Travis Williams, Riverkeeper & Executive Director - Travis has led Willamette Riverkeeper since June of 2000. Since that time he has helped to enforce the Clean Water Act with numerous examples of enforcement actions up and down the Willamette Valley. He has also led the charge for the cleanup of the Portland Harbor Superfund site, working on that issue since its inception in December of 2000 to the recent Record of Decision in January of 2017. He has worked since 2000 to decrease the impact of the US Army Corps Dams along the Willamette's tributaries.
He has been a major proponent of river experience to help people of all backgrounds to see and experience the Willamette up close, providing free canoe and kayak trips to literally thousands of people. He also formed the first Paddle Oregon trip in 2001, and led the effort to establish the Willamette Water Trail in 2005. He has also led people on many other riverside walks, and power boat tours of the Portland Harbor area. Williams also instigated the creation of the Great Willamette Cleanup which has removed literally tons of trash and debris from the river each year. He has helped to engage Willamette Riverkeeper in floodplain restoration projects with OPRD, and led the transfer of Norwood Island in 2015, as well as the Nicol Sanctuary to Willamette Riverkeeper in December of 2017 - both properties which he helps to steward with volunteers today.
He has actively engaged the media to cover Willamette River issues, from experiencing the river in low impact craft, to coverage of work to restore habitat, and to clean up Portland Harbor.
Williams is author of the Willamette River Field Guide (Timber Press, 2009), as well as the two Water Trail Guides for the Willamette. He holds a BA from Portland State University in International Studies, and an M.S. in Environmental Science from Johns Hopkins University.
Marci Krass, Restoration Manager - Raised on the banks of the Park River and the Green Mountains in New England, Marci considers Oregon home. For more than a decade she has worked to restore floodplain forests, rivers, wetlands, and oak woodlands throughout the Pacific Northwest. She enjoys working in the field alongside dedicated conservation professionals, youth, and volunteers while getting her hands dirty making a positive difference. Marci earned a graduate certificate in Ecological Horticulture from the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems at UC Santa Cruz and an M.S in Educational Leadership and Policy with a concentration in Sustainability Education from Portland State University. She’s cultivated passions for native plants, organic gardening, teaching environmental education, and exploring the natural world. She also loves climbing mountains, hiking, skiing, growing food in her front yard, and playing in rivers, especially the Willamette. [email protected]
Kate Ross Kuthe, Outreach & Education Coordinator - Since 2008, Kate has engaged thousands of members of public as our Outreach & Education Coordinator. She heads up our River Discovery Program, connecting people to the river by facilitating and leading on-the-water experiences via canoe or kayak, in addition to coordinating events such as our award winning Paddle Oregon adventure, Great Willamette Clean Up, film festivals and more. Kate also develops and manages many of our communication materials, e-newsletters, and social media accounts. An avid paddler, she enjoys inspiring others to embrace Oregon's only National Water Trail- the Willamette! With a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Siena College in Albany, NY, she has a broad expertise in river issues, from working to educate people about the Portland Harbor Superfund site, to Clean Water issues in downtown Portland. Apart from the Willamette, one of her favorite expeditions to date has been paddling the Green and Colorado Rivers from Wyoming to Arizona. When not at work, she loves exploring the outdoors with her family. [email protected]
Michelle Emmons, South Valley Advocate - Michelle serves as our South Valley Advocate, and is based in our Eugene office. Michelle leads the way for river cleanups, and coordinates our River Guardian Program in Eugene. Michelle has a broad background in environmental education, as well as outdoor recreation. She also assists in our work to identify and eradicate aquatic invasive species, such as ludwigia. [email protected]
Heather King, Development Director - Heather comes to Portland and Willamette Riverkeeper by way of Boston and Philadelphia, a native East Coaster she moved to the area in 2017 and enjoys spending much of her time on the river, in the mountains and on the coast. She has been a fundraiser for most of her professional career and is passionate about fundraising for missions she believes in – she puts the fun back in FUNdraising! Heather holds an MEd in Social Justice Education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and an MBA in Non-Profit Management from Brandeis University in Boston, but her favorite thing to hold is… George the wonder dog! [email protected]
Richard Dickinson, Restoration Associate - Richard is currently serving as Willamette Riverkeeper’s Restoration Associate. Richard brings over thirty years of experience as an outdoor educator, program administrator, and conservation crew leader to his work with Willamette Riverkeeper, having directed programs in the past for Outward Bound, Reed College, and Campfire Columbia’s Camp Namanu, among others.
Richard’s passion for helping human communities thrive without degrading our Earth’s natural systems led him to go back to school eight years ago to earn an MA in “Environment and Community” from Antioch University Seattle. He loves rivers, is energized by their life and power, so advocacy for the Willamette River which flows through the heart of some of the most populated cities in Oregon is an excellent match for his skills and interests. Richard looks forward to meeting you on a Trashy Tuesday event, working with you on a Paddle & Pull, or seeing you on Paddle Oregon! [email protected]
Elisabeth Holmes, Attorney- Eli has practiced environmental law at her non-profit Blue River Law since 2013, and will help us enforce the Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, and engage in a variety of policy issues, from gravel extraction issues, to the use of toxics in the environment.
Eli grew up paddling Lake Superior and Michigan’s inland lakes and rivers, and now loves experiencing the wonders of the connections between Oregon’s forests, rivers, and coast, and finding little swimming holes. She attended Mount Holyoke College and received her J.D. from Boston University School of Law. She practiced civil litigation on the East Coast for 10 years before exclusively focusing on environmental law through the University of Oregon’s LL.M. program. Eli is experienced using numerous federal and state pollution and public health laws such as the Clean Water Act, the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, Clean Air Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act, Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, Toxic Substances Control Act, public records laws, state public health laws, right-to-farm laws, trespass and nuisance laws, and local ordinances on public health and environmental issues.
Eli has represented clients in landmark pollution, human health, and animal welfare enforcement cases across the U.S., and is excited to work for clean water and healthy habitat in the Willamette Watershed. [email protected]