Event Calendar

About People’s Wetland Project

What is the point of the People’s Wetland Project? 

The project seeks to honor the ongoing relationship between wetlands and people through advocacy, scientific literacy, and community development efforts. We see wetlands as third spaces, as integral parts of our ecological communities, and essential to a resilient earth in the face of climate change. Essentially, we seek to focus on ecology, flora, fauna, and liberation. 

How will you do this? 

The initial dreaming up of the People’s Wetland Project was to document the presence of wetlands, both buried in the past and present and thriving. This is still the goal, currently manifested as the Water Logs newsletter with Lindsay Costello. Eventual efforts will include a photo and/or video documentation project, community-based arts and events, and future writing projects.

Why wetlands? 

As friend Lindsay Costello says, “wetlands are the underdogs.” They have a little bit of everything. They are carbon sequesters. They are resilient to wildfire. They are cooling and improve water quality. 

40% of Oregon’s wetlands have been filled, drained, or diked since Eurocolonialism began in the contiguous 48 states. We aim to honor the loss of one million acres of wetlands that have been filled and developed upon and fight to protect the 1.4 million acres of wetlands we still have.  

Filled and developed wetlands also result in flooding and degraded water quality, as well as infrastructure issues for the populations that live there. Those who will be most impacted by development on wetlands are the same marginalized populations who are most severely impacted by climate change as a whole. One such example is the Vanport Flood of 1948, which resulted in the displacement of 18,000 people, a third of whom were Black. 

Why the recent name change? 

The Wetlands Mapping and Preservation Project was too wordy. It didn’t feel approachable, or truly representative of our values. The goal is to enrich people’s relationships to wetlands, and to advocate in the political realm for their conservation. We’ve also made a decision to not pursue mapping as a part of this project, and instead, pursue community-based documentation and research that is accessible to the public. 

Current & Upcoming Projects

Water Logs quarterly newsletter
December 2023-December 2024
Portland wetlands documentation project
June 2024 - ongoing

Wetland flora and fauna hikes 
Occasional, starting June 2024

Wetland arts project
To be determined