Tillamook Estuaries Partnership

A National Estuary Project

TEP to receive $625,000 for monitoring in Tillamook County

Posted on Aug. 15th, 2022

TEP to receive $625,000 for monitoring in Tillamook County

TEP is thrilled to share with you the news from Senators Merkley and Wyden who have recently announced that they secured $625,000 through Congressional Directed Spending (CDS) for TEP to purchase climate change monitoring instruments and equipment!

This bill still needs to be conferenced with the draft House Appropriations bill and ultimately passed by the Senate. If successful funding would likely become available summer of 2023 and TEP would have two years to spend the funds.

Through our monitoring and our work TEP hopes to build resilient estuaries and create a sustainable future for the Natural Resources of Tillamook County. Below is a brief description of how we will be using the funds and attatched is the full press release delivered from the senators.

Tillamook Estuaries Partnership (TEP) serves rural communities on the northwest Oregon Coast through environmental stewardship, scientific inquiry, and education. Climate change is a present and escalating threat to the economic and ecological health of the region through increased river and coastal flooding, continuing ocean acidification (OA), higher water temperatures, and increasing risks of bacterial contamination in freshwater systems. These chronic hazards threaten local industries, from dairy to shellfish hatcheries, and continue to put pressure on species of significance, like the ESA-listed Oregon Coast coho salmon.

These threats need to be monitored and understood in order to effectively combat them. TEP has a watershed-scale climate change monitoring program that addresses several key areas: 

Flooding - Currently monitored with a few water level loggers and one time-lapse camera placed to visualize spillways and wetland water absorption; however, geographic coverage is limited.
Water Quality - An OA pilot monitoring project was recently completed in Tillamook Bay, but data are lacking for nearby estuaries. More temperature loggers are needed to adequately capture increased temperature and valuable cold-water refugia areas.  Bacteria monitoring needs to be expanded to ensure safe recreation and water supply.
New Technologies - Allow for monitoring that is more precise and covers a greater area. 

TEP requests $625,000 for additional water level loggers and flood cameras; OA data sondes, temperature instruments, and bacteria sampling supplies; a drone with an infrared camera for watershed temperature, flooding, and vegetation monitoring; and a sidescan sonar system to measure shellfish populations threatened by OA and critical estuary habitats such as eelgrass beds.

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