Tillamook Estuaries Partnership

A National Estuary Project

TEP Spring Spotlight

Posted on May. 5th, 2019

Spring is a time for change and since the start of 2019 we’ve experienced quite a bit here at Tillamook Estuaries Partnership. We’re excited to welcome a number of new faces to our staff, Board of Directors, and volunteer programs, and we have a few well deserved farewell thank-yous to say as well.

Debra Grace joined TEP’s staff in February as our Administrative Assistant. Having worked with several non-profit organizations in the past, successfully planned large events, and with an enthusiastic desire to share the work we do, Debra is excited to bring her experience to the TEP team. Stop in the office to say hello!

Amy Bennet, Kurt Heckeroth, and Valerie Hendon are TEP’s newest Board Members, bringing a wealth of knowledge and passion to our Board of Directors. Amy is a fulltime student studying fisheries technology at Mount Hood Community college. She looks forward to taking the knowledge and skill she’s acquiring in school to help guide TEP’s work. Kurt joins the board after a career with the Bureau of Land Management in forestry/botany during which time he was instrumental in developing what is now TEP’s Native Plant Nursery. He is looking forward to getting back to the nursery in his new role. Valerie is excited apply her experience as a Wildland Fire Management Specialist with the US Forest Service and knowledge from implementing watershed restoration projects to further TEP’s mission. She is excited to be part of an organization that has a history of working collaboratively with a wide variety of partners to succeed.

Patti Tohl, Gene Cho, and Jack & Jane Anderson recently joined our Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Program collecting water samples in the Trask River, Sand Lake estuary and Miami River watersheds. With their help, TEP is able to track bacteria levels in streams throughout Tillamook County making the information available for the public on our interactive map.

Zach Anderson-VonHeeder has been volunteering at TEP’s Native Plant Nursery, helping us work toward our goal of potting 40,000 plants by June 1st! Zach is a student at Tillamook Bay Community College working towards transferring to Oregon State University to pursue a degree in environmental sciences and botany.
Denise Harrington and Celeste Lebo stepped down from TEP’s Board of Directors this year. Denise’s tenure with the Board included acting as the Secretary/Treasurer, supporting TEP during outreach events and volunteering during our Landmark Outdoor Learning Experiences. Celeste supported TEP with her expertise in native plants, land management and nursery logistics, as well as helping strengthen our partnerships with Oregon State Parks. TEP’s Board and Staff are incredibly thankful to Denise and Celeste for their service and friendship over the years.
Rich Felley “retired” from TEP’s Volunteer Water Quality Monitoring Program early this year. Having been the original director for what is now Tillamook Estuaries Partnership, Rich’s dedication to TEP’s programs and mission is reflected in his long-term service. Even now, Rich is still on-call to cover a water sampling route when we need help! Our team wants to express our sincerest thanks to Rich for his past dedication and continued support of our programs.
Lin Howell was instrumental in getting our first (and next 17) Children’s Clean Water Festival event off the ground. Lin recently retired from the Jackson Bottom Wetlands Reserve and with that led his final “Incredible Journey” activity at Children’s Clean Water Festival in March. Joining him this year was Lori Price, Lin’s mentee and our new activity leader. The pair shared an incredibly touching moment as Lin passed the “Incredible Journey” torch to Lori and we expressed what an honor it has been to work with Lin these past 18 years. Thank you to Lin and Jackson Bottom Wetlands Reserve for the incredible support!
Valerie Stephan-LeBoeuf, formerly TEP’s administrative assistant, received an Oregon Sea Grant Fellowship to work with the Coastal Caucus of the Oregon State Legislature. We wish her all the best in this new endeavour!

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