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Update on Oregon's Marine Reserve Process

For nearly a decade, the State of Oregon has been discussing the establishment of marine reserves and marine protected areas (MPA) within our Territorial Sea (0-3 nautical miles). In 2009, the State Legislature passed HB 3013 which charged State Agencies with implementing 2 marine reserves, one at Redfish Rocks with an adjacent MPA near Port Orford, and one at Otter Rock near Depoe Bay. The bill also charged the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) with establishing diverse and balanced community teams to further evaluate the potential to establish reserves at Cape Falcon, Cascade Head, Cape Perpetua, as well as the Cape Arago area which is to be led by the International Port of Coos Bay. These community teams include stakeholders from the adjacent communities including representatives of commercial and recreational fishing, conservation, local government, scientists, recreationalists, non-fishing industry, and coastal watershed councils. Teams have been meeting for nearly a year to take a closer look at some of the biological resources and habitats found within these areas, different human uses occurring there, and potential social and economic impacts (positive and negative) of establishing a marine reserve. Team members have come up with different scenarios for potential reserves and associated MPA's that have recently been evaluated by the Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC). To view the different scenarios, click here. Look for the analysis from ODFW on the different scenarios as well. Surfrider Chapters in Oregon will be reviewing and discussing the different scenarios at their upcoming October and November meetings and providing feedback to the recreational reps and team members. Community teams will be meeting over the next month and a half in attempts to finalize a proposal, now is a great time to attend a meeting and provide written or oral comment on your thoughts about the potential reserve. Another great way to help is to reach out to your community team representative and share your values and beliefs with them. Meeting agendas, community team rosters, and information on opportunities to provide comment can all be found by visiting