Willamette Cove Cleanup

The Willamette Cove Cleanup project area is located on the east side of the Willamette River, just north of the Railroad Bridge. The project area is part of the larger Portland Harbor Superfund Site.
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Project Areas and Roles

From the 1900s to 1970s, Willamette Cove was used extensively for heavy industrial activity, including a lumber mill, barrel construction, and ship repair activities with significant over-water activity. The in-water, shoreline, and upland areas require environmental action to address the contamination resulting from these activities. Each area is considered a separate project area with different parties coordinating their respective efforts.

The City of Portland, Oregon Department of State Lands (DSL), and the Port of Portland are designing the in-water and shoreline area cleanup. The Port of Portland and Metro are addressing the upland contamination.


The Willamette Cove will be closed from June 15 through September 5, 2022.

The City, Oregon Department of State Lands, and Port of Portland will be sampling in-river and shoreline soil, sediment, and water in the Willamette Cove project area as part of the Portland Harbor Superfund cleanup process. The goals of this sampling effort are to:

  • Fill in data gaps to design the in-water cleanup
  • Define extent of contamination
  • Support future cleanup design

Closing the area will allow boat and machinery operations to collect samples while keeping the public and work crews safe. No public uses are allowed in the water during the closure. People cannot boat, fish, or swim in this area during this time. Boats should relocate to an area outside of the closed area until September 5. Individuals who do not relocate will be asked to move.

For questions regarding the closure, contact:

Barbara Poage
Portland Harbor Superfund Specialist 
Oregon Department of State Lands
(971) 332-0265

How to Get Involved

You can stay up-to-date on progress through the Willamette Cove Working Group. Contact jessica.terlikowski@portlandore… to connect with the Willamette Cove Working Group.

The Willamette Cove Working Group is part of the Portland Harbor Collaborative. Portland Harbor Collaborative meetings occur quarterly and are co-convened by EPA, DEQ, and community members. Contact knudsen.laura@epa.gov for details.

You can also stay connected through groups like the Portland Harbor Community Advisory Group, Portland Harbor Community Coalition, Portland Audubon, Willamette Riverkeeper, and Willamette River Advocacy Group.