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Protecting Big Creek and Making the Land/Sea Connection

Did you know that a nuclear reactor and later a destination resort were once proposed developments at the mouth of Big Creek in Lane County? This area lies immediately adjacent to the recently designated Cape Perpetua Marine Reserve and Protected Area and represents an important land/sea connection. It's hard to imagine how much different this special place would is more info on how this area was protected.

BigCreekMouth of Big Creek. photo by Paul Engelmeyer

Our partners at The Nature Conservancy and local champion Paul Engelmeyer, Manager of the Audubon Society Tenmile Creek Sanctuary have been working with other partners to purchase this property and protect this important habitat for over 20 years. This site includes 193 acres of forest, freshwater stream, grasslands, shrublands, and riverine estuary habitat. Protection of this property ensures a continuous, intact canopy across five coastal watersheds, improves water quality, and prevents habitat fragmentation. The property includes land on both sides of Big Creek, designated critical habitat for federally threatened coho salmon, and hosts a rich community of habitats and rare, threatened, and endangered species. A viable population of the federally threatened Oregon silverspot butterfly is present on the property, along with 132 acres of federally designated critical habitat. The property was recently transferred to the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) to become part of the adjacent Washburne Memorial State Park, OPRD will manage the site for the benefit of wildlife and is also considering creating a hiking trail that would connect with Washburne and the beach. This site is also adjacent to the Siuslaw Chapter's Adopt-A-Mile area for Highway Cleanups, as well as their NOAA Shoreline Marine Debris Transect and citizen science monitoring.

Learn more about the Big Creek site in the link below:

Big Creek One Pager

The project partners recently held a celebration for the successful protection of this special place and put together a short video highlighting the years of hard work, collaboration of many partners, benefits of protecting this site, and a few words from the Honorable Representative Peter Defazio. Many thanks to all for their years of hard work to protect this special place for the enjoyment of future generations! Check out the video here.