Open House on Coos Bay Estuary Plan

January 7, 2023 - 1:00 PM
North Bend Community Center
2222 Broadway
North Bend, OR
Institute for Policy Research and Engagement

Coos Bay eelgrass habitat.\Photo courtesy of Oregon ShoreZone.
Coos Bay eelgrass habitat.\Photo courtesy of Oregon ShoreZone.

The process for updating the Coos Bay Estuary Management Plan, dormant since 2019, has suddenly been ramped up to warp speed.  The three jurisdictions that share the Coos Bay estuary—Coos County, and the cities of Coos Bay and North Bend—recently set a course to complete Phase 1 of the update by March. The announcement, the first public notice, was made during the holiday season.

A public "open house" will be held on Saturday, January 7, 2023 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the North Bend Community Center (2222 Broadway, North Bend) to allow the public to learn about the planning products (such as maps of resources) and process going forward. If you have questions about the meeting or the process, contact Coos County Community Development at (541) 396-7770 or [email protected]. Planners from the Institute for Policy Research and Engagement (IPRE), based at the University of Oregon, is providing technical assistance to the local jurisdictions.

An Estuary Management Plan (EMP) is an overarching plan for an estuary that is shared by more than one local jurisdiction. All of the state’s EMPs are long out of date. The planners working on the Coos Bay EMP have indicated that they just intend to do the minimum to revise the plan to align with current law, and update the maps of resources incorporated within the plan. A later Phase 2, during which more fundamental questions such as increase habitat protection and resilience to climate change might be discussed, is a possibility, but it will probably require a great deal of public pressure.

To learn more about Oregon Shores’ position, contact Phillip Johnson, (503) 754-9303, [email protected].