Oregonians celebrate River Appreciation Day

CENTRAL POINT, Ore. — Oregon celebrates its 33rd “River Appreciation Day” today.

Families, friends and many others flooded to Oregon rivers Saturday to enjoy the summer heat by a cool source.

Mike Brown came to fish with his wife and two friends.

“It’s in our nature,” he said. “Most people, growing up in cities, I don’t know how they can do it.
I couldn’t do it. Country is where I’m at,” he added.

Brown grew up on a ranch and says fishing, hunting and the outdoors are a part of who he is.

River Appreciation Day started in 1987 after a sewage disaster in Roseburg.

A group of concerned residents, including the co-founder of the day, Bob Allen, began looking to preserve the future of the Umpqua River.

“We had a festival and decided we should do this every year,” he said.

Former Oregon governor, John Kitzhaber, then a state senator, helped designate the third Saturday in July as a state celebration.

“Finally, people are waking up to the fact that their rivers are more and more valuable,” Allen said. “Water is essential for clean drinking water, for fish, which are diminishing, for recreation and pollution is rampant,” Allen added.

Because of Coronavirus and state distancing mandates, celebrations were online and designated to small groups across the state.

“Appreciate the river today, go into it, swim in it, canoe in it, fish in it, don’t mess it up and stay six feet apart from your fellow celebrants,” Allen said.

Information on River Appreciation Day and the Umpqua Watershed’s Facebook page.


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NBC5 News reporter/weather forecaster Aaron Nilsson is a Southern California native, but most recently lived in Seattle. He's also lived in Sweden and Utah. He graduated from Brigham Young University with a Bachelor's Degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Scandinavian Studies. While at BYU, he covered sports for BYUtv. Aaron is not new to the Medford/Klamath Falls market. He was a local TV journalist from 2013-2017. Outside the station, Aaron enjoys music, traveling, sports, movies, and cooking. His favorite sport is soccer.
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