|West of the beach . . .|
Oregon Shores' Ocean Program was established to help protect and restore that area of Oregon located West of the Beach. The program is focused on achieving six overarching goals:
• Empowering citizens to use laws, science and communication tools to help protect the ocean.
• Building momentum for improving our ocean's health by working within a statewide ocean coalition.
• Establishing a system of marine protected areas, including fully-protected marine reserves, to protect intact ocean ecosystems for future generations.
• Identifying ways to implement recommendations, in Oregon, from two seminal ocean reports — 2003 Pew Ocean Commission and 2004 US Commission on Ocean Policy
• Bringing attention to the need for citizens and policy makers to consider the land-sea-air connection when managing and making decisions for Oregon's future.
• Providing deliberative review of ocean development proposals, including those for wave energy facilities, to assure potential ecological impacts are identified, studied, and minimized or avoided.CONTACT Robin Hartmann, Ocean Program Director — 541-817-2275
| May 20 Action Taken to Protect Coos Bay Slough|
Debris slide affecting Coalbank Slough. Photo courtesy of Coos Waterkeeper. Oregon Shores is partnering with Coos Waterkeeper and a local Coos Bay resident on a Clean Water Act enforcement action in defense of Coalbank Slough in Coos Bay. We have waited to see whether the state's Department of Environmental Quality would be able to resolve the problem, but the time has now come for us to take action.
The slough, an offshoot of the Coos Bay estuary, provides habitat for fish and aquatic organisms, including salmonid fish species that are listed on the federal Endangered Species List. Coalbank Slough is also designated as a critical habitat for threatened Oregon Coast coho salmon and the Southern Distinct Population Segment of North American green sturgeon.
Last spring, Johnson Rock Products dumped large amounts (approximately 25,000 cubic yards) of soil and other construction and excavation debris from the Bay Area Hospital expansion project on a sloped property near the slough. In early April, the soil and debris collapsed down the hill, creating a landslide across another landowner’s property and into the slough. The volume of material in the slough is sufficient to change the tidal flows, and the remaining material on the slope remains unstable, creating a substantial risk that further landslides will occur.
The federal Clean Water Act and Oregon law both prohibit placing material like soil and excavation debris in waters such as Coalbank Slough without a permit. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality sent an enforcement letter to the landowner and the company responsible for the landfill, asking them to create a plan to stabilize the hillside and clean up the slough. Oregon Shores, Coos Waterkeeper affected landowner Mike Martin are very concerned that if the bank is not stabilized before winter rains start, even more material could end up in the slough, affecting the water quality of the estuary and the marine habitat it provides.
Our Coastal Law Project, a partnership with the Crag Law Center, represented all the concerned parties in sending a 60-day notice of intent to sue pursuant to the citizen suit provision of the Clean Water Act. This letter will ensure that Oregon Shores can take legal action if necessary. The action will also provide additional leverage for DEQ to pursue its enforcement and allow for public engagement on the enforcement action. Now is the critical time to ensure the responsible parties take action to clean up the mess and prevent further degradation of the water quality and habitat in Coalbank Slough.
Articles on topic 'Estuaries':
May 20 2013 Action Taken to Protect Coos Bay Slough
Jan 11 2012 Climate Project Reschedules Wetlands Talk for January 26
Dec 24 2009 Lecture Offered on Birds of Columbia Estuary
Contact: Phillip Johnson, Executive Director, (503) 238-4450, or EMAIL
| May 25 Workshop Offered on Marine Mammal Strandings|
Many CoastWatchers participate in the Oregon Marine Mammal Stranding Network. Anyone filing a CoastWatch report that mentions beached or stranded animals on the beach is invited to send an alert straight to the network, and some mile adopters participate more actively, working to protect live mammals on the beach and attempting to educate the public. If you haven’t had a chance to learn about ...