Instead, the city signed a $6.5 million contract with the Freshwater Trust, a not-for-profit river restoration organization. Medford chose water-quality trading to solve the projected exceedance of thermal load and the Trust was hired to implement and maintain the ongoing 20-year project. The Rogue River draws native coldwater fish, including Chinook salmon and steelhead trout. They are listed as "threatened" under the Federal Endangered Species Act and, the two species are adversely affected by warm water. The Rogue River is also used for recreation, with participants taking jet boat tours, whitewater rafting, and kayaking.
The water-quality trading program adapted by the Trust features riparian restoration -- that is, planting and maintaining trees and shrubs along the banks of the Rogue and its tributaries. This streamside vegetation on 10 -- 15 miles of the river will cool the water temperature by blocking solar load in this ongoing project, according to the plan.