Thousands of jobs in the Northwest rely on the Columbia, Snake and Willamette rivers. In addition to tourism, commercial fishing and recreation-related jobs, there are other careers that employ our neighbors in the region.
- According to Northwest RiverPartners, hydropower creates 100,000 jobs in the Northwest.
- According to Pacific Northwest Waterways Association, trade and transportation along the Lower Columbia River creates more than 40,000 jobs.
- There are hundreds of farmers and farm workers in Washington, Idaho and Oregon who rely on the use of the Columbia, Snake and Willamette rivers to keep their operations viable in today's highly competitive global market.
From longshoremen and port employees, to farmers and utility workers, the jobs provided by the use of the Columbia, Snake and Willamette rivers are critical to our Northwest economy.
Ports drive jobs in the Pacific Northwest
There are 35 ports and/or port districts along the Columbia, Snake and Willamette rivers. There are eight ports and/or port districts in the Snake River region: Columbia, Central Ferry, Garfield, Almota, Whitman County, Wilma, Lewiston and Clarkston. There are 23 ports and/or port districts in the Lower Columbia River region: Ilwaco, Chinook, Astoria, Longview, Kalama, Woodland, St. Helens, Ridgefield, Vancouver, Camas-Washougal, Cascade Locks, Skamania, Hood River, Klickitat, The Dalles, Arlington, Morrow, Umatilla, Walla Walla, Kennewick, Pasco and Benton. The Port of Portland has facilities on both the Columbia and Willamette rivers.
These ports are the economic engines of the region. They manage everything from new industrial parks and business centers, to telecommunications and high bandwidth internet access in their local areas. They also work with barge companies, grain export companies and farmers to transport grain and other cargo up and down the rivers safely, efficiently and successfully. Some manage local airports and rail facilities, big and small.
All ports and port districts work to keep commerce, trade and local economies growing while managing healthy ecosystems. They are dedicated to environmental stewardship and protecting natural resources. They use best management practices and partner with agencies and other groups to deliver sustainable projects that improve local communities and resources.