Join Tillamook Estuaries Partnership (TEP) on Feb. 23 at Pacific Restaurant for a seafood feast, fun trivia, and silent auction and help support educational programs in Tillamook County
Twenty-five years ago Tillamook Bay was designated as a “Bay of National Significance” by the Environmental Protection Agency. This designation secured Tillamook Bay’s spot in the National Estuaries Program, which works to protect and restore the water quality and ecological integrity of 28 estuaries located along the Atlantic, Gulf and Pacific Coasts and Puerto Rico.
It also marked the birth of Tillamook Estuaries Partnership.
“That designation for Tillamook Bay as a Bay of National Significance really paved the way for the existence of the Tillamook Estuaries Partnership,” said Kristi Foster, TEP’s Executive Director. “Of course at that time, we were really focused on Tillamook Bay, and now we’ve expanded our scope to include all of the estuaries in Tillamook County.”
To celebrate this milestone, TEP is hosting their annual fundraiser, Celebrate the Bounty of our Bays, on Feb. 23 at Pacific Restaurant. This year, instead of hosting a fishing tournament, TEP will be sharing their 2018 Year in Review as well as hosting a seafood dinner, happy hour, trivia games and an extensive silent auction full of exclusive, outdoor activities like guided fishing trips, oyster tours, and vacations to coastal resorts.
Foster said the evening serves as TEP’s primary fundraiser, which helps the organization offer their educational programs to local students.
“We are a non-profit environmental organization so we rely largely on grants that we get from different agencies at both the state and federal level, but we are also looking for support from the community through donations and fundraising,” she said. “This community support helps us run some our other programs, specifically our Children’s Clean Water Fest and Down by the Creekside.”
Foster said this is the 18th year of the Children’s Clean Water Fest, and 17th year of Down by the Creekside. “We’ve had almost an entire generation of Tillamook county students come through our programs,” she said.
While TEP has existed in different forms over the years and didn’t become its own non-profit until 2002, they have always worked with different student groups to involve them in restoration projects around the county.
“We’ve had student groups help us with everything from putting chips down to planting trees along rivers and streams, and other stewardship activities that have impacted Hoquarton Slough, Alder Creek Farm, Kilchis Point and many other places that so many of us enjoy,” Foster said. “Education is a big piece of what we do every single day.”
On Feb. 23, you can join TEP for their 2018 Year in Review at 4 p.m. to learn more about the work they’re doing for all five watersheds, meet the staff, and ask questions.
Then, the ticketed event begins at 5 p.m. including a happy hour, trivia games, silent auction and seafood dinner catered by Pacific Restaurant.
Tickets are only $60 for individuals or $330 for a table of six or $400 for a table of eight. You can purchase tickets on Eventbrite.com or at TEP’s website: www.tbnep.org. Ticket prices include two beer or wine drink tickets per person. Other drinks will be available for purchase at the bar. Limited tickets are available, and those interested are encouraged to purchase their tickets in advance.
The evening is made possible thanks to generous sponsors including: Visit Tillamook Coast; The Headlands Coastal Lodge & Spa; Wood & Moore Construction Inc.; the KTIL family of radio stations; Pacific Byway Development Company; JAndy Oyster Company; Pacific Restaurant; and Pacific Seafood.