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Willamette River Advocate, Other Groups Plan Portland River Center

Oregon Museum of Science and Industry
Oregon Museum of Science and Industry

The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, the nonprofit organization Willamette Riverkeeper and four paddling clubs are planning to develop a river-themed center on the Willamette next to OMSI that will be called the Portland River Center. 

The 29K SF facility would be multifaceted, providing space for classes, lectures and other educational programs, a river-oriented interpretative center and racks to store river-going vessels, such as kayaks, canoes and dragon boats, the Portland Tribune reports.

The Portland River Center would also include a new boat dock, which would offer small craft access to the river. The project's organizers say the facility would provide new viewpoints along the river, and there will be an upgrade of an asphalt section of the east bank pathway on OMSI property.

The development would involve OMSI leasing land north of the museum campus and land south of the Portland Boathouse at 1515 SE Water Ave. The boathouse is where Willamette Riverkeeper — an advocacy group promoting the restoration and protection of the river — and the paddling groups, occupy space.

The project would be built partly in the Willamette River setback meant to restrict most development, which could complicate the approval process. But rules prohibiting development in the setback make an exception for river-related activities.