National News

AP PHOTOS: Newly clean Portland river enjoys renaissance

Posted July 14

FILE - In this July 6, 2015, file photo, people, pets and sailors use the Willamette River to cool off in Portland, Ore. Portland is well-known as a tree-hugging, outdoorsy city, but the river that powers through its downtown has never been part of that green reputation. For decades, residents have been repulsed by the idea of swimming in the Willamette River because of weekly sewage overflows that created a bacterial stew. Now, the recent completion of a $1.4 billion sewage pipe has flushed those worries - and the river once shunned by swimmers is enjoying a rapid renaissance. (AP Photo/Don Ryan, File)

— Portland is promoting the river that runs through its downtown as a great place for swimming this summer after years of sewage overflows made its waters too dirty.

Until recently, the city's green and outdoorsy reputation hasn't extended to the Willamette River. But with a massive sewage overflow project complete, Portland's new mayor and civic groups are trying hard to change that mindset.

A pop-up beach, an activist swim group and a swimming event with the mayor are all part of the effort.


Follow AP photographers and photo editors on Twitter:


Please with your account to comment on this story. You also will need a Facebook account to comment.

Oldest First
View all