Public Invited to Comment on Rocky Shore Protection

Fishing Rock.\Photo by Dennis White.
Fishing Rock.\Photo by Dennis White.

For the first time in more than 20 years, Oregon is revisiting the state’s policies that protect our rocky shores.  The current Rocky Shores Management Strategy, dating back to the 1990s, was never fully implemented, and existing regulations haven’t been revised in the face of growing population, increasing pressure on resources, and the impacts of climate change.

Oregon Shores is seizing this opportunity to advocate for increased levels of protection for key rocky shore habitats, clearer designation of special conservation areas, tighter regulations on harvesting of intertidal organisms, and a more thoughtful linkage of rocky shore management areas to the state’s new marine reserves and marine protected area.  Here are the comments we submitted to the Ocean Policy Advisory Council.

Oregon Shores has long advocated for heightened management attention to the state’s tidepools and other rocky shore areas.  It was at our urging that the state’s Ocean Policy Advisory Council created a Rocky Shores Working Group to consider updating these policies.  After a slow start, the process is picking up steam in 2018.  A series of rocky shores workshops is being held on the coast and in the Valley, at which citizens can learn more and make comments.  Comments can also be made online.  Two public surveys, on “Rocky Shores Needs” and “Rocky Shores Issues,” can also be taken online.

The next rocky shores workshop coming up is Saturday, April 14, 10 a.m. at the Cape Perpetua Visitor Center.  See our calendar for listings for this and future rocky shores workshops, or find the full schedule, links to the surveys, and background information about the planning process, on this website.

Oregon’s management of our state’s rocky shore areas falls under Goal 19 of our land use planning system, the goal that governs our Territorial Sea.  For background on the development of Oregon Shores’ strategy for managing our rocky shore areas, go here

Members might comment on their own reasons for visiting rocky shores and make observations about what they see in terms of use or visitation at such sites, along with any observations about visitor behavior that may be damaging to tidepools and other areas.  What do you think of current regulations that prohibit taking of shellfish and invertebrates in some popular places (e.g. Haystack Rock, Yaquina Head, Cape Arago) while allowing shellfish and invertebrates to be taken at other sites?  What would you think about unlimited harvest of turban snails, limpets, piddocks and other invertebrates?   How should school groups be handled to protect rocky shores while allowing education for the students?  Are interpretive or warning signs sufficient to protect these shores?  What do you think of the need for on-site rangers needed, especially in crowded summer season?  Is more public access to the shores needed? 

See Oregon Shores’ comments for more ideas on points to make in calling for stronger conservation measures for our tidepools and other rocky intertidal habitats.