Take Action to Protect Oregon’s Rocky Coast

The plan that charts out management and protection of Oregon’s rocky habitats is being updated for the first time in more than 25 years. Whether you visit or live on Oregon’s amazing coast, please take this opportunity to help ensure strong protections for this incredible habitat and state resource!

These dynamic ocean shoreline habitats are home to a diversity of creatures living on the edge of their ecological threshold, including fish, nesting birds, mammals, plants and invertebrates.

Public comments helped make significant improvements to policy language during the February comment period, but there is still a ways to go to ensure strong protections.

Black Oystercatcher, photo by Scott Carpenter

The plan continues to ignore the overwhelming public call for eight important rocky habitat sites to move forward as was the original intention in 1994. It’s time for these sites to be fully implemented as Marine Conservation Areas and Marine Research Reserves.

While we are pleased that the public will be integral in developing new rocky habitat site proposals, a huge burden has been placed on the public. The proposal process is complicated, time consuming and assumes an expertise level in policy, regulations, ecology, and public organizing. The agencies need to do more to balance out a process that places far too much of a burden on the public, especially during a time when the public can’t even gather due to COVID-19.

Take Action by Submitting Comments by April 28, 2020:

Email your comments to TSP.Comments@state.or.us

See talking points/recommendations below for guidance on comments.

Key messages:

  • Please ask the Ocean Policy Advisory Council to do the following:
    • In keeping with previous unanimous public support, please affirm the state’s intertidal resource inventory completed in 1994 by approving a current subset of 1994 designations that were previously approved by OPAC and LCDC.
      • Marine Conservation Areas: Tillamook Head, Cape Lookout (south side), Coquille Point, Crook Point/Mack Reef, Hooskanaden Creek, and Cape Ferrelo
      • Marine Research Areas: Cape Blanco and Humbug Mountain to Lookout Rock
    • Extend the initial stage of the community-led proposals to a minimum of 6 months after the Executive Order (20-12) is lifted on prohibition of non-essential social and recreational gatherings due to COVID-19.
    • While the public designation proposal process is open, the working group should form a  separate expert team of relevant scientists and agency staff to develop a science-based recommendation for priority site designations to be reviewed during a formal public comment period and then presented to OPAC by the end of the extended initial site designation phase.

Thank you for helping protect Oregon’s iconic coastline.