Center for Economic Development Education and Research (CEDER)

CEDER Mission Statement

CEDER is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation dedicated to educating and informing political and business leaders, media and the general public about the economic, social, political, historical and natural environment of the Columbia Basin, Puget Sound, the Oregon and Washington Coast and related estuaries and watersheds.

Program Overview

CEDER will provide two distinct functions to fulfill its mission: developing basic informational materials to educate regional policy makers; and providing a forum to decision makers to establish a vision and set direction for the future of the region. Both the educational function and the regional policy function will provide valuable products that will improve regional policy development.


In 2015, CEDER commissioned former U.S. Army Corps of Engineers economist, Dennis Wagner, to review Jim Waddell’s report on the Lower Snake River Feasibility Report.  The CEDER report found, “the Waddell report should not be relied upon by decision makers, the press, or members of the public who are interested in the accurate costs associated with maintaining the authorized project purposes of the four Lower Snake River dams.” To read the report, click here.

In 2014, CEDER was commissioned to evaluate recent arguments for foregoing federal navigation channel maintenance and instead breaching the Snake River dams.  CEDER’s researcher reported that due to “methodological and analytic errors, these comments cannot be relied upon in any way to suggest that the costs of dredging the Lower Snake River outweigh the benefits”.  To review this CEDER study on the Lower Snake River, click here.

In 2008, CEDER completed a report laying out a conceptual “road map” for transferring ownership of the historic Willamette Falls Locks from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to a non-federal entity. Specifically, CEDER’s report presents issues to be addressed regarding current conditions at the locks and a case study analysis of similar ownership transfers. It also presents a conceptual process map to organize those steps as may be needed to complete a successful transfer. For more information, go to “The Williamette Falls Locks: A Case Study Analysis of Potential Transfer Issues” final report.

In 2005, CEDER completed a Columbia/Snake River System and Oregon Coastal Cargo Ports Marine Transportation System (MTS) study. That study provides a framework for maintaining and developing the region’s navigation, railway and roadway transportation infrastructure.  It is being used to inform a 2007 study, Oregon Port Needs and Projects, prepared for the Oregon Economic and Community Development Department. To find out more, go to our Marine Transportation Study.

In 2002, a PNWA study demonstrated the need to increase utilization of the federal hopper dredges to maintain Northwest navigation channels and harbors. This study prompted a federal GAO study and improved subsequent changes in federal policy. To find out more, go to our Minimum Dredge Fleet (MDF) study.