Elaine Placido, DPA
Elaine joined the Estuary Partnership in the summer of 2020. She comes to the Partnership with twenty-plus years of local government and non-profit experience, Elaine is also a veteran of the US Coast Guard. Her family has a farm in Columbia County where they specialize in Boer goats. In her free time, she likes to travel and spend time outside. She is also a dedicated volunteer and leads a 4H livestock club, serves on her local school board and on her local planning commission. Elaine has a BA in Criminal Justice from Park University, a Master of Public Administration degree from the University of Nebraska-Omaha, and a Doctor of Public Administration degree from Valdosta State University.
Finance and Operations Manager
Tom manages the day-to-day finances of the Estuary Partnership. He coordinates contracting, grants management and reporting, and human resources. He has significantly streamlined Estuary Partnership accounting, improving accountability resulting in high marks during annual audits. Tom joined the Estuary Partnership in 2009. He previously managed the business side of an outpatient psychiatric practice at Oregon Health & Science University and coordinated operations within the Refugee Program at Lutheran Community Services Northwest. Before moving to Portland, he lived in Washington, D.C., where he worked on international refugee protection issues. He holds an M.A. and B.A. in Geography from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
Accounting & Operations Assistant
Connor began working for the Estuary Partnership in 2018. He assists the Finance & Operations Manager with the organizationâs bookkeeping, accounting reporting, and annual audit. He comes to the Estuary Partnership, after 30 years as the Accounting Manager for LOI Environmental & Demolition Services and 24 years of teaching acting at the Portland Actors Conservatory. In his free time, he writes novels and plays and runs his own non-profit, a theatre company called Quintessence: Language & Imagination Theatre. He has a Masterâs of Fine Arts in Theatre-Directing from the University of Portland, Bachelors of Arts in English and Theatre, and an Associates Degree in Business from Carroll College.
Community Relations Team
Community Relations Manager
Vanessa re-joined the Estuary Partnership in April 2012 after working for three years at the Paiute Indian Tribe of Utah as Project Coordinator for the Behavioral Care Department. She previously worked for the Estuary Partnership for seven years on development and communications activities. She cultivates community and corporate partnerships, researches and writes grants, and oversees communications and events. One of her primary roles is helping expand the organization's involvement with diverse communities. She also supports legislative activity on both the state and federal level. She has diversified funding with extensive expansion of grant applications and corporate donors. She also is expanding communications to increase broad community engagement through social media and other on-line platforms. Vanessa has extensive experience serving both the non-profit and tribal sectors. She has a B.S. in History with a minor in Native American Studies from Portland State University.
Community Relations Associate
Erinne joined the Estuary Partnership in 2014. She supports relationship-building with individuals and corporate partners, grant writing, communications, and event planning. She focuses on expanding communication and information to a range of partners and researches and writes grants. She also helps implement events. Erinne brings experience in non-profit development and communications. She previously worked in various fundraising roles with Sisters of the Road and NAYA Family Center. Erinne has a B.S in Liberal Studies with a focus on Peace and Social Justice from Oregon State University.
Catherine joined the Estuary Partnership in 2008. She leads the Science Team and manages the habitat restoration, data management, and monitoring programs. She led the Estuary Partnership to develop a strategic prioritization that improves regional investment in restoration and established an effectiveness monitoring program to evaluate project success. She facilitates the Science Work Group and coordinates monitoring and restoration activities with numerous partners in the lower Columbia River. She served as the Senior Scientist for the Charlotte Harbor NEP where she developed resource-based water quality targets and managed an interagency monitoring network. Prior to that Catherine was a wildlife biologist in a national park in Moroccoâs Middle Atlas Mountains. She has published multiple manuscripts on seagrass in southwest Florida. In 2018, Catherine received an Honorable Mention in the 2018 Climate Adaptation Leadership Awards for Natural Resources, presented by the Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies. Catherine holds an M.A. in International Development and Natural Resource Management from Clark University, Massachusetts and a B.S. in Zoology and a Physical Geography Minor from Miami University.
Restoration Program Lead
Joining the Estuary Partnership in 2009, Chris identifies, designs, and implements habitat restoration projects. Chris has taken the lead on extensive floodplain restoration projects at Horsetail Creek and Steigerwald Lake National Wildlife Refuge. Both projects involve coordination with multiple partners. He is a fisheries biologist with 18 years of professional experience in the Rocky Mountains and Pacific Northwest, including managing restoration projects in the Columbia River Gorge. He has extensive experience managing all phases of natural resource projects ranging from stream restoration to stormwater management. Prior to joining the Estuary Partnership, Chris was a Project Manager for Parametrix. Chris holds an M.S. in Water Resources from Duke University and a B.S. in Biology from the Citadel, Charleston, South Carolina.
Jenny joined the Estuary Partnership in 2016. She works with partners and private landowners across the region to identify, develop and implement habitat restoration projects to assist in the recovery of Pacific Salmon. Her work takes her from floodplains in the Columbia Gorge floodplains to tidal wetlands along Columbia River tributaries and to upper watershed creeks and habitats. She is leading implementation of several projects that will restore historic floodplains and wetlands, revegetate native riparian forests, and place large wood habitat structures. Prior to joining the Estuary Partnership, Jenny was Project Manager at the Clackamas River Basin Council. She also worked for the U.S. Bureau of Land Management and was an AmeriCorps member at The Nature Conservancy.She holds a B.A. in Environmental Science and Geography from the University of South Florida.
Principal Restoration Ecologist
Curtis joined the Estuary Partnership in 2019. He works with the Science Team on implementing wetland, floodplain, and stream restoration projects; his primary focus is on the Steigerwald Floodplain Restoration Project. He has extensive experience working on all aspects of ecological restoration, from design through permitting and including construction management. With a background in forestry, he has managed invasive plant species eradication, habitat restoration and replanting, and site maintenance projects. Prior to joining the Estuary Partnership, he worked as a Senior Project Manager at Amy S. Greene Environmental Consultants, Inc. in Flemington, New Jersey and for Philadelphia Parks & Recreation, Ecosystem Management team. Curtis holds a M.S. from Rutgers University in Forestry/Ecological Restoration and a B.S from Cook College in Forestry.
Principal Wetland Scientist
Sarah joined the Estuary Partnership in 2017. Sarah manages and implements the Ecosystem Monitoring Program and assists with the Action Effectiveness Monitoring Program. She also assists with the Estuary Partnershipâs ongoing research efforts examining the role of wetland conservation and restoration in estuarine food web dynamics and salmon recovery. Sarah has conducted wetland ecological and restoration effectiveness research in the Columbia River Estuary since 2008 and has earned both a M.S. and Ph.D. from Portland State University. Sarahâs masters and dissertation research focused on restoration and management of tidal wetland native plant communities, wetland soil conditions, and invasive species in the Estuary. As a National Science Foundation GK12 and IGERT fellow she has also worked on several national and international projects focused on ecosystem service valuation and management in urbanizing estuaries. She earned her B.S. in Environmental Science from Oregon State University.
Principal Restoration Ecologist
Paul joined the Estuary Partnership in 2010. He provides advanced technical support to the habitat restoration and monitoring programs. Paul provides modeling expertise to a range of projects and partners. He is leading restoration projects on the East Fork Lewis River in Washington. Paul was a senior scientist with HDR Engineering where he helped lead restoration efforts in the Pacific Northwest. Prior to that, he was the director of the Dayton Valley Conservation District. Paul also worked with Rivers Unlimited, Inc. to restore watersheds in Pennsylvania and New York. At the University of Oregon and at the University of Colorado, Paul worked with first-generation low-income students to improve academics. Paul received an M.S. in Watershed Science from Colorado State University, an M.Ed. from the University of Colorado, and a B.A. in History from Colorado College.
Doug joined the Estuary Partnership in 2019. He works with the Science Team on implementing wetland, floodplain, and stream habitat restoration projects. He works primarily on the Steigerwald Floodplain Restoration Project. He brings a range of skills and experience to the team in native revegetation, invasive species management, ecological monitoring, prescribed fire and volunteer engagement. Prior to joining the Estuary Partnership, Doug was a Restoration Project Manager at The Nature Conservancy where he designed, managed and implemented riparian and tidal wetland habitat enhancement projects in northwest Oregon. He holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin - Madison.
GIS & Data Management Specialist
Keith joined the Estuary Partnership in 2008. Currently, he manages and constructs GIS databases that support Estuary Partnership monitoring, restoration, and education programs. Keithâs projects address data gaps including the acquisition of recent land cover and bathymetric data, and an analysis of habitat changes that have occurred in the lower Columbia River throughout the past century. He also maintains an inventory of over 250 regional restoration projects. Previously he worked as a microwave electronics engineer. Keith earned an M.S. in Marine Environmental Sciences at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He holds a graduate certificate in GIS from Portland State University and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Vermont.
Sneha joined the Estuary Partnership in the summer of 2019 as a short-term field technician and then became our Research Scientist. She previously worked as an Environmental Consultant in Dubai, with a major focus on environmental permitting and marine projects. Sneha is interested in studying the ecosystem functions of the Columbia River Estuary. Her other endeavors include studying the effect of topography on blue carbon stores in seagrass beds of Zanzibar and building artificial reefs to aid the improvement of reef fish in UAE. Sneha holds an M.S. in marine science from Bangor University, UK.
Tiffany joined the Estuary Partnership in 2019 as a short-term field technician. Before working with the Estuary Partnership, she received her B.A. in Environmental Studies-Chemistry from Reed College. Her senior thesis focused on the concentration and distribution of metal pollutants in lower Johnson Creek sediment. In her free time, Tiffany loves to climb, surf, and do Brazilian jiu-jitsu.
Community Programs Team
Community Programs Director
Chris joined the Estuary Partnership in 1998 and now serves as Community Programs Director. Chris manages our community programs, including classroom and field programs with students, community volunteer plantings, and the Lower Columbia River Water Trail stewardship and advocacy. He also manages and implements stormwater and land use projects, including work with schools and communities who are retrofitting large expanses of impervious surface area. He plays a major role building and maintaining partnerships to ensure we are including and working with multiple sectors throughout our study area. Chris was instrumental in establishing the Lower Columbia River Water Trail and the Estuary Partnership Schoolyard Stormwater projects. He also represented the organization on the West Hayden Island Advisory Committee and serves on the Oregon Watershed Enhancement North Coast Review Team. He is active in grants development and project management in both the technical and education programs. Chris holds an M.S. in Water Resources Management from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a B.S. in Political Science and a B.A. in English from the University of Oregon.
Andy Bauer joined the Estuary Partnership in 2013. He engages students in a wide range of classroom and field programs and volunteer tree plantings. Andy has introduced videography to our education programs, capturing our students in action so we can share their stories better. He also keeps our website updated about education and volunteer activities and is exploring ways to increase interactive opportunities for students and teachers. Prior to joining the Estuary Partnership, Andy was a high school science teacher in Brooklyn, New York for over two years. For many years, Andy has served as a volunteer at OMSI and the Oregon Zoo and worked at Outside In, providing homeless youth with career and college guidance. Andy has an M.A. in Teaching from S.U.N.Y. Empire State College and a B.S. in Biology from the University of Oregon.
Samantha joined the Estuary Partnership in 2010 as an environmental educator and now coordinates volunteer programs. She works with project partners and land managers to plan and lead fun and educational events for volunteers. Samantha organizes multiple volunteers weekend plantings, including an annual National Service Day and works with students throughout the region engaging them in a wide range of classroom and field programs. She taught outdoor education to at-risk students at an alternative high school in Tigard, Oregon and she served in AmeriCorps. She is a Certified Interpretive Guide. Samantha earned an M.A. in teaching from Concordia University and is a licensed teacher in Oregon. She holds a B.S. in Communication Studies from the University of Texas at Austin.
Tonya McLean joined the Estuary Partnership in 2012. She delivers classroom education, on-river programs, applied learning field programs, service learning projects, and weekend volunteer tree plantings. As a freshwater biologist, Tonya helped expand our curricula in this area and shows students another career related to environmental education. She manages the database that helps us track volunteers, students, and teachers who participate in our programs, and allows us to stay in communication with them. Tonya brings to the team extensive experience in the environmental field including biological research, public outreach, and communication for programs that seek to balance human needs with environmental health. Tonya earned an M.S. in Conservation Biology from the University of Maryland and has a B.S. in Environmental Science from Portland State University.
Senior Environmental Educator
McKenzie joined the Estuary Partnership in 2006. She delivers classroom education, on-river programs, applied learning field programs, service learning projects, and weekend volunteer tree plantings. McKenzie leads the Estuary Partnershipâs Summer Canoe Program and expanded community paddles significantly over the last nine years. She also manages our student on-river program; often the on-river trip we provide is the first for many of our students. Prior to joining the Estuary Partnership, McKenzie worked for West-Linn/Wilsonville School Districtâs Center for Research in Environmental Sciences and Technology as a Watershed and Garden Education Coordinator. She has also worked as an educator for the Oregon Zoo, the Glacier Park Institute, and the New Canaan Nature Center. McKenzie holds a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Lewis and Clark College in Portland, Oregon.
Anne Marie Santos
Anne Marie joined the Estuary Partnership in November 2019. She teaches classroom education, applied learning field programs, service-learning projects, on-river programs, and weekend volunteer tree plantings. She also assists in the development of stormwater retrofitting projects in the region. Anne Marie spent her first four years in Portland, Oregon leading community tree planting events with Friends of Trees, where she learned ecological restoration and volunteer management. Prior to this, she lived in Burlington, Vermont, teaching nature and farm-based education at Shelburne Farms and at the Vermont Community Garden Network. She is most passionate about creating access to the outdoors for underserved youth and people from marginalized communities. Anne Marie holds a B.S. in Natural Resources and Environmental Science from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.
James Sterrett joined the Estuary Partnership in 2012. He delivers classroom education, on-river programs, applied learning field programs, service learning projects, and weekend volunteer tree plantings. James led the 2013 summer camp with the National Park Service at Ft. Clatsop. Each year, a few dozen students get this unique outdoor experience, honing their nature survival skills. He has been teaching experiential, place-based programs for the past 20 years. James previously worked at Earlham College for the Wilderness Program. He earned an M.A. in Teaching from Lewis and Clark College and is a licensed elementary teacher in Oregon. He holds a B.A. from Earlham College in Geology.
Paige Suniga joined the Estuary Partnership in 2018. She delivers classroom education, on-river programs, applied learning field programs, service learning projects, and weekend volunteer tree plantings. Paige recently moved to Portland from Honolulu, HI where she received her B.A. in Communications from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. She spent the past two years working at a local elementary school in Honolulu, where she taught P.E. for pre-kindergarten to 5th grades and delivered after-school tutoring programs. Paige has been working with children for the past ten years, from coaching P.E., gymnastics, and cheerleading, to working summer camps, to volunteering with the Special Olympics Hawaii team athletes.
Lower Columbia Water Trail Stewardship Ambassador
Michael Bowersox joined the Estuary Partnership in 2018 as the first Lower Columbia Water Trail Stewardship Ambassador. He will be leading volunteer paddles to various islands along the lower riverâopportunities that combine stewardship and recreationâand building partnerships to bring more equity to water sports. He will also help establish low impact campsites and improved access to the river to facilitate more paddlers safely engaging with the Water Trail. Prior to joining the Partnership, he spent the last decade in the paddle sports profession, including guiding in the San Juan Islands, teaching classes for most paddle crafts, and leading the outreach and education for Next Adventure in Portland, Oregon. Michael is currently pursuing his Masterâs in Education at Portland state University to become a Special Educator and Social Studies Teacher, and his is an American Canoe Association Instructor Trainer and a British Canoeing United Kingdom Certified Coach Level 2.
Susan Holveck, Ph.D.
LCEP Board Chair, Portland Public Schools
Susan is the Program Administrator of K-12 Science Education with the Office of Teaching and Learning at the Portland Public School District. Susan received the 2018 Duane Marshall Special Service to Science Education Award and the Lower Columbia River Estuary Partnership Steward of the Year in 2009. She works with a team from the Oregon Department of Education, 12 other lead states, and the Council of State Science Supervisors on a project called Advancing Coherent and Equitable Systems of Science Education (ACESSE). This projects uses educational research and practice to improve equity in science education. Susan served for three years as the Oregon Science Teachers Association President and is currently their secretary. She actively supports science teachers in the Portland Public School District and loves getting students outside to learn. Susan has a B.S. in Genetics from Ohio State, an M.S. in Genetics and Cellular Biology from Washington State University, and a doctorate in Education from the University of Oregon.
LCEB Board Vice Chair, Port of Portland
Marla has been resolving environmental issues associated with operating facilities for nearly 30 years for the Port of Portland, C-Tran, and NASA. She currently is the Senior Manager of Environmental Planning for the Port of Portland. Her experience ranges from Superfund site remediation, habitat construction, NEPA, sediment management, historic district preservation, and much more. She holds an M.S. in Environmental Engineering from Stanford University, a B.S. in Civil Engineering from San Jose State University, and an A.S. degree in Nuclear Medicine Technology from Gwynedd-Mercy College. She is also a registered Civil Engineer.
LCEB Board Secretary/Treasurer, City of Portland Bureau of Environmental Services
Jane is the Watershed Services Group Manager for the City of Portlandâs Bureau of Environmental Services. She is responsible for overseeing planning, restoration, and monitoring activities in Portlandâs watersheds to manage stormwater, protect water quality, and enhance habitats for fish and wildlife. Jane has 20 years of experience in natural resources management, including four years as a Policy Advisor on Willamette River and watershed issues for Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski. She has also held positions with the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development, Oregon Department of State Lands, Portland State University, and the National Park Service. She holds a Masterâs of Environmental Management from the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University and a B.S. in Biology from the University of Vermont.
Hillary is the Director of Strategic Initiatives for Burgerville, LLC. Headquartered in Vancouver, WA, Burgerville is a 41-unit restaurant chain in the Pacific Northwest with a commitment to regional stewardship. She leads the companyâs Regional Restoration initiative, emerging opportunities for the long-term health of the Pacific Northwest. Prior to joining Burgerville, Hillary was the Policy Director for Renewable Northwest, a regional renewable energy advocacy non-profit. From 1999-2014, she served on the staff of US Congressman Earl Blumenauer. Hillary holds a B.A. from Reed College in English. She loves cooking, gardening, and exploring the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her daughter, Piper.
Washington Department of Ecology
Rich Doenges (pronounced Den-jis) works as Ecologyâs Southwest Region Director, coordinating the activities and services for the agency in the twelve county region. Rich has worked in Ecology since 2014 and was previously managing water quality activities in the southwest region. He also represents Ecology at the Forest Practices Board and the Washington Coastal Marine Advisory Council. Rich has a diverse work experience. Prior to working for Ecology he was the manager for Washington Dept. of Natural Resourcesâ Aquatic Resources Division. Rich has worked in county government in the fields of water resources and farmland preservation, directing farmland preservation programs in Washingtonâs Skagit County and in Lancaster County in Pennsylvania. He remains proud of his seven years working in East Africa in Kenya and Ethiopia on rural development and natural resource projects. Rich holds a B.S. in Natural Resources and a M.F.S. in Forest Ecology. Originally from Connecticut, he lives in Olympia exploring the outdoors on foot, bicycle and kayak, rooting for New England sports teams, and watching with pride as his two sons encounter adulthood.
Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife
Kessina Lee joined WDFW in 2018. As the Directorâs representative and policy lead in Southwest Washington, Kessina works in close coordination with each program, as well as federal, Tribal, and local partners on implementing the WDFW mission of protecting native fish and wildlife, and providing sustainable fishing, hunting, and wildlife viewing opportunities for Washingtonians. Prior to coming to WDFW, Kessina worked as an aquaculture specialist for the Washington Department of Ecology. Before arriving at Ecology, Kessina was a Sea Grant policy fellow engaged in ocean and coastal issues with the Oregon Legislatureâs Coastal Caucus and for the office of Oregon Governor Kate Brown. She also spent nearly a decade studying marine mammal strandings in the Pacific Northwest, as well as interactions between fish and sea lions on the Columbia and Willamette Rivers. Kessina holds a masterâs degree in biology from Portland State University and has lived in the Pacific Northwest since 1989, when she migrated from the deserts of Arizona to the temperate rainforest, and raised her three sons on a small hobby farm in the foothills of the Columbia River.
Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board
Meta currently serves as Director of the Oregon Watershed Enhancement Board. She has worked throughout her career in fields that support her passion for local economies, communities, and resource conservation. Prior to her appointment as Director, Meta served as Deputy Director and a board member representing USDAâs Natural Resources Conservation Service. She previously worked for NRCS on partnership and policy issues in both Oregon and Montana. Meta ran the Montana Department of Agricultureâs Marketing and Business Development Bureau, finding markets for Montanaâs value-added agricultural products. She also promoted rural economic and natural resource policies as Deputy Communications Director for Montanaâs Governor and communications coordinator for the Montana Stockgrowers Association. Meta has an M.P.A. from Portland State University and a B.S. in Agriculture Extension from Montana State University.
Magruder Farms, Local Watershed Councils, Columbia County Board of Commissioners
Margaret is the managing partner of Magruder Farms, producing sheep in Clatskanie, Oregon and the managing partner of Oregon Shepherd, LLC, a manufacturer of all-natural wool building insulation in Rainier, Oregon. She serves on several national, regional, and local agriculture, environmental, and policy groups. Margaretâs career in production agriculture provides her a foundation in conservation and environmental issues and fosters a deep appreciation for the Lower Columbia River region. Margaret also serves as a Columbia County Commissioner. She is a graduate of Willamette University and obtained a Masterâs degree from Syracuse University.
Watershed Health & Green Infrastructure
Dean served as Director of Environmental Services for the City of Portland from 1994 to 2015, leading the effort to clean up the Willamette River in Portland. The City completed construction in 2011 of a $1.4 billion water quality improvement program that benefits Portland residents as well as everyone downstream, including the lower Columbia River. Discharges from the City's collection system caused by rain events have been cut by 94%. Dean led the City in becoming a leader in implementing the use of green streets, green roofs, and other sustainable stormwater management methods to improve water quality. Prior to moving to Portland, Dean was the Commissioner of Environmental Protection for the State of Maine for seven years. Dean received his J.D. from Florida State University and a B.S. in Political Science from University of Delaware.
Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
Richard was appointed the Director of Oregonâs Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) in February 2017, after serving as DEQâs Acting Director since October of 2016. Prior to this role, Richard worked in the Governorâs Natural Resources Office as policy director from 2011 to 2016. There he coordinated the work of the stateâs environmental protection and natural resources agencies. From 2008 to 2011, Richard served as the Director of Oregonâs Department of Land Conservation and Development, and before that was head of the Natural Resources Section under State Attorney General Hardy Meyers. .
Ex Officio Board Members
US Army Corps of Engineers
Kevin Brice has been the Deputy District Engineer for Programs and Project Management for the Portland District of the US Army Corps of Engineers since May 2007. In this position, he provides District leadership in establishing and maintaining processes to manage the scope, quality, cost, budgets, and schedules of all district projects. He also directs all civil works program management activities. His responsibilities include program and budget development, preparation for Congressional testimony, oversight of program execution, and reprogramming actions. Further, Kevin is responsible for all civil works planning functions for the District, including plan formulation, economics, and environmental resources. Kevin graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Platteville with a B.S. in Civil Engineering. He received his M.S. in Civil Engineering from Oregon State University. He is a Registered Professional Engineer in Oregon and is registered as a Project Management Professional.
James "Dar" Crammond
US Geological Survey
Dar is the Director of the U.S. Geological Survey Oregon Water Science Center in Portland, Oregon. As a Supervisory Hydrologist, he coordinates and facilitates the work of hydrologists and hydrologic technicians who generate quality water data and unbiased public science with tribal, federal and state partners in Oregon. Dar has been involved with water resources and water rights in the Department of the Interior for two decades, working for the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the USGS. Dar holds a B.S. in Hydrology and a J.D from the University of Arizona and is admitted to practice in Oregon and Arizona. He is an avid skier and cyclist and has an abiding love of Oregonâs landscape.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Irma is a Senior Policy Advisor with the West Coast Region of NOAA Fisheries. In this position, she provides strategic advice and support to salmon recovery through partnerships and innovative incentive approaches. Irma has over 28 years in the field of natural resource management and policy with a particular emphasis on the Endangered Species Act. She has worked with diverse coalitions including, federal and state agencies, Indian tribes, industry and conservation groups as well as private land owners to achieve mutual goals, and spent more than 13 years overseeing conservation programs in the Klamath Basin for NOAA Fisheries. She received her B.S. in Marine Biology from the University of California at Berkeley and an M.S. in Marine Environmental Science from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.
US Fish & Wildlife Service
Johnna is Chief of the Aquatic Habitat Restoration Program in the Fish & Wildlife Serviceâs Pacific Regionâs Fish & Aquatic Conservation Program. She oversees fish habitat and passage restoration, aquatic invasive species management, and fisheries outreach and education programs for Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and the Pacific Islands. Prior to her appointment to this position in January 2017, Johnna served in the Fish & Wildlife Service Ecological Services Program for 22 years. Positions included Deputy Assistant Regional Director in the Southwest Region headquarters in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and Senior Wildlife Biologist in the Headquarters Office in Washington, DC. Johnna also worked in Fish & Wildlife Service field offices in Boise and Orofino, Idaho for approximately 15 years, focusing on a variety of listed wildlife and fish species. Johnna holds an M.S. in Fish and Wildlife Management from Montana State University and a B.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology from the University of Vermont.
Mary Lou Soscia
US Environmental Protection Agency
Mary Lou has worked for state, federal, and tribal government for over 35 years, specializing in watershed and river protection and restoration efforts. Mary Lou was on the team that created EPAâs National Estuary Program and worked to get Congressional authorization for the program in the 1987 Clean Water Act amendments. Mary Lou worked with the Columbia River Inter-Tribal Fish Commission on loan from EPA and helped to create the Tribal watershed program, which is the basis for salmon restoration work efforts in the Columbia River Basin. Since 1997, Mary Lou has served as the Columbia River Coordinator for the US Environmental Protection Agency, Region 10. She leads the Columbia River Toxics Reduction Strategy, the Columbia River Toxics Reduction Working Group, and the implementation of the 2010 Columbia River Basin Toxics Reduction Action Plan. Mary Lou led the collaboration for the Oregon Water Quality Standards human health criteria, which led to the most protective state human health Clean Water Act criteria in the US and is currently leading the collaboration and Tribal fish consumption surveys with Idaho Tribal Governments to address Idaho human health criteria revisions to more adequately protect high fish consumers in Idaho. Mary Lou also provides senior EPA representation on Columbia River Treaty work efforts. Mary Lou has a B.A. in Geography from Virginia Tech and an M.A. degree in Geography from University of Maryland.
US Army Corps of Engineers
Mike Turaski serves as a Supervisory Project Manager for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Portland District. In that capacity he leads teams to execute the Corps' civil works mission, with a portfolio that includes ecosystem restoration in the Lower Columbia River and Estuary. He joined the Corps in December 2006 and served various roles in the Corps' Regulatory program before transitioning to the civil works program. Mike's technical background is in fluvial geomorphology and watershed management.
US Environmental Protection Agency
Yvonne is an Aquatic Ecologist with the U.S. EPA. For the last 20 years, she has worked in EPAâs Oregon Operations Office in Portland as the Oregon Wetland and Watershed Coordinator and the Lower Columbia River Estuary Program Manager for EPA Region 10. She previously worked with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Her work with EPA is focused on the technical and policy aspects of the Clean Water Act (CWA), including Section 404. Her practicable experience includes work in wetland delineation and assessment, 404(f) exemptions, enforcement, mitigation, CWA jurisdiction, 404 program assumption, and wetland restoration, as well development of wetland research projects and the management of wetland development grants for states, tribes, and local governments. Yvonne is a licensed wetlands biologist. She earned a B.S. in Wildlife Biology from Louisiana Tech University and an M.S. in Marine Ecology from Texas A&M.
Honorary Board Member
Bill Hutchison, Esq.
Corporate & Environmental Law
Bill has long been involved in environmental and natural resource issues. He participated in development of Portlandâs downtown plan and was a leader of environmental organizations. He chaired the Environmental Quality Commission and served as a co-chair of the Pacific Northwest Hazardous Waste Advisory Council. During his EQC tenure, he advocated for the nomination of the Columbia as a national estuary and he was involved with the Lower Columbia River Bi-State Water Quality Program. Bill led the Commission in the formulation of Tualatin River TMDLs and in issuing the stipulated order that triggered Portlandâs sewer system and big pipe projects. He co-chaired Portlandâs Willamette River Stakeholders Task Force. He has served on the Board of Forestry. Bill was active in the formation of the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership. He is a member of the Oregon State Bar, and his practice emphasizes cooperative, corporate, real property, and environmental law. He currently chairs Oregon Community Foundationâs Oregon Parks Foundation Advisory Committee. He received his J.D. from Willamette University and his B.S. from the University of Oregon.
Debrah led the Estuary Partnership as its Executive Director from its inception in 1995 until her retirement in July 2020. Debrah has over 30 years of experience leading public agencies and non-profit entities. Prior to moving to Oregon, she served the State of Maine as the Deputy Commissioner and then Acting Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection; she previously was the Planning Director for the city of Lewiston, Maine. Debrah holds an M.A. in Geography from the University of Oregon and a B.A. from the University of Maine. She completed work at the Confluence Center for Mediation and Training, (Portland, Oregon) and the M.I.T. - Harvard Program in Dispute Resolution.