The pandemic forced us to rethink how we do our work, but we’ve still been busy fighting for clean water and healthy beaches. In fact, in the couple of months, we secured three victories for Oregon! 

What is a victory? 

Surfrider defines a victory as a decision resulting from a campaign that positively influences the coastal environment. Examples are passing a bag ban or preventing a private property owner from closing a public beach access. 

Our Victories

All of our recent victories fall under our coastal preservation initiative to take on issues that threaten our beaches and natural shorelines. 

Protect Jump Off Joe: The Newport Chapter fought a double whammy with this one. A property owner was seeking to develop a geologically unstable area just above the beach and to block a historic beach access. Not only was the chapter successful in keeping the beach access public, they worked with the neighborhood to make huge improvements to the access. Ultimately, the home owner gave up on seeking a building permit and listed the property for sale. 

Oppose Shoreline Armoring at Breakers Point: The Breakers Point Condominium Development has proposed installing a massive underground metal wall adjacent to Ecola Creek Estuary. The Ecola Creek Estuary is designated an essential habitat for salmon. This type of structure would accelerate sediment transport at the margins of the estuary, furthering channelization and disrupting the habitat. Upon testimony from Surfrider, partner organizations, and concerned community members, the Cannon Beach Planning Commission denied the permit.

Update I: The Breakers Point Condominium Development has appealed the Planning Commission decision. The Cannon Beach City Council is holding a Public Hearing on the appeal on August 4th. Stay tuned on how you can help protect the beach and Ecola Creek Estuary.

Update II: The Cannon Beach City Council upheld the decision of the Planning Commission to deny the permit.

Remove Fencing from Pacific City Beach: Surfrider received complaints from beachgoers and our local membership in Pacific City about “fencing” along the ocean shore. We were able to determine that there had recently been an Oregon Parks and Recreation Dept. (OPRD) permit issued for some sand management activities, but there was nothing in there about fencing off portions of the ocean shore, nor was it a permitted action of County’s beach and dune overlay zone ordinance. Upon inquiring with OPRD about contact with the homeowners, we learned that they had reached out to the homeowner in charge of the project for the continuous lots and were immediately deferred to their lawyer. All things pointed to a property rights challenge of the public easement that is the Beach Bill. Ultimately, all of the homeowners removed the unpermitted fencing.