Responding to a proposal put forward by Oregon Shores at its December 3 meeting, the state’s Ocean Policy Advisory Council (OPAC) created a new working group tasked with revisiting Oregon’s policies regarding rocky shore protection.  Robin Hartmann, Oregon Shores’ Ocean Policy Advocate, will chair the new “Territorial Sea Plan Rocky Shores Work Group.”

Hartmann delivered a message to OPAC from the Oregon Shores Ocean Program Committee, led by board member Bob Bailey, who not only chairs our committee but is also the former head of the state’s Coastal Management Program.  Oregon Shores suggested that OPAC review the state’s Rocky Shores Management Strategy, adopted in 1994 but never fully implemented.  The original plan contained specific recommendations for managing each of 87 rocky shore areas along Oregon’s shoreline; some were implemented by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, but most were not.  Oregon Shores has been concerned ever since that our rocky shore habitats were not receiving sufficient scrutiny or protection.

In urging OPAC to take up the issue again, Oregon Shores noted that there have been many changes since the plan was adopted.  These range from the effects of climate change and the creation of our new system of marine reserves to the greater scientific knowledge of these areas through more than two decades of research.  OPAC agreed with us that a review is warranted, and created the new working group to study the state’s rocky shore protection measures.

Oregon Shores has made rocky shore study and protection a priority for 2016.  We will actively engage with OPAC’s review of current management levels, and advocate for better protection.