice; impacts of contamination on human health, the environment, and wildlife; environmental remediation, careers in the harbor, and how to stay engaged in the cleanup process.
  • Portland Harbor Community Coalition ($30,800) will collaborate with Living Islands and Get Hooked Foundation to develop cultural- and language-specific education materials for the Pacific Islander community about Portland Harbor. The coalition will continue to support communities disproportionately impacted by the Superfund site in participating in the cleanup process, including the remedial design process for the in-river cleanup of Willamette Cove and other project areas. These funds will also support their work towards community benefits tools for ensuring an equitable cleanup with a diverse workforce.

About the Portland Harbor Community Involvement Program

The City launched a dedicated community involvement program in 2019 to increase Portlanders’ understanding of and involvement in the Portland Harbor Superfund cleanup. This program exists because community groups urged the City to do more to involve communities disproportionately affected by the contamination and the cleanup process. These communities include those with current or historical connections to the area, including Black, Indigenous, and People of Color; housed and unhoused people who live near the site; immigrants; refugees; and people who eat resident fish. The City thanks the community members and groups who shaped the development of the Portland Harbor Community Involvement program and continue to strengthen it through their participation and input.