Portland cleans dirty river, invites residents to take a dip

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Portland has a long reputation as a green and eco-friendly city.

But the Willamette River — which runs right through its downtown — has been so polluted for years that people refused to swim in it.

Now that’s changing, thanks to the completion of a $1.4 billion sewage pipe that dramatically reduced sewage overflows.

This summer, Portland is promoting the river as a great place to swim.

It’s opening a pop-up beach with lifeguards, hosting a swim with the mayor and an environmental group even has a river swim team.

A big inner tube parade is planned for the Willamette River this weekend, too.

The city fits into a larger nationwide trend of big cities cleaning up their rivers for humans — and wildlife too.

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