UDEA: Vision for the Spokane River

April 13, 2016

Featuring Gonzaga University Environmental Studies Senior Class

Monday, April 18
5:00 PM
Hemmingson Ballroom, Gonzaga University

Join Gonzaga Environmental Studies students on April 18th at the Hemmingson Center Ballroom (Gonzaga University) for a public presentation of the students’ revitalization plan for the Spokane River. The presentation is from 5:00-6:00pm, followed by a short discussion and networking session. Appetizers and beverages will be served.

In cooperation with residents and non-profit groups Gonzaga students are developing an ecological and social vision for the Spokane River between the Spokane Community College and the University District through the newly formed University District Ecological Alliance (UDEA).

In the 112 miles from Lake Coeur d’Alene to the Columbia, the Spokane River is constrained by 7 dams, none of which allow for fish passage. In addition to the dams and bridge crossings, the river corridor has been modified, channeled, and fortified with rip-rap. While the downtown section of the river has seen significant improvement, the reach above Hamilton Avenue suffers from litter, homeless camps, erosion, industrial run-off, and general neglect.

Does it have to be this way? What might a “revitalized” Spokane River look like? How might we improve the riparian habitat and ecological function of the river while providing ecosystem services and recreational opportunities, especially for low-income residents? To explore these questions further, students will present their research in the following areas:

1. Ecological Services of the Spokane River: What are the current and potential ecological services provided by the river to citizens of Spokane? How might we expand and improve the riparian zone?

2. Toxic Waste Management: An overview and assessment of the current clean-up efforts.

3. Biological Inventory and Assessment: What are the common, native, and threatened aquatic and riparian species? How are they interacting with exotic species? How should we manage introduced species in an urban environment?

4. Community Values and Perceptions: How do residents of Logan and Chief Garry view the river? Is it an asset or liability? How can we improve recreational access and environmental educational opportunities?

5. GIS Analysis: Using Geographical Information System software, students will present land use maps, ownerships status, ecological values and potential recreational access points.

6. Ecological Enhancement of Lake Arthur: This project envisions transitioning Gonzaga’s Lake Arthur into an educational, ecological, and aesthetic resource with increased breeding and nesting habitat for waterfowl and other species.

For more information about the “University District Ecological Alliance: Vision for the Spokane River,” on April 18th 5 p.m. at the Hemmingson Ballroom please contact Greg Gordon at (509) 313 5725 or by email at gordong@gonzaga.edu.