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State Facts

Miles of Coast: 1,410

Coastal Population (2000): 1,567,751

Lead Coastal Management Agency: Department of Land Conservation and Development

Approval Date: 1977

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Ocean and Coastal Management in Oregon

Oregon’s Coastal Program

The Oregon Coastal Program, approved by NOAA in 1977, is comprised of a network of agencies with authority in the coastal zone. The Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development serves as the lead agency. The primary authority for the Coastal Program is the Oregon Land Use Planning Act. The Oregon coastal zone includes the state’s coastal watersheds and extends inland to the crest of the coast range, with a few minor exceptions.

Redfish Rocks

Redfish Rocks along the southern Oregon coast are home to a breeding population of over 20,000 Common Murres.


The Coastal Program is a leader in coastal ocean planning. The coastal program has been actively involved in recent efforts to identify and designate marine reserves along the Oregon coast, and to identify potential areas that would be suitable for offshore renewable energy production, while minimizing impacts or conflicts with Oregon's fisheries. Oregon’s waters, which extend three miles from the coast, include intertidal areas and offshore rocks and reefs. Local governments oversee activity along the state’s coast by following local land use plans that are consistent with statewide goals for the coast.

Oregon’s National Estuarine Research Reserve

The South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, a 4,771 acre natural area, is located in the Coos estuary on the south coast. The Reserve was designated in 1974 as the first unit of the National Estuarine Research Reserve System. The Reserve encompasses a mixture of open water channels, tidal and freshwater wetlands, riparian areas, and forested uplands.

The Reserve provides support and coordination for research activities that address priority research issues including: the assessment and mapping of intertidal and subtidal estuarine habitats and communities; restoration and recovery of native Olympic Oysters; and bioinvasions and the ecological impacts of aquatic non-indigenous species. The Reserve’s Estuary Study Program provides students with the opportunity to discover and learn about the unique and fragile ecosystem of South Slough and the living things that the estuary supports. The Reserve’s Coastal Training Program also provides local and regional decision makers with the best and latest scientific knowledge. The Reserve’s stewardship program is supported by volunteers who assist with field work, cataloging artifacts, clerical tasks, website design, trail maintenance, landscaping and more.

Program Achievements

Oregon Technical Assistance Tools for Hazard Management

Territorial Sea Plan Advisory Committee for Offshore Renewable Energy — The website documents Oregon's efforts to amend the state's Territorial Sea Plan.

Links

Oregon Coastal Program — The website provides information on the Program’s activities including planning, coastal hazards, and public access.

South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve — The Reserve’s website provides information on their many research, education, and stewardship activities.

Cooperative Institute for Coastal and Estuarine Environmental Technology — This program brief describes investments in technology development and research projects for the state of Oregon.

Marine Protected Areas — Search for marine protected areas in Oregon.

Oregon Coastal Nonpoint Program Conditional Approval Document — The Coastal Nonpoint Pollution Control Program encourages better coordination between state coastal zone managers and water quality experts to reduce polluted runoff in the coastal zone. 

Oregon Coastal Program Evaluation (2006) — The Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management conducts periodic performance reviews of federally approved state coastal management programs. 

South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve Evaluation (2008) — The Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management conducts periodic performance reviews of estuarine research reserves. 

Oregon Coastal Zone Enhancement Program Assessment and Strategy (2011-2016) — Every five years, the Coastal Zone Management Act encourages states and territories to conduct self-evaluations of their coastal management programs to assess significant changes in the state’s coastal resources and management practices, identify critical needs, and prioritize areas for enhancement under the Coastal Zone Enhancement Program.

West Coast Governors Agreement (WCGA) on Ocean Health — The WCGA is a regional collaboration to protect and manage the ocean and coastal resources along the entire West Coast.  This site describes goals, actions, and provides information on this regional effort.

Oregon Marine Reserves — The State of Oregon has been engaged in a process to consider marine reserves, and in 2009 designated two pilot sites and four other sites for further consideration.

Oregon Coastal Atlas — Oregon has developed an interactive mapping tool that can be used to learn more about Oregon's Coast.

Territorial Sea Plan Advisory Committee for Offshore Renewable Energy – This site documents Oregon's efforts to amend the state's Territorial Sea Plan and provides relevant documents.

Contact Information for Oregon's Programs

Ocean and Coastal Program
Department of Land Conservation and Development
635 Capitol Street NE, Suite 150
Salem, Oregon 97301-2540
(503) 373-0050

South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve
P.O. Box 5417
Charleston, OR 97420
(541) 888-5558