Look around just about anywhere in Tillamook County, and you’ll understand instantly that healthy estuaries equal a healthy local economy and community. That’s why, through our ongoing projects, we act as stewards, working methodically via scientific processes and community engagement to improve the health of our watersheds. A mission that’s critical for all of Tillamook County — because clean water in our rivers, streams, and bays is essential to our way of life, now and for generations to come.
Tillamook Estuaries Partnership is a local grassroots organization, created and sustained by our partners, volunteers, and board members. Our projects focus on estuarine restoration, monitoring, and education, and we’re proud to be one of 28 nationally recognized estuary partnerships in the United States and its territories. As a non-regulatory, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, like other estuary partnerships, we’re guided by our CCMP (Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan).
In 1994, born out of a community concern for the health of Tillamook Bay, we were nominated by the governor to become a nationally recognized organization. And so, the Tillamook County Performance Partnership (TCPP), a department of Tillamook County, was created. TCPP, numerous partners, and those original community members developed a Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP) to tackle four priority problems: water quality, habitat loss and simplification, erosion and sedimentation, and flooding.
In 2002, TCPP became a non-profit. Two factors stood out in that decision-making process: one, as a non-profit we could pursue more funding options and two, the new Board of Directors would have greater autonomy over project implementation. Along with non-profit designation, came the renaming of our organization to Tillamook Estuaries Partnership (TEP). The new name reflected TEP’s plan to not only assist partners in other areas of the county, but also to take lessons learned in Tillamook Bay and transfer them to the county’s four other estuaries. The CCMP is regularly updated to best meet changing conditions and is still informed by our community, partners, and board of directors.
Tillamook Estuaries Partnership is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the conservation and restoration of Tillamook County’s watersheds through active stewardship, scientific inquiry, community engagement, and education.
Rooted in Science
We base our decisions and recommendations on the best scientifically-derived information that’s currently available. This way, we can be sure that outside influences don’t prevent us from staying grounded in what is evidenced to be the most beneficial strategies.
Maximum Benefits for All
Our actions as an organization, from budgeting decisions, to our work in the field, are evaluated and governed by a desire to create the greatest number of beneficial outcomes — for our water, and the wildlife, plants, and our local community who rely on it.
The hallmark of everyone involved in the Partnership is that they truly care about the wellbeing of our local ecosystem, and want to ensure it stays healthy for future generations. For us, this is more than a job. It’s a calling.
Contribution to Community
We love our local community and see all of our actions through the lens of wanting to support and sustain it. But we also believe in the power of community: working together to get big things done, and building strong friendships in the process.
Who We Are
It doesn’t take a marine biologist to see how clean waters feed our local economy. But we keep a few of them around anyway. TEP is made up of scientists, teachers, communications experts, local community leaders, and grassroots coalitions of fishermen, teachers, farmers, and other community members.