Employee Benefits

The Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership offers many benefits to support the health and wellbeing of our staff and their families. Below is an overview of benefits available for eligible employees. 


The Estuary Partnership supports a healthy work-life balance and offers competitive, comprehensive benefits so that our employees can thrive in their personal lives and at work. 

Full-time employees (those working at least 0.75 FTE or 30 hours per week) are eligible for all benefits. Explore the specific benefits below for more information.

  • Health insurance

    The Estuary Partnership offers health, dental, vision, and prescription drug insurance for full-time employees. The Estuary Partnership pays 90% of the cost of coverage for employees who enroll no dependents, and 80% for employees who enroll their spouse, partner, children, or other dependents. 

    Health, dental, vision, and prescription drug insurances begin on the first of the month after 60 days of employment. 

  • Paid vacation

    Every employee receives generous vacation leave. Staff working 40 hours per week receive 18 days (144 hours) of annual leave for their first five years. After five years, employees receive 22 1/2 days (180 hours) annually. Vacation leave is prorated for those working less than 40 hours per week. Vacation accrues beginning upon hire and can be used right away.

  • Wellness and sick leave

    Employees working 40 hours per week receive 96 hours of sick and wellness leave each year, and this is prorated for those working less. Employees are encouraged to use their wellness leave to care for the mental wellbeing as well as the physical health of themselves and their families. All employees are eligible for sick and wellness leave. It begins accruing upon hire and can be used immediately.

  • Paid holidays

    The Estuary Partnership offers eight designated holidays and two floating holidays as time to celebrate important occasions. All staff receive designated holidays if they are scheduled to work that day, though floating holidays are only available to those working full time.

  • Retirement plan

    The Estuary Partnership offers employees a retirement account with Vanguard. Employees can contribute pre-tax to their retirement account after six months of employment. The Estuary Partnership also provides a 10% salary match to all staff after one year of employment - the employee is immediately vested in 3% and the additional 7% is on a six year vesting schedule. This matching benefit is offered to staff working at least 1,000 hours in the previous year.

    Employees can also utilize our financial advisor through Vanguard for advice on retirement or other financial planning.

  • Sabbatical

    The Estuary Partnership provides a paid four-week sabbatical leave for employees after ten years of continuous service, and then every five years thereafter.

  • Medical expense and dependent care accounts

    Full-time employees can elect to contribute pre-tax funds to reimbursement accounts for eligible medical expenses and to help cover the cost of dependent care.

    Employees are eligible for this benefit beginning on the first of the month after 60 days of employment. 

  • Short-term and long-term disability insurance

    In the event of a temporarily disabling condition, full-time employees can receive short-term disability coverage for up to 13 weeks, covering 60% of weekly earnings up to $1,000 per week.

    Long-term disability coverage for employees will pay 60% of monthly earnings up to $6,000 up to retirement age.

    Employees are short- and long-term disability coverage beginning on the first of the month after 60 days of employment. 

  • Bereavement Leave

    The Estuary Partnership seeks to support employees who suffer the death of a loved one by allowing them to take time off to grieve, make family arrangements, and attend funeral or other services. Five days of bereavement leave is offered when a family member passes on. Employees can also use sick and wellness leave to supplement this leave.

  • Employee assistance program

    Members of the Estuary Partnership's health insurance plan can access an employee assistance program - short-term, confidential counseling at no out-of-pocket expense. This program is also accessible to immediate family and household members of the Estuary Partnership employee, even if they are not enrolled under the health insurance plan.

  • Life insurance

    The Estuary Partnership provides life and AD&D insurance in the amount of each full-time employee's annual salary. The Estuary Partnership also offers full-time employees the opportunity to purchase up to $300,000 in additional life insurance for themself or themself and their partner to provide peace of mind.

    This insurance coverage begins on the first of the month after 60 days of employment. 

Additionally, as a 501(c)3 non-profit, the Estuary Partnership is a qualifying employer for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program.