Combining Restoration, Education & Partnerships around the watershed, providing benefits for all who live downstream.
The Council was founded in the late 1990s by area residents concerned about water quality. Through 2004, the Council focused primarily on conducting assessments of watershed issues, including elevated stream temperature, turbidity, and channel change processes
We believe that a healthy environment and a healthy economy are inextricably linked. We believe in working from ridge to ridge to achieve dynamic, naturally functioning ecosystems.
We believe that a strong stewardship ethic enables us to leave healthy natural resources for future generations.
We value our relationship with the landowners who have voluntarily joined in whole watershed habitat enhancement projects.
Marys River Natural History
The highest point in the Marys River Watershed is also the highest point in the Coast Range. At just under 4,100 feet above mean sea level, Marys Peak is primarily formed from basalt of the Coast Range Volcanoes.
In the ancient past, the climate in western Oregon was hotter and drier, and it supported a savannah habitat composed of trees like Oregon White Oak. Native peoples utilized the resources of the area, and when the climate shifted to a wetter one, they found that routine burning count maintain these habitats.
Euro-American explorers arrived and made drastic changes to this landscape. The landscape you see today is much different than it likely was for many thousands of years prior. Even with these changes, the Marys River Watershed still supports a diversity of plant and animal life, and the resources that grow and live in the watershed provide sustenance and a way of life for many residents.
Get out there and explore on your own! Need help figuring out where to go? Visit The Right Trail website for great tips.
Marys River Watershed Council Supports Racial Justice
To be silent is to be complicit.
Whether it is unequal access to nature, unfair and inequitable laws, or police brutality, we at Marys River Watershed Council recognize that a lot of work still needs to be done to disrupt and dismantle racist structures and systems in our country.
The Marys River Watershed Council stands against racism in all of its forms.
prepared by MRWC Executive Director Holly Purpura and MRWC Vice-Chair Bill Blakney
Learn about ways you can fight violence and racism against Asian Americans
Holly joined MRWC as its Executive Director in September 2018. Within this role, she brings years of experience in nonprofit leadership, fiscal administration, grant writing, project management, watershed-wide restoration, and environmental education. She also brings with her a fierce passion for the Earth and a love of working with the community.
Prior to joining the Marys River team, Holly was the Executive Director of Friends of Deckers Creek based in West Virginia, and she also previously worked for National Geographic Education and The Hunger Project UK. Holly is a graduate of the West Virginia University Geography Department.
Chief Project Manager
Kathleen has worked with MRWC for over 10 years, first leading our education programming, and then later also taking over the MRWC restoration program. Kathleen is a graduate of Lewis and Clark College and a 25+ year resident of the Marys River watershed. When she isn’t working, Kathleen loves to be on the water canoeing or rafting, and she is also an avid gardener.
Aubrey joined the Marys River Watershed Council as Assistant Project Manager in June 2020. Aubrey moved to Oregon from Denver, Colorado in 2011 to pursue education in Natural Resources and Ecosystem Restoration at Oregon State University. He has been working to restore the Willamette Valley’s native habitats since 2016, when he was hired by Ash Creek Forest Management. Starting as a crew member doing boots on the ground restoration work, Aubrey has since worked as a Crew Leader and Project Coordinator, improving riparian and floodplain forest habitat for a wide range of clients and sites throughout the Valley.
In his free time, Aubrey loves gardening with natives and leading volunteer restoration projects. Aubrey also serves as an Assistant Project Manager for the Luckiamute Watershed Council.
Jazmin holds a Master of Science in Marine Biology from Nova Southeastern University. Her overarching interests include behavioral ecology and wildlife conservation. She has worked on various research projects including bottlenose dolphin behavioral ecology, sea turtle migration studies, and water systems parasitology. Her bottlenose dolphin research in the Drowned Cayes, Belize has resulted in multiple publications.
Jazmin is also enthusiastic about science education, and previously, she also served as a science teacher at Waldport High School. She enjoys strengthening science education and enthusiasm for students of varying grade levels and abilities. She looks forward to reaching more students through MRWC’s education programs. In her free time, Jazmin enjoys hiking, gardening, and playing with her two dogs.
Camille joined the Marys River Watershed Council team in Summer 2022 as part of the Mid-Willamette Beaver Partnership summer ground-truthing efforts. Since then, they have continued to work alongside MRWC staff to assist with everything from knotweed treatment, our Upper Muddy SIA monitoring, youth education, and other efforts.
Corey De La Cruz
Corey joined the Marys River Watershed Council team in Summer 2022 as part of the Oregon State University New Beginnings for Tribal Students program to help with the Mid-Willamette Beaver Partnership summer ground-truthing efforts. Since then, he has continued to work alongside MRWC staff to assist with everything from knotweed treatment, our Upper Muddy SIA monitoring, youth education, IT systems management, and other efforts.