Portland City Council accepts $500K grant to revitalize Eastbank Crescent

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Portland City Council unanimously approved a $500,000 grant from Oregon Metro Wednesday to fund the groundwork for restoring the Eastbank Crescent waterfront property located between the Hawthorne and Marquam Bridges.

The project aims to restore the riverbank’s natural environment and create a space for the future development of a waterfront park on the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry property. OMSI Real Estate Vice President Preston Greene said that OMSI plans to support the city’s plans for the riverbank.

“We endorse the groundbreaking nature of this mitigation bank within an urban context,” Greene said. “It presents a unique opportunity to create a thriving aquatic resource area that serves both environmental and community interests. Beyond its ecological significance, we recognize the potential for invaluable educational experiences and cultural enrichment for the community.”

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The $500,000 grant will help fund the management of the project, preliminary modeling, analysis, engineering, permitting, research and surveying. The City of Portland has also contributed $60,000 toward the project’s development.

OMSI, the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission, the Center for Tribal Nations, the Northwest Native Chamber and the City of Portland are collaborating on the park project, which is currently labeled as Waterfront Education Park. The city said that the mitigation project also eases permitting needs and conflicts between federal, state and local regulators.

“An environmental mitigation bank at Eastbank Crescent would specifically serve river-dependent [and] river-related industries primarily in the North Reach Willamette River,” the City of Portland stated in its plans for the pilot project. “[The Eastbank Crescent] would amplify nature-based, culturally significant solutions in the central city where it can add to the educational, cultural and innovation hub created at OMSI.”

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The City of Portland states that the project is pre-approved to meet environmental regulations established by the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act, the State of Oregon and the City of Portland.

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