In the past year and a half, the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership navigated through two big shifts. We adapted our work in response to a global health pandemic and Elaine Placido was brought on as our second-ever Executive Director in the organization’s 26-year history. These changes allowed the Estuary Partnership to reorient and rethink not only what we do but also how we do it.
After a year-long process of reorienting and rethinking, I am proud to share the new mission statement of the Estuary Partnership and our new three-year Strategic Direction.
Updated mission statement:
To restore and care for the waters and ecosystems of the lower Columbia River, for current and future generations of fish, wildlife, and people.
The Estuary Partnership’s previous mission statement – To preserve and enhance the water quality of the estuary to support its biological and human communities – served the organization exceptionally well for more than two decades. To date, over 29,823 acres of lower Columbia River estuary habitat has been restored or protected, we have provided more than 427,000 hours of environmental education to 89,800 students, and we have engaged 14,340 volunteers in stewardship activities.
While we have a lot to be proud of, the challenges facing the lower Columbia River estuary are growing. We are grappling with how to rectify the exclusion of the diverse communities who depend on a healthy Columbia River. And climate change is warming waters, stressing salmon, causing harmful algal blooms and threatening coastal communities. These difficult realities informed our new mission statement and the strategic direction.
Our new mission statement and Strategic Direction will also influence us as we update our Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan – the EPA-mandated governing document that guides all our work.
We invite you to read our Strategic Direction. Please reach out with feedback and questions; we are eager to hear what you think and to work with you to restore and care for the lower Columbia River estuary.