Log In  
    Who We Are  
    Coastal Goods  
    Contact Us  
       Coast Conferences  
    Tour of the Miles  
    Watchful Eyes  
    The Wide, Wide Sea  
    Marine Reserves  
    Position: Marine Reserves  
    Position: Ocean Energy  
In Oregon, the beaches belong to the people. As part of Oregon's tradition of environmental stewardship, the Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition serves as the guardian of the public interest for our coastal region. Oregon Shores is dedicated to preserving the natural communities, ecosystems and landscapes of the Oregon coast while conserving the public's access.  Oregon Shores pursues these ends through education, advocacy, and engaging citizens to keep watch over and defend the Oregon coast.
 Proposed Shoreline Alteration Draws Oregon Shores’ Opposition
Neskowin landslide which homeowners hope to cover with rockfall mesh. Photo by Bill Busch.
A plan by Neskowin homeowners Ken and Judy Graham to stabilize the eroding slope beneath their house has drawn an argument in opposition from Oregon Shores. The Grahams have applied to the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD), which is responsible for permits to alter the shoreline, for permission to install rockfall mesh over a previous installation that has been failing. We argue that this is the wrong solution to the wrong problem.
The Grahams’ home at the southern end of Neskowin was threatened by a landslide in 2012. On the basis of an emergency permit, they installed riprap at the toe of the landslide, and rock facing on the slope above. While the riprap held, the rock placed on the slope did not, and much of it wound up on the beach. (To their credit, the Grahams had it removed.) They now seek a permit to stabilize what is left of the rock on the slope with mesh, which we contend is unlikely to be effective and will certainly be unsightly.
The claim is that wave erosion threatens the house and property, justifying the new project. However, by the Grahams’ own testimony, the riprap itself has been effective and continues to protect the bluff from wave action. The riprap is therefore not the issue, and Oregon Shores is not opposing its being left in place. The threat to the house is due to a landslide, not erosion from the ocean side. Rock and rockfall mesh will not halt the slide. It may be that nothing can arrest the landslide, but we argue that the best hope is not a rigid structural approach, but vegetating the slope with native vegetation. This would work with rather than against nature, and would also improve the appearance of the slide area, rather than turn it into a greater eyesore, diminishing the beauty of the area for all who visit it.
OPRD’s regulations require that all non-rigid alternatives, including vegetation, be explored before a hardened shoreline protection structure is allowed. We believe that the department should follow its own rules and insist that natural vegetation be given preference in this case, to everyone’s benefit. We await OPRD’s decision.

 Teachers and Guests Will Hear Talk on Stewardship and Citizen Science
Lower Yaquina Bay, with the Oregon Coast Aquarium to the right. Photo by Alex Derr.
Educators of all types (including informal educators like CoastWatchers) will gather in Newport Oct. 14 for the annual Coastal Learning Symposium. Students are welcome, too. And CoastWatch Volunteer Coordinator Fawn Custer will there, speaking on “Getting Your Students on the Beach with Stewardship Goals.” Fawn will be presenting from 1:15 to 3:30 p.m.
This year’s event takes place at the Oregon Coast Aquarium (2820 Ferry Slip Rd. in Newport), which is sponsoring, along with a host of partners. Registration for the all-day affair begins at 8 a.m. The schedule features a variety of talks, workshops and field trips. Major session topics include solar and wind energy, marine debris art, forests, and turning STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math education) to STEAM (integrating the arts into science curricula). Of special interest to Oregon Shores members might be a session on teaching about "blue carbon," the important role that coastal marshes play in maintaining the earth's carbon balance. To learn more and register, go to the event website.
Fawn will introduce educators to CoastWatch and our citizen science projects and discuss how teachers of all types can introduce students to shoreline science both through adopting a mile and through participating in citizen science. She will also have specimens and artifacts to share.
For more information about the symposium, contact Sara Shaw Roberts, (541) 867-3474, ext. 5317,

 Oregon Shores Endorses ‘Outdoor School for All’
Kids conducting their own nature study. Photo by Cathy Tronquet.
Ballot Measure 99, the “Outdoor School for All” proposition, would ensure that all Oregon middle school students gain the opportunity for a week of hands-on environmental learning. Oregon Shores urged members to sign the petition that succeeded in placing the measure on the ballot, and we now advocate that those who care about both education and the environment vote for the measure in November.
Outdoor School is an Oregon legacy that teaches important life skills and boosts academic achievement, giving students a learning opportunity they can’t get in the classroom. Research shows that children who attend Outdoor School do better in school; their attendance improves and they’re more motivated to learn.
Today, the average child spends seven hours a day on a screen and less time outside than ever before. Outdoor School allows them to unplug and reconnects them with science and nature. It fosters a strong sense of responsibility, stewardship and connection to the land, teaching them there’s more to the outdoors than Pokémon Go.
However, there currently is no dedicated source of funding for this Oregon educational tradition, meaning that many students are left out. Measure 99 dedicates a portion of lottery funds to make Outdoor School available for all.
For more information or to find out how you can help support, volunteer or spread the word, and to pledge your vote, visit

 Vested Rights Threat Spurs Court Appeal
Oregon Shores has gone to court, seeking a “writ of review” of what we consider a gravely erroneous decision by the Clatsop County Board of Commissioners. The commissioners voted to allow would-be developers, the Aspmo family, to build 15 houses on forested land where they would never be permitted under conventional land use planning, due to their claim of a “vested right.” We submitted our ... MORE 
 Clinton Campaign Responds to Appeal for ‘Blue Economy’
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton has responded personally to Oregon Shores’ demand for a campaign pledge to work for ocean health and the “blue economy” the ocean supports. “Our nation and the world depend on a resilient, sustainable, and healthy ocean ecosystem,” the former Secretary of State assured us. “Like you, I believe the time has come to ensure the future vitality of ... MORE 
 Photographers Invited to Help Oregon Shores Illustrate Our Work
As you've likely noticed if you visit this website regularly, Oregon Shores uses numerous photographs of the shoreline and of the entire coastal region. We illustrate articles on this website, and we also use photos in newsletters and e-bulletins and in various other publications, such as CoastWatch handouts. We’re constantly searching for new images of the coast. Some we seek for their sheer ... MORE