PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — More than 100 volunteers removed tons of riprap rock from the Tom McCall Bowl Beach, the spot where the Waterfront Blues Fest is held each year.

Willie Levenson with the Human Access Project — the group behind other low water beach cleanups along the Willamette River — told KOIN 6 News removing the rocks helps “improve access to the river for swimming, kayaking, powerboarding. And when we remove this riprap rocks that were initially on the bank and improved the bank section it also improves shallow water habitat for salmon.”

Riprap rocks are defined as “a permanent, erosion-resistant ground cover of large, loose, angular stone,”

Saturday’s cleanup began around 1 p.m. when the tides were lowest on the river, he said. Among the volunteers were 2 Boy Scout troops and students from the Oregon Episcopal School.

Levenson said their goal for Saturday was to remove 20 tons of riprap rock from the beach.

The Waterfront Blues Festival on July 1, 2023. (KOIN)

The Human Access Project partnered with Waterfront Blues Fest, RiverPlace Hotel, Wasabi Paddling Club, Vive NW, Solve and Surfrider on this particular cleanup.