Access and Inclusion

The Estuary Partnership strives to be as inclusive and accommodating as possible to participants with disabilities. We have developed a set of guidelines to help you understand how our programs are prepared to meet different needs.

Please email our Education and Community Programs Manager, Valerie Pufahl, with any questions about program or site accessibility.

  • Essential Eligibility Criteria for all activities

    For all activities, participants must:

    • Be able to perceive and comprehend the inherent risks of the activity, including but not limited to those identified by Estuary Partnership staff.

    • Remain alert and oriented for the duration of the outing or activity.  

    • With or without reasonable accommodation be able to effectively signal or notify Estuary Partnership staff of distress, injury, or need for assistance. 

    • Manage all personal care with or without reasonable accommodation or assistance (Estuary Partnership staff are unable to provide assistance with personal care tasks).  

    • Be able to follow spoken instructions with or without the use of a companion, interpreter, or adaptive equipment.

    • Be able to tolerate variable weather conditions associated with outdoor activities.

  • Essential Eligibility Criteria for paddle activities

    For paddle activities, in addition to the above criteria, participants must:

    • Be able to hold their breath if underwater. 

    • Tolerate wearing a snug, properly fit life jacket for the duration of the activity. 

    • Move from a face down to a face up position in the water, keeping their face above water while wearing a life jacket.

    • Maintain a safe and appropriate body position inside the canoe for the duration of the outing. 

    • Be able to enter and exit the canoe with or without reasonable assistance of a companion (Estuary Partnership staff cannot assist with transfers).  

    • Independently get out from under a capsized boat, and be able to reenter the boat either independently OR cooperate calmly with an assisted rescue.    

  • Service Animal Policy

    The Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership strives to be as inclusive and accommodating as possible to participants with disabilities. In doing so, we welcome properly trained service animals to accompany their disabled handlers where we can accommodate them. Unfortunately, the Estuary Partnership cannot accommodate emotional support animals, therapy animals, comfort animals, pets, or any other animal that does not meet the ADA definition of service animal.  

    All service animals must meet the ADA standards for training and behavior in order to participate in Estuary Partnership activities. While we recognize service animals are animals, and not robots, however any animal exhibiting aggressive behavior or who is otherwise out of control of the handler (and unable to be effectively brought under the control of said handler) will be promptly removed from the activity. The handler will be welcomed back into the activity upon removal of the offending animal.  

    All handlers must be able to appropriately control their service animal, with or without help of a companion. At no point can Estuary Partnership staff take control of the animal or be responsible for controlling said animal. The service animal’s handler is also responsible for the needs of their service animal, including but not limited to providing adequate water and appropriate protection from the weather. Estuary Partnership staff are not responsible for providing for the needs of any service animals.  

    If you intend to bring a service animal to an Estuary Partnership activity, please contact the Access and Inclusion Coordinator at prior to the activity so we can best accommodate you.  

    For certain activities, namely paddle activities, due to limited space within the boats, we may be unable to accommodate service animals, especially large ones. While permitted under ADA law as service animals, service miniature horses, will not be permitted on paddle activities due to the inability of the boat to safely accommodate them.  


boy in a wheelchair pauses from pulling non-native scotch broom to smile at the cameraDownload our Essential Eligibility Criteria as a pdf.

Download our Service Animal Policy as a pdf.

Need accommodations to participate?

Download our Activity Accommodation Request Form and return it to our Education & Community Programs Manager, Valerie Pufahl.