Oregon’s 362 celebrated miles of public beaches is all about access and every 10 years, the State of Oregon performs a coastal public access inventory. This year, following the most recent decadal review in 2020 and some of its findings, Oregon is launching a new Coastal Access Inventory and Policy Framework project aimed improving public access coordination, funding, planning and potentially new policy recommendations. Increased development, encroachment of private property interests, shoreline erosion and climate impacts like sea level rise are all becoming increasing impacts to beach access that we need to plan for in Oregon. Surfrider has been invited to participate on the non-regulatory advisory committee for this project, that will work with a group to advise the Department of Land Conservation and Development and Oregon Parks and Recreation Department throughout the project.

Beyond the Beach Bill’s north south public easement on our dry sandy beaches, there are a number of provisions in Oregon providing for shoreline access – Goal 17 for coastal land use planning and for Oregon’s Department of Land Conservation (under the Coastal Zone Management Act), there’s consistency requirements with our coastal plan for inventorying public access. Oregon Parks and Recreation also plays a role in maintaining a beach access management plan, which directs their role in shoreline access.

An empty wheelchair on a beach awaits while surfers ride the waves further off the beach

Access means something different to us all, new policies and funding may better address range of those access needs. The waves and surf were no barrier for this wheelchair user but the built infrastructure around the state park from stairways, trails, sidewalks and curbs to restroom facilities can create many barriers to access.

The Oregon Coastal Management Program is asking Oregonians to participate in the Public Access Survey and Focus Group listening sessions to help shape public access policy along Oregon’s Coastal Shoreline. They need your help, as a resident or visitor to Oregon’s Coast, to understand what improvements can be made to ensure that Oregon’s coastal access is managed, conserved, and developed in-line with the increasing public use and tourism. By participating, you will be sharing your voice with decision makers in Oregon and will inform policy development for managing public access to Oregon’s shorelines, particularly related to policies that may impact coastal communities and visitors. To protect and celebrate this special place we need to do our part to help shape public access policy of Oregon’s coastal
shorelines.

If you want to have your voice heard, please participate in this survey, and focus group
listening sessions.

PUBLIC ACCESS SURVEY:
Click the link below to fill out the survey by June 30th, 2022.
English: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DYTFSCT
Spanish: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/9DBCWQY
FOCUS GROUP LISTENING SESSIONS:
Focus Group sessions will be held virtually, June 21-25, 2022, over Zoom. Spanish
Interpretation will be available. Click the link below for more information and to sign up.
Deadline to sign up is June 10, 2022.
Click here to sign up for a Focus Group: https://forms.gle/U2suT3ActQjFM2A18