kayaking the superfund

Went kayaking with Joan Lundell, recent grad from PNCA MFA in Collaborative Design and Sasha Davies of Cyril’s fame; Joan generously hauled her boats up to Cathedral Park where we set off, and in 4 hours of drifting and poking around, got as far as the  edge of Swan Island. It’s doleful out there, especially on an overcast day. Across the river, what look like gas storage tanks read like a cluster of blank mosques. Homeless camps dot the shore. “Aquatic squatters” live in boats in Willamette Cove, near-permanent transients in  the heart of LWG’s superfund remediation plan, ducks are drifting, dogs are chasing sticks into the water, and people are fishing.

I’m confused by the directive that you’re not supposed to walk in the sediment, where most of the superfund site’s toxins are embedded. This is where people are camping, and dogs are being walked. And none of this gets back into the water, next to a swimming beach? Nothing stirs it up, not even “prop wash” – propeller agitation from the tankers that come up and down the river collecting grain and depositing cargo from overseas?