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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.
  TOP STORIES
 King Tide Project about to Rise Again
King Tide at Wheeler. Photo by L. M. Manz
For the fifth year, CoastWatch is sponsoring the King Tide project. This is the Oregon branch of an international volunteer effort to trace the year’s highest tides by means of photography. Documenting the highest reach of the tides tells us something about areas if the natural and build environments which are subject to erosion and flooding now. It tells us even more about what to expect as sea level rises. Our co-sponsors this year are the state’s Coastal Management Program and the Surfrider Foundation.
This year the project focuses on three sets of extreme tides: Dec. 21-23, Jan. 19-21, and Feb. 17-19.
We’re asking anyone capable of taking a photograph and able to get to the coast during the series of high tides to take shots at the highest point of the tide on those days. These photos can focus on any feature. Those that show the location of the tide in relation to the built environment (roads, seawalls, buildings) are especially useful in demonstrating impending threats. The ideal photo would be taken from a location where the photographer can return later at an ordinary high tide to take a comparison shot.
CoastWatch is making a special effort to organize photographers to document the reach of the King Tides in the vicinity of the new marine reserves (Cape Falcon, Cascade Head, Otter Rock, Cape Perpetua and Redfish Rocks). If willing to help with this citizen science project and seeking directions to areas we would particularly like to document, please let us know.
Participating photographers are asked to post their photographs on the project’s Flickr site, http://www.flickr.com/groups/oregonkingtides/. Those who don’t wish to use Flickr can e-mail their photo files to orkingtide@gmail.com.
More information about the project, including links to tide tables and suggestions for posting photographs, can be found on the King Tide website, http://www.coastalatlas.net/kingtides/. For more information about the technical aspects of the project, please contact Meg Gardner, NOAA Coastal Fellow, at the Oregon Coastal Management Program in Newport: (541) 574-4514 or meg.gardner@state.or.us.
At the conclusion of the project, a celebration will be held beginning at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 20, at the South Beach location of the Rogue Brewery in Newport. The best of the King Tide photos will be shown, photographers will be on hand to comment, and there will be a special speaker. The event is free and open to all (some refreshments provided, beer and meals available from the Rogue).
For information about the project, and about participating in the special effort to document the King Tides in the marine reserve areas, contact Fawn Custer, CoastWatch volunteer coordinator, at (541) 270-0027, fawn@oregonshores.org.
 

  EVENTS
 Oregon Shores Assists with Comments on Jordan Cove LNG Proposal
Coos Bay's North Spit, including site of proposed LNG Plant. Photo by Alex Derr
Oregon Shores is working with a coalition of non-profit groups trying to block a proposal for an LNG (liquefied natural gas) plant on Coos Bay’s North Spit, and an attendant pipeline that would cross southern Oregon, including hundreds of streams and five major rivers.
There are many aspects to this lengthy struggle, and we are involved in a lot of them. We have volunteered to take the lead, through our Coastal Law Project (a partnership with the Crag Law Center) in addressing water quality issues associated with the “Jordan Cove/Pacific Connector” proposal.
The next challenge we face is to get comments to the three agencies that are charged with reviewing Jordan Cove’s application for a 404 Clean Water Permit. Comments are due January 12, 2015. Many of the organizations in the coalition, including Oregon Shores, will be commenting, but it is important that voices from the community are heard as well.
To help citizens to participate, we sponsored a training session with Courtney Johnson, the Crag attorney we primarily work with, co-sponsored by Citizens Against LNG. Courtney provided expert help in wading through the different criteria, applications and agencies. The goal of the workshop was to help attendees understand the legal framework and identify important issues for drafting their own public comments to the Army Corps and DEQ. While the workshop has taken place, many local activists had a chance to learn from Courtney. For information about the background Courtney shared, contact Katy Eymann, katycoach@mac.com.
Here is some additional background, along with contact information for making comments:
Jordan Cove and Pacific Connector have submitted their applications for the LNG export terminal in Coos Bay and 232-mile pipeline to Malin, Oregon. Before the project can begin, the applicants must secure permits from several state and federal agencies. Under the Clean Water Act, the Army Corps of Engineers is authorized to review and issue permits for impacts to wetlands and waters of the United States that will result from the project. In addition, the applicants must secure an approval from the State of Oregon Department of Environmental Quality certifying that the project will comply with state water quality standards. These agencies are currently accepting public comment on these applications. Oregon Shores and Crag Law Center are teaming up to prepare comprehensive comments on these applications.
If you would like to submit comments on these applications, send comments to:

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Mr. Tyler J. Krug
North Bend Field Office
2201 N. Broadway Suite C
North Bend, Oregon 97459-2372
Comments may be submitted electronically to NWP-2012-441@usace.army.mil
Use the subject line “NWP-2012-441 - Public Comment"

Oregon Department of Environmental Quality
Attn: 401 Water Quality Project Manager
Eugene Office
165 E 7th Avenue, Suite 100
Eugene, Oregon 97401
Comments may be submitted electronically to 401publiccomments@deq.state.or.us
Electronic comments to DEQ should be submitted in Microsoft Word or WordPerfect format.
 

  NEWS
 Salmon River Jet Ski Petition Rejected, New Alternative Sought
Aerial view of Salmon River mouth, with estuary behind. Photo courtesy of USGS.
At the request of local members, Oregon Shores launched a campaign to ban jet skis on the Salmon River. We ran into an obstruction, however, as the Oregon Marine Board at its Oct. 22 in Astoria refused even to consider the petition we submitted. But we aren't taking being blown off for an answer, and along with supporters in the area, are pursuing a speed limit for all types of craft on the estuary instead.
Our petition banning jet skis entirely, drafted with the help of the Crag Law Center, our partners in the Coastal Law Project, gathered support from many individuals and conservation groups. After we submitted the petition, Marine Board staff held a Tuesday, Sept. 9 hearing in Lincoln City to gather public feedback. While a number of thoughtful voices supported our petition, a long line of jet skiers and fishermen testified that they wanted unfettered use of the river. A huge majority of those who visit the Salmon River, including those who visit the Sitka Center and Camp Westwind, and the many people who kayak and canoe on the estuary, would strongly prefer that jet skis be banned. There are thousands of people who object to the intrusion of jet skies in the estuary (including scientists who do research there), while only a relative few wish to engage in this noisy and disruptive sport, but the jet skiers drowned out more reasonable voices.
The Salmon River estuary, just south of Cascade Head, is one of Oregon’s most ecologically important. Jet skis destroy the peace and solitude of the area, and pose a threat to kayakers, canoeists and others enjoying the area when they arrive on the narrow estuary in numbers, which happens from time to time. Jet skis also disturb wildlife, create wakes that can erode the area’s restored marshes and archeological and geological research sites, and in general have a disruptive effect on an area that is an important site for both non-intrusive recreation and research. The estuary lies within the Cascade Head National Scenic Research Area, the first “scenic research area” in the country. When it was created, the intention stated in the plan was that motorized craft on the river be restricted to 5 mph, but this regulation was never put in place by the Marine Board. Jet skis, of course, habitually go much faster than this.
Oregon Shores’ petition was supported by the Salmon Drift Creek Watershed Council, the Westwind Stewardship Group, Lincoln City Audubon, the Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, and the Cascade Head Ranch Homeowners’ Association. But the Marine Board voted 4-1 against even starting a rulemaking process to consider the petition. Their stated reason was that none of the public agencies (such as the Forest Service and Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife) had commented on the petition. But the agencies informed us that they couldn't comment on the petition, which would be advocacy, but would comment once rulemaking started. We were therefore caught in a perfect Catch-22.
But we will continue to pursue protection for one of Oregon's most ecologically important estuaries. A speed limit, if enforced, would prevent most of the impacts of jet skis, from threatening people to disturbing wildlife to eroding the newly restored marshes.
If you care about the issue, but aren't on Oregon Shores' e-mail list, let us know and we'll keep you informed. Contact Phillip Johnson, (503) 754-9303, phillip@oregonshores.org.
 

MORE NEWS...
 Volunteers Needed for Marine Debris Monitoring Project
The upsurge of marine debris on Oregon’s shoreline late last spring, much of it from the Japanese tsunami and some of it bearing potentially invasive organisms, was a reminder of the continued importance of monitoring for marine debris and cleaning it up. With winter storms now arriving, we need to ramp up our marine debris monitoring effort to be ready to respond. Here's a handout on our ... MORE