In 1995, the lower Columbia River was designated as an Estuary of National Significance, recognizing the river’s importance to the Pacific Northwest and the entire United States. At the same time, the Columbia’s habitat and water quality were severely degraded after decades of development and pollution. 

The governors of Oregon and Washington, along with the Environmental Protection Agency, needed an entity to further study the lower river and coordinate its restoration. They created the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership to study and care for the lower river, and in 1999 we incorporated as a non-profit.

We work along the lower 146 miles of the Columbia River between Bonneville Dam and the Pacific Ocean.

Our guiding document is the Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan—a far-reaching plan for the lower Columbia River, developed by a collaborative team of agencies and people, and most recently updated in 2011.

Our mission is “to improve the lower Columbia River by protecting and restoring ecosystems and enhancing water quality for current and future generations of fish, wildlife, and people.”


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