Renewable Ocean Energy
– Oregon has attracted worldwide attention for the potential to develop renewable energy off it’s wave rich coastline. Oregon Chapters and activists have been very interested and active on this issue since conversations began which led to the creation of our policy on renewable ocean energy
. Back in 2007 when there was a “gold rush” by energy development prospectors, little attention was given to concerns expressed by ocean users and coastal communities over impacts to recreation, nearshore ecology, aesthetics, and other existing uses. One area where this occurred was in Florence on a project proposed by Oceanlinx, leading the Siuslaw Chapter to file a motion of intervention to raise concerns
with the Federal Regulatory Energy Commission (FERC). Since then, our focus has been to take a more comprehensive approach thru our participation in the Territorial Sea Planning process to determine where suitable locations might be found which would minimize impacts to the environment and existing uses. A major contribution for this planning effort was our Non-Consumptive Recreational Ocean Use Study
which identified spatial use of various recreational activities along Oregon’s coast and their economic contributions to the State. The recently amended Territorial Sea Plan for renewable energy
was completed in early 2013 providing significant protections for important recreational areas, sensitive ecological hot spots, and productive fishing grounds. Our current efforts are now focused on monitoring individual projects for adaptive management as they are developed and assisting our members in participating in on-going stakeholder processes at the local level as projects are proposed.