Human Access Project dives into Willamette to celebrate winter milestone


The chilly morning temperatures didn't stop a group of Portlanders from taking a swim in the Willamette River on Wednesday.

The Human Access Project held a Valentine's Day swim, where about 25 people jumped in the waters near the Willamette Park boat ramp.

They were celebrating more than 100 days of no sewage overflows into the river.

“This is an opportunity to celebrate the Bureau of Environmental Services and the big pipe, because it's been 115 consecutive days in the wintertime,” said Willie Levenson, the head of the Human Access Project. “I think this is a record for most consecutive days in the wintertime where there has not been a sewage overflow."

The project says they wanted to draw more attention to the fact that the overflows have become less common.

They also hold a summer celebration, "The Big Float" - in July to celebrate and increase use of a public waterway.

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