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Cape Falcon
The Cape Falcon marine reserve is located south of Cannon Beach. It was developed through a community team process.
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On the Ground: The Oregon Conservation Strategy at Work

September 2012

The ocean is the lifeblood of Earth, covering more than 70 percent of the planet's surface, driving weather, regulating temperature, and ultimately supporting all living organisms. Throughout history, the ocean has been a vital source of sustenance, transport, commerce, growth, and inspiration. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.


Marine Reserves Conserve Valuable Resources
Oregon’s Nearshore Ocean: The Beach and Beyond
Climate Change and the Nearshore Ocean
Oregon's Top Natural Resource Plans
Buy an ODFW 2013 Youth Art Calendar


Cristen Don
Cristen Don, ODFW Marine Reserves Program leader.
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Marine reserves are areas in the ocean that are protected from activities that remove animals, plants and minerals or that alter habitats. Their use as a conservation tool is increasing around the world. Today, marine reserves are in place in Europe, South America, Australia, Canada, the United States and many other countries.

The State of Oregon has designated five marine reserves and marine protected areas in Oregon’s Territorial Sea: Cape Perpetua, Cascade Head, Cape Falcon, Otter Rock near Depoe Bay, and Redfish Rocks near Port Orford. These sites were designated by the State Legislature, Fish and Wildlife Commission, and partner agencies with an extensive public input process.

“In general, these five areas have been set aside for conservation and to learn how the environment responds,” said Cristen Don, ODFW Marine Reserves Program leader. “We have a lot to learn about the ocean, and conducting research and monitoring in areas where no harvest or development occurs allows us to better understand what changes in the ocean are the result of human activities and which are the result of larger environmental factors.”

Protections, including prohibition of fishing, crabbing, mining and energy development activities, are in effect at Otter Rock and Redfish Rocks. Restrictions will go into effect Jan. 1, 2014 for Cascade Head and Cape Perpetua and on Jan. 1, 2016 for Cape Falcon. Oregon Marine Reserves website.

Oregon’s nearshore Ocean: the beach and beyond

Intertidal, subtidal and pelagic, or open water, habitats are home to a vast array of species.
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The ocean provides major environmental, economic and recreation benefits to the world’s population, but pollution, climate change, habitat loss and other factors are taking a toll on its health. Concerned scientists and organizations around the world are working to understand the complex factors that influence the ocean and develop conservation strategies and actions.

Certainly, a day spent on one of Oregon’s beautiful beaches doesn’t produce any sense of concern, but there are plenty of reasons for reflecting on the health of the state’s nearshore ocean.

“Most of our marine species and habitats are below the water’s surface and go unseen, so many people just don’t think about them,” said Greg Krutzikowsky, ODFW Nearshore Resources Project leader. “One of our goals is to provide information about the ocean’s species and habitats so Oregonians can make informed decisions as we deal with climate change, pollution and other threats to the ocean.”

The newly developed Nearshore Marine Ecoregion chapter of the Oregon Conservation Strategy is part of that outreach. It identifies and describes ocean habitats and the species associated with them and outlines goals and actions. It includes maps of the state’s nearshore ocean and territorial sea. It also includes information about who’s on first when it comes to management of Oregon’s publically owned ocean. The full Nearshore Strategy is available online.

Climate Change and Oregon’s Nearshore Ocean

A new series of fact sheets tackle the subject of how climate change will affect habitats of concern in Oregon’s nearshore ocean: Intertidal, subtidal and open water.

Global climate change affects the ocean in a number of ways including altered ocean circulation, increasing sea temperatures, sea level rise, changing weather patterns and changes in fresh­water input and ocean chemistry.

A new series of fact sheets tackle the subject of how climate change will affect three habitats of concern in Oregon’s nearshore ocean: Intertidal, subtidal and open water. They are available in the Global Climate Change section of ODFW’s Conservation website.

While there is much uncertainty about climate change, waiting for more details is not the best approach. It is possible to use the best currently available science to identify and implement strategies for Oregon’s species and habitats, in the nearshore ocean as well as on land. By creating healthy ecosystems now, future threats to habitats can be minimized and communities can better cope with climate change. Read and/or download.

Development of the fact sheets was funded by a Conservation Strategy Implementation Grant through the federal State Wildlife Grant Program.

Oregon's Top Natural Resource Plans

In 2011, Governor Kitzhaber released his ambitious10-year strategic plan for Oregon. It identifies Healthy Environment as one of the six high-level outcome areas. The state adopted plans that relate to the Healthy Environment Vision are available on the Oregon Explorer website. They include the Oregon Conservation Strategy, Ten Year Energy Action Plan for Oregon, Outdoor Recreation in Oregon Plan, ODFW Wildlife Species Management Plans, and Oregon Climate Change Adaptation Framework among others. 10-Year Plan for Oregon

Support Oregon’s wildlife: Buy an ODFW 2013 Youth Art Calendar

Buy an ODFW 2013 Youth Art Calendar andhelp support Oregon’s fish and wildlife and their habitats. Calendars are $10 each and can be ordered from ODFW or picked up at one of these ODFW offices: Bend, Central Point, Charleston, Clackamas, Corvallis, La Grande, Roseburg, Salem, Springfield and Newport. Artwork features native species identified in the Oregon Conservation Strategy as in need of help including American Marten, Sandhill Cranes, Kit Fox and Spotted Bat. Proceeds will be used for restoration of the native habitats that are home to the state’s fish and wildlife. A mail order form is available in the Conservation section of the ODFW website.


On the Ground newsletter archives


The Oregon Conservation Strategy provides a blueprint and action plan for the long-term conservation of Oregon’s native fish and wildlife and their habitats through a voluntary, statewide approach to conservation. It was developed by ODFW with the help of a diverse coalition of Oregonians including scientists, conservation groups, landowners, extension services, anglers, hunters, and representatives from agriculture, forestry and rangelands.

Meg Kenagy
Oregon Conservation Strategy Communications coordinator
(503) 947-6021

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