Conservation Through Connection

By understanding and appreciating how shoreline and marine ecosystems, human residents, and visitors interact, we can inform and support the sound management of marine resources and related coastal and inland activities. Oregon Shores was a co-founder of the Oregon Ocean coalition, which began the campaign to create marine reserves and marine protected areas in Oregon and participated actively in the successor Our Ocean coalition, which saw this effort to legislative success in 2012.  In 2014, Oregon Shores joined five other non-profit groups to launch a new coalition, the Oregon Marine Reserves Partnership (OMRP).

Uniting the Coast

Oregon Shores works at local, state, and federal levels, seeking to inspire Oregonians and their decision-makers to take responsibility for Oregon’s share of the Pacific Northwest coast and the global ocean. The Oregon coast needs a robust regional group to cohesively address the full range of conservation concerns at different scales, using the “land-sea-air connection” as an integrating principle. Ocean conservation efforts are best viewed through this comprehensive regional perspective.

Oregon Shores regularly collaborates with local groups on issues or projects within their geographic focal areas and with issue-specific regional or national groups on particular coastal campaigns. If you’d like to help, learn more about our community science program.

Marine Reserves and Protected Areas

Oregon Shores has long supported the creation of a network of marine reserves and other protected areas in our nearshore ocean. We played an active role in a coalition that campaigned to establish Oregon’s five marine reserves. The current challenge is to maintain adequate staffing and capacity for the reserve program to continue to benefit the state through fostering research, providing public education, and conserving ocean resources and habitats.

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Rocky Habitats

Oregon has a new Rocky Habitat Management Strategy, guiding policies for protecting our intertidal rocky shores and subtidal reefs. Oregon Shores pushed for developing the new regulations, and now we’re working to apply them. We aim to extend “site designations”–special levels of protection–to key rocky shore locations and engage our members and others in stewardship over these ecologically essential places.

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Marine Debris

It is estimated that at least 14 million tons of plastic enter our ocean annually, and plastic makes up the majority of marine debris found on coasts worldwide. Oregon Shores addresses marine debris by organizing monitoring, cleanups, and education events through CoastWatch. We also support many partner organizations, such as Surfrider, in advocating for public policies that reduce single-use plastics and prevent pollution on our coasts.

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Ocean Energy

Oregon Shores is acutely aware of the current impacts and grave implications of the climate crisis. We recognize that developing renewable energy sources that can replace fossil fuels is an essential aspect of any strategy for slowing and eventually abating climate change. However, we are working to ensure that any future ocean development, for wave energy or offshore wind, is conducted with the least possible impact on Oregon’s vital marine resources.

Offshore Wind

Oregon's Orcas

Southern Resident killer whales, an iconic symbol of the Pacific Northwest, rely heavily on healthy marine environments for their survival. One key aspect of their habitat is the rich ecosystem provided by Oregon’s estuaries. These estuaries serve as primary prey habitat for the whales, offering an abundant source of Chinook salmon, their main food source.

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Help preserve the legacy of our Oregon coast for all generations