News and Events

On May 30, the Metro Council officially approved a new round of Nature in Neighborhood grants and once again, they approved funding for the collaborative Estuary Partnership-Wilderness International project.
Ridgefield, WA proved to be a great location to celebrate two water trails and National Trails Day on Saturday June 1. The Estuary Partnership was there with our two Canoes, the Chinook Indian Nation was there with their canoe "Ixwit" and dozens of kayakers joined the flotilla down Lake River to the Columbia. The celebration included the unveiling of Lower Columbia River Water Trail signage for the Ridgefield Boat Launch, and acknowledgement of the Lewis River-Vancouver Lake Water Trail Paddling Guide. Erik Anderson from the Ridgefield Wildlife Refuge and Sam Robinson from the Chinook Indian Nation provided interpretation along the way, noting the area's unique cultural, historical, and ecological features.
The Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership requests proposals from design/build teams to work on a habitat restoration project on Multnomah and Wahkeena Creeks near Benson State Park in the Columbia River Gorge. Below are the key details and elements of the RFP and the restoration/design project:Mandatory Pre-Bid Meeting:
1:00 PM, Wednesday June 5, 2013, Rooster Rock State Park Office, Bridal Veil, OR. Park Location Link
Proposal Submittal Deadline:
4:00 PM, Tuesday, June 18, 2013 via email in PDF file format  
Water Trails everywhere! The Lower Columbia, the Willamette River, and now the Lewis River-Vancouver Lake Water Trail, the area's newest water trail, has come to life with a new Paddle Guide. Available HERE electronically, and via hard copy at Ridgefield Kayaking, Vancouver City Hall, and the Marshall Community Center, the new paddle guide provides trip planning information for those interested in paddling Vancouver Lake, Lake River, and the lower Lewis River.
The Columbian white-tailed deer is unique to southwest Washington and western Oregon.
On May 10, 2013 the Estuary Partnership will host its annual Science to Policy Summit with a focus on the Columbia River Treaty. The goal of the Summit is to convey the key interests of the lower Columbia to the 2014/2024 Treaty Review process that is currently underway. A lot has changed in our understanding of the river and the basin since the Treaty between the United States and Candada was approved in 1964. While the Columbia River Treaty has no end date, either country can terminate it in 2024 by giving ten years written notice. In addition, in 2024 the annual assured flood control operations will end, whether the Treaty is terminated or not.
Three recent grant awards support the Estuary Partnership Education Program’s ongoing work to prepare our next generation to take care of the Columbia River. The Education Program engages elementary school students, offering classroom lessons on subjects such as watersheds, water quality, and native plants. The lessons come to life when the students then head outdoors to improve nearby natural areas and explore a local waterway in the Estuary Partnership canoes.
Salmon aren't the only species that return to the lower Columbia River and its tributaries in spring. Smelt, small ocean going fish that spawn in fishwater, once swarmed into rivers like the Cowlitz and Sandy in late winter and spring. However in the late 1980's smelt runs started a decline that eventually led to their listing in 2010 as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act. So, when Tom Paulu from The Daily News in Longview, Washington reported  a big mass of smelt 20 miles heading up the Columbia River, it was a moment, if brief, for spring optimism. Of course, the big giveaway as Paulu reported, was the high activity of the seals, birds, and sea lions feeding on the smelt.
Want to compare how floodplain habitat in the lower Columbia River has changed since the late 1880's? Now you can! Check out the Estuary Partnership's new on-line habitat change analysis maps. They mark the first time a comparison of "pre-development" conditions to current habitat conditions have been calculated for the entire lower Columbia River.
Nutria are a common site along the lower Columbia River and its tributaries. Large, semi-aquatic rodents, they burrow into the sides of river banks and munch on river vegetation, creating erosion and impacting shoreline vegetation. Like many invasive species, Nutria have detrimental impacts to the local ecosystem and are the focus of management efforts to control their population. On March 28, PSU, USGS, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service will convene a Nutria Management Meeting in Vancouver to talk about nutria management tools and coordination. Click here to learn more.