The Front Porch Forum began as a series of focus groups to study rifts in communication between politicians, public and the media, according to Civic Journalism: Six Case Studies by The Poynter Institute. The group started as a combined effort of The Seattle Times, The Poynter Institute and two NPR stations.
Sixty miles west of Portland, carved into the northern coastline of Oregon, lies Tillamook Bay. It is fed by five main tributary streams that drain from a watershed basin of approximately 540 square miles, and linked to the open ocean via one channel on its northernmost extremity. It is a smallish estuary, with an average depth of only 6 feet and a total span of about 13 square miles, yet it supports a diverse abundance of fish and wildlife.