Vigil for river planned Monday

A multi-faith prayer vigil for the Columbia River takes place at 6 p.m. Monday at Waterfront Park.

Vigils are being held throughout August in 16 locations along the river, in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. Columbia Riverkeeper is organizing the Hood River event.

Participants are asked to bring an instrument, prayer, poem, or story.

According to Emily Long, water quality assistant with Columbia Riverkeeper, the August river prayer vigils will provide people who care about the Columbia River an opportunity for ethical and spiritual dialogue. Stemming from the inspiration of Bishop Martin Wells, 17 multi-faith prayer vigils along the Columbia River have been organized to pray for the health of the Columbia River, the return of salmon to the upper River, and the health of all Columbia River citizens.

The vigils will help highlight that people want a healthy river, where salmon can travel freely from the ocean to their ancestral spawning grounds 1,243 miles upriver, stated Long.

“The health of the Columbia River is vital to all Columbia River citizens and is at a crossroads because of climate change, pollution, and impending negotiations between Canada and the United States over the Treaty,” Long said. “The prayer vigils will help underscore the public interest in modernizing the Columbia River Treaty to ensure a functioning ecosystem throughout the Columbia River Basin.”

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