Oregon Shores played a key role in helping to establish these marine reserves. Marine Reserves are protected areas of the nearshore ocean where limits are placed on human activities to conserve marine resources. Oregon’s marine reserves are dedicated to conservation, research, and public education. This designation restricts the removal of marine life, preventing fishing, seaweed harvest, mining and other extractive activities, and any uses that would degrade or alter the marine environment.

Oregon Shores began championing the idea of marine reserves in the early 2000s when we founded the Oregon Ocean coalition with Surfrider and Portland Audubon. Over time, Oregon Ocean morphed into Our Ocean, a long-running campaign involving a more comprehensive range of conservation groups backed by the Pew Foundation, among other foundation supporters. Many others were involved in establishing reserves, including marine scientists, state and federal agencies, ocean users, and other stakeholders.

In 2008-2009, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Department of Land Conservation and Development tasked the Ocean Policy Advisory Committee with leading a community-based process to identify up to nine marine reserve sites. This process led to the designation of Redfish Rocks and Otter Rock marine reserves in 2009 and the subsequent designation of Cascade Head, Cape Falcon, and Cape Perpetua marine reserves in 2011.