The Water Quality Program documents, protects, and improves the ecological health of the Tribes' Ancestral Watersheds. Efforts include developing plans, best management practices, standards, and ordinances that protect and improve Tribal waters for their multiple ecological, cultural, economic, and intrinsic values.

    The Water Quality Program was established in 2002. Within that same year, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) approved the Confederated Tribes' "Treatment in a Manner similar to a State" or TAS application under Section 518 (e) of the Federal Clean Water Act.

    In 2003, the Water Quality Program completed a Quality Assurance Project Plan (QAPP 1.8) for an initial baseline water quality monitoring project at select monitoring sites in the Coos Estuary, Siuslaw Estuary, and the Sixes River located on the central and southern Oregon Coast. QAPP 1.8 received EPA approval in December 2003.

    Early in 2004, the Water Quality Program initated the baseline water quality monitoring project. The intital focus was to collect data for five core water quality parameters. These parameters include water temperature, turbidity, salinity, pH, and dissolved oxygen. Water quality data collection was targeted for spring high-high and low-low tides. This resulted in sampling runs that could occur at all hours of the day and night.

    Data collection was expanded in 2006 with EPA approval of QAPP 2.0. QAPP 2.0 incorporated the use of continuous YSI data loggers ( The YSI data loggers were programmed to collect a sample every thirty minutes. This resulted in a better understanding of water quality conditions throughout tidal cycles. In addition, the Water Quality Program added a water bacteria (E. Coli and Enterococci) parameter.

    Efforts are under way to expand the Water Quality Program beyond surface water quality monitoring and include groundwater monitoring. A QAPP for groundwater monitoring was approved by EPA in the summer of 2008.

    The Confederated Tribes of the Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians gratefully acknowledge the support from the US EPA for the Tribes' Water Quality Program.

    NVS Data Explorer

    Oregon Tide Tables & Charts
    Coos Bay Oregon Tide Chart
    Shellfish Safety Closures (ODA) Hotline number 1-800-448-2474

    Contacts List

    Water Protection Specialist and Biologist
    John Schaefer
    Water Protection Specialist and Biologist
    541-888-1303 (Main)

    1245 Fulton Avenue, Coos Bay, OR 97420

    Water Protection Specialist
    Ashley Russell
    Water Protection Specialist
    541-888-7511 (Main)

    1245 Fulton Avenue, Coos Bay, OR 97420

    Air and Water Protection Specialist
    Carter Thomas
    Air and Water Protection Specialist
    541-751-3282 (Main)

    1245 Fulton Avenue, Coos Bay, Oregon 97420