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Oregon Shores is committed to preserving Oregon’s rich and diverse marine environments
Protecting Marine Ecosystems
Areas of Concern
Our work in the nearshore ocean began with a collaborative effort to establish marine reserves and protected areas off the Oregon coast and has since expanded to include many conservation topics. We work with allied organizations to protect ecologically important nearshore areas and advocate for policies that reinforce responsible marine resource management and planning. We also enhance public awareness of our nearshore ocean habitats and engage people in policy action and community science.
Marine Reserves and Protected Areas
Marine reserves and marine protected areas are important tools for conserving ocean resources. Oregon Shores works to designate and maintain funding for reserves
We advocate for enhanced protection for Oregon’s rocky intertidal and subtidal habitats to support biodiversity
Plastic pollution in our oceans is an extreme threat to marine animals and ecosystems, as well as human health and food safety. We engage communities in marine debris monitoring and education
Sustainable energy sources must be pursued while carefully considering ecosystems and communities- Oregon Shores helps ensure renewable energy development occurs responsibly
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.
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.
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.
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.