Update on the Marine Reserves Process - September 2, 2010
by Dan Zaiss
The State of Oregon has been engaged in a process to consider marine reserves along its coast for the past several years. With a recommendation from the state's Ocean Policy Advisory Council (OPAC), and passage of legislation implementing that recommendation, the process is entering the next phase. The State has established two pilot marine reserve sites, a marine reserve at Otter Rock, north of Newport, and a marine reserve and associated marine protected area at Redfish Rocks, near Port Orford. Further consideration and evaluation as started for future three new marine reserves sites: Cape Falcon, Cascade Head, and Cape Perpetua.
A community team in the Coos Bay area has started the process to potentially propose the Cape Arago area as another site for further evaluation.
The following list represents the most frequently asked question about received by the
- What is the status of marine reserves in Oregon?
What is a marine reserve?
- Two pilot sites have been designated, one at Otter Rock north of Newport and one at Redfish Rocks south of Port Orford.
- Three evaluation sites are under consideration by local community teams off of Cape Falcon, Cascade Head, and Cape Perpetua.
- The Port of Coos Bay has formed a community team to consider the development of a Cape Argo site proposal.
What areas can be included in a marine reserve?
- In generally terms, a marine reserve is an area closed to fishing or other extractive activities, and managed to conserve marine habitats and biodiversity as well as provide opportunities for scientific research.
Are beaches, sandy intertidal areas, rivers, and estuaries included in a marine reserve?
What activities would be PROHIBITED in a marine reserve?
- Ocean waters and seabed, from extreme low water to 3 nautical miles offshore.
- Rocky intertidal areas, from mean high water to extreme low water.
Can I still walk, swim, boat, surf, SCUBA dive, and anchor in a marine reserve?
- Fishing, hunting, and harvesting of shellfish/invertebrates, kelp and seaweed.
- New ocean development requiring state authorization (e.g. wave energy & offshore aquaculture).
- Removal of natural products from rocky intertidal areas (souvenir collection allowed).
- Current evaluation sites may be modified to include a marine protected area (MPA), where specific extractive activities would be allowed (for example, the Redfish Rocks pilot site includes an MPA that allows crabbing and salmon trolling).
What is the timeline for marine reserve evaluation sites?
- Yes, all legal activities not explicitly prohibited are allowed in a marine reserve.
- All non-extractive activities will be evaluated on a case?by?case basis to determine if they have negative impacts on marine habitats and biodiversity protected within the site. Management plans will address specific activities.
How can I participate?
- 2008: Executive Order 08?07 issued by Governor Kulongoski.
- 2009: House Bill 3013 (ORS 196.540) passed by the Oregon Legislature.
- 2010: Local community teams make evaluation site recommendations to ODFW (October).
- 2011: State Legislature reviews ODFW funding for marine reserves and considers new legislation.
- 2011?2012: Public rule making by state agencies for any sites selected for designation.
For additional information, see Marine Reserve & Marine Protected Areas
Page updated: September 2, 2010.
Comments and suggestion regarding this web site may be sent to Webmaster