Take Action to Protect Oregon’s Rocky Coast

The plan that charts out management 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 coast, now is your chance to help ensure strong protections for this incredible habitat and state resource! 

In 1994, Oregon published the Territorial Sea Plan, the guiding framework for agencies to manage the coastal environment. The plan includes the Rocky Habitat Management Strategy to manage tide pools, rocky beaches, and headlands that make up Oregon’s rocky shore, representing 41% of the state’s 362 mile coastline – all essential habitat for countless wildlife species.

Black Oystercatcher on Oregon's rocky shores.
Black Oystercatcher, photo by Scott Carpenter

Take Action by Submitting Comments by March 1, 2020:

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

See talking points/recommendations below for guidance on comments.

Threats to Oregon’s rocky environments, including climate and human use impacts, have intensified significantly since 1994. 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. Working together we can ensure that Oregon’s amazing rocky habitat is protected while providing equitable access to our public coastline for generations to come!

Key messages:

  • Thank the DLCD for providing public comment opportunity.
  • Explain why protecting Oregon’s rocky shoreline is important to you.
  • Include formal protective designations for rocky habitat areas that were identified for protection or special management in 1994 – but never implemented – in the updated strategy. This includes seven 1994 Habitat Refuges that should move forward as “no take Marine Conservation Areas” and two 1994 Research Reserves that should move forward as “Marine Research Areas”.
  • The 37 “Marine Shores” and “Not Yet Designated” areas should be combined to create a Rocky Habitat Inventory Atlas to capture important ecological information made in the 1994 plan. 
  • Make sure existing relevant plans are more clearly connected to the Rocky Habitat Plan.  Specifically, link the Oregon Ocean Acidification and Hypoxia Action Plan with the Rocky Habitat Plan to help guide management of the rocky habitat that supports kelp and other submerged aquatic vegetation. 
  • Adopt policies that require avoidance of impacts to submerged aquatic vegetation with clear, precise language to forward state agency missions and policies within the coastal zone. 
  • Please acknowledge that you support more detailed comments in the Portland Audubon and Rocky Habitat Partners comment letter to DLCD.

The process is at a critical stage. Over the past two years Portland Audubon and partners have worked to strengthen policies to increase protections. We applaud the efforts by the Rocky Habitat Work Group and Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD), but the plan still falls short of what’s needed to protect these delicate habitats.

Thank you for helping protect Oregon’s iconic coastline.