Oregon Websites and Watersheds Project, Inc.

The Willamette River Steelhead Project

A Cooperative Partnership Agreement Between Jefferson High School, Portland, Oregon, and Oregon Websites and Watersheds Project, Inc.

On Friday, July 21, 2000, representatives of Jefferson High School, Portland, Oregon, and Oregon Websites and Watersheds Project Inc., finalized and signed a long-term partnership agreement between the two organizations.  The proposal had taken more than two years to develop and complete.  This page contains a description of the proposed project, a brief history of its development, and the complete text of the body of the agreement.


The Willamette River Steelhead Project is a long-term monitoring, research, and education project that focuses on the condition and health of Portland, Oregon's riverine plant and animal communities and of its rivers and streams.  Particular emphasis is given to the City's anadromous fish populations and to local impacts on surface water qualities of the Columbia and Willamette rivers and their tributaries.

This Project will directly address local and regional concerns about threatened and endangered fish populations, potential toxicity of local food and sportfish species, and the quality of local surface waters.  Student academic and employment opportunities will be created to better inform the public about these important issues in order to make decisions regarding the management of common cultural and natural resources.

The Project will be based at Jefferson High School and may include paid summer work for Jefferson students in the fields of environmental sciences, internet communications, and public education.  Students will work with classroom teachers, local professionals and scientists to obtain current information about endangered fish populations, river water quality, fish toxicity, etc.  Their findings will be used to satisfy academic requirements and will be reported to the general public via periodic news releases, televised reports, and the School's internet website.  The program will run at least three years and contain strong components for monitoring, evaluation and possible replication in other Oregon and Columbia River basin schools and communities.


The Willamette River Steelhead Project was first proposed in April, 1998 by Bob Zybach and Wayne Giesy of Oregon Websites and Watershed Project, Inc. (ORWW), following discussions and consultations with Principal Opal Chancler-Moore and Vice Principal of Curriculum Kevin Bacon of Jefferson High School.  The proposal is sponsored by ORWW, a 501 c(3) corporation based in Philomath, Oregon.

 The proposed project is based on models successfully completed by the sponsoring organization and its principals during the past 10 years.  The Alberta Street Project used a seven person team of Jefferson-area student interns in 1992 to produce a formal Cultural Resources Inventory with recommendations for an Alberta Street neighborhood in N/NE Portland.  The PEAS Project demonstrated that internet communications were an effective way to publicly display K-12 student projects with an environmental sciences focus.  PEAS also demonstrated how five rural Oregon schools could efficiently establish a sophisticated Internet communications network with little cost in time or other resources to local school districts.

A focus of the Willamette River Steelhead Project will be to expand on these earlier projects to include modern technologies developed since 1992, and to include an urban component to the rural communications network established in 1997.  The recent listing of the Willamette River Steelhead population as a threatened species by the Federal government, and the current proposed "Superfund" listing of the Willamette River harbor demonstrate the timeliness of this proposal.  We now have a project in place that can effectively involve Portland area students in the long-term study, evaluation, and resolution of these common problems.


Jefferson High School ("Jefferson") and Oregon Websites and Watershed Projects, Inc. ("ORWW"), agree to cooperate in a long-term educational joint venture. We understand that this partnership will manifest itself in the form of either one or both of the following project/report topics:

Further, we understand that the project(s) will involve Jefferson students in a three part process of identifying, documenting/measuring, and communicating. For example:

1.  Students will identify historical plant and animal species within Multnomah County or Portland city limits

2.  Students will document and measure species by accepted scientific methodology 3.  Students will communicate their findings and make them available for peer review In addition, various Jefferson HS faculty will assist by providing their expertise regarding the above. Initial faculty members may include the following - Stephanie Pringle (Biology), Jennifer Doncan (English), Mary Dugan (Web Design) and Lennie Edwards and/or Dan Green (video/tv production). Cathy Benedetto, Curriculum Vice Principal, will serve as building coordinator and liaison.

Jefferson student findings and products can be used by ORWW for educational and promotional purposes.  In return, ORWW partnership responsibilities include providing scientific resources, facilitating project fundraising needs, and professional guidance. This will involve appropriate assistance in order to achieve the following:

1.  Scientific resources - providing

2.  Assistance raising necessary funds for 3.  Professional guidance - ORWW advice and assistance to help students Success of this project is dependent on financial support and other resources provided by government agencies, local businesses, foundations, and other organizations and individuals with an interest in enhancing academic and employment opportunities for Jefferson students and/or public research and education regarding Portland area plant and animal species and riverine water quality.  This project is intended to be a model and may be expanded to include other topics or schools as funds become available.

<Signature/July 21, 2000>                           <Signature/July 21, 2000>
Kevin Bacon           Date                               Cathy Benedetto          Date
Principal, Jefferson High School                     Vice Principal, Jefferson High School

<Signature/July 27, 2000>                             <Signature/July 27, 2000>
Bob Zybach           Date                                   Stuart Hemphill          Date
Project Manager, Oregon Websites &              President, Oregon Websites &
Watersheds Project, Inc.                                  Watersheds Project, Inc.