Capturing carbon, saving money, and enhancing regional communities

Release Date
August 1, 2013
Natural Infrastructure report

Bobby Hayden – 503.781.3383
Linc Mann, Portland Bureau of Environmental Services – 503.823.8872

The Northwest Biocarbon Initiative, City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services, Ecotrust, and the Willamette Partnership provided a briefing on the climate and economic benefits of natural infrastructure in Portland and the Willamette Valley, announced the release of Natural Infrastructure: A Climate-Smart Solution, and led a 45-minute tour of multiple natural infrastructure projects in Portland's South Waterfront area."

"Portland uses green infrastructure to manage our stormwater and keep our rivers clean,” said Portland Commissioner Nick Fish. “One of the great things about green infrastructure is that it has multiple benefits, including reducing carbon pollution in our atmosphere.”

"In June when President Obama launched his climate action plan for the nation, he cited the use of natural systems to capture carbon as a priority," said Eileen V. Quigley, Director of Strategic Innovation at Climate Solutions. "As outlined in our new report - Natural Infrastructure: A Climate-Smart Solution - Portland and the Northwest region lead the nation in using biocarbon and natural infrastructure solutions in cities, forests, rural communities, wetlands, even the ocean to store carbon and remove carbon pollution from the atmosphere.”

The City of Portland and Climate Solutions will be joined by Ecotrust and the Willamette Partnership on a tour of Portland’s green streets, ecoroofs, and other examples of natural infrastructure to provide context for biocarbon solutions and benefits throughout the region. In addition, Mike Houck of the Urban Greenspaces Institute will be on hand to lend expertise.

"In Oregon, restoration and natural infrastructure projects have created jobs in construction, in technical fields, such as engineering and wildlife biology, and in supporting businesses like plant nurseries, heavy equipment companies, and rock and gravel quarries,” said Cathy Kellon, Director of Water and Watersheds Program at Ecotrust. "These are jobs that can't be outsourced."

"Everything we do today is more connected: people, economies, communication. Why aren't we looking at the environment that way?" asked Bobby Cochran, Executive Director for the Willamette Partnership. "Building up our natural infrastructure – from farms to floodplains to green streets – cleans our water, stores carbon, increases local food production, and ultimately makes our communities healthier and happier."