The Media Project is a non-profit media arts organization founded in 1974. Our mission is to support independent media artists whose work addresses the social and environmental issues of our time. The media we sponsor inspires people to create positive change by making current issues accessible, understandable and compelling.

Our latest project is Once a Braided River, a radio documentary and slideshow documentary that tells the tale of how Portland abused and degraded the river that runs through it.


For thousands of years the north reach of the Willamette River was a braided river of shallow channels and islands, rich in biodiversity and home to many bands of indigenous people.

Today the area is designated an industrial sanctuary, but the communities that were displaced or damaged by this so-called sanctuary, see it as an industrial sacrifice zone. Along a six mile stretch of Portland Harbor, hundreds of aging tanks store over 300 million gallons of volatile fossil fuels—90% of the state’s liquid fossil fuel inventory.

Once a Braided River focuses a lens on the part of Portland that most Portlanders don’t know about or ignore. It braids together the strands of many issues that face us, not just in Portland but around the world – climate chaos, rivers contaminated with toxic pollutants, fish and wildlife brought to the brink of extinction by these perilous practices, and the dire hazards of storing immense amounts of explosive fossil fuels upon liquefaction zones underlain by major fault lines along the shorelines of world class rivers.

ONCE A BRAIDED RIVER was funded by the Regional Arts and Culture Council and Stand up to Oil