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OREGON SHORES CONSERVATION COALITION

HELP THE CAUSE

You can help us safeguard the future of the Oregon coast.
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Mack Reef (foreground) and Crook Point from the air.\Photo by Dave Ledig.

Seize the Opportunity to Speak Out on Rocky Shores

Oregon’s effort to develop a new Rocky Habitat Management Strategy has reached a crucial phase, and your help is urgently needed.  A public comment period is now open (until April 15) during which Oregonians can speak up for special, protective “site designations” for key areas of Oregon’s rocky coast.

Twelve citizen-based proposals for site designations are under consideration.  Of these, Oregon Shores has played a key role (as part of the South Coast Rocky Habitat Group) in proposing Marine Conservation Area (MCA) designations for Crook Point-Mack Reef and Blacklock Point, both in Curry County.  We have also engaged with the North Coast Rocky Habitat Coalition to propose sites at Ecola Point and Chapman Point in Clatsop County. For more on the new Rocky Habitat strategy and the site designation process, go here

You can help to advance these proposals with a simple statement:

“To the Rocky Habitat Working Group:

I strongly support Marine Conservation Area designation for Crook Point-Mack Reef and Blacklock Point under the Oregon Rocky Habitat Management Strategy.  These are habitat areas of special value, and it is important that they be recognized and that the public be educated about their value before they are loved to death.  I also urge that all current proposals coastwide be reviewed fairly and transparently by the Rocky Habitat Working Group in a timely way, using objective evaluation criteria.”

Those on the north coast could substitute Ecola Point and Chapman Point for the place names in the above statement.

Adapt the message in any way that suits you, perhaps add an anecdote concerning your experience at one of the sites, or if pressed for time copy and paste the statement above, and send your comment to TSP.Comments@state.or.us

If you would like to go into more detail, read a proposal or proposals of particular interest to you.  You’ll find the links to each proposal here. (Note: Each proposal contains several files.)

Here are direct links to the key proposals on which Oregon Shores worked.

Blacklock Point

Crook Point-Mack Reef

Ecola Point

Chapman Point

Evaluation materials for proposals can be found here.

Rocky habitat at Crook Point.\Photo by Larry Basch.

Here are suggested talking points for the two Curry County sites:

Crook Point-Mack Reef

◾️ The Crook Point-Mack Reef (CP-MR) proposal closely reflects what the public has said it wanted since 1994.

◾️ CP-MR was designated as a Habitat Refuge (which corresponds to the Marine Conservation Area designation in the current process) in 1994, but the earlier designation was never implemented.

◾️ The proposed boundaries of the CP-MR Marine Conservation Area were science-based, and should remain intact, again reflecting what the public wants.

◾️ The CP-MR MCA proposal recommendations include no restrictions to existing human uses (including fishing or research) and no new regulations.

◾️ Non-regulatory management measures proposed include developing a volunteer stewardship program, whose functions would include (but not be limited to):​
🔹 public education
🔹 overseeing rocky habitats, resources and human uses (or misuses like impacts to wildlife)
🔹 protecting threatened habitats and species into the future, e.g., abalone, kelp forests        
◾️ MCA designation would change the status quo by fostering cooperation between the volunteer stewardship program and land management agencies with limited capacity or funds to manage and maintain the rocky habitats that are important to our environmental and economic future.

◾️ While protected on the landward side by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Oregon Islands National Wildlife Refuge Complex Crook Point Unit uplands, which are closed to the public, the adjacent coastal rocky habitat is increasingly accessed by the public via an easy 1.5 mile walk along the beach on good low tides. It is near to Highway 101 and easily reached from the shore by increasing numbers of people—visitation is clearly rising. Contrary to statements made in the Rocky Habitat Working Group’s recommendations, 
the CP-MR area is no more remote than many other parts of the coast. At present, the rocky habitat is intact, yet some resources are threatened. The wildlife refuge does not protect the rocky coast habitats. The rocky habitat deserves a higher level of protection to match that for the wildlife refuge and nearby Pistol River State Park.

◾️ Marine Conservation Areas are not Marine Reserves. The main purpose of this proposed MCA is to foster public stewardship and public education, without imposing restrictions or regulations, whereas marine reserves are no-take areas set aside for scientific research. 

◾️ Management as proposed for this MCA would include recommended new signage, informing the public about the habitat and species present and encouraging respectful, non-damaging behavior.

Blacklock Point from the air.\Photo by Alex Derr, with support from Lighthawk.

Blacklock Point

◾️ The Blacklock Point (BP) proposal closely reflects what members of the public clearly stated that they wanted in 2020-2021.

◾️ Contrary to comments by some members of the Rocky Habitat Working Group, the BP area is not so remote that it can’t be easily reached by increasing numbers of visitors, posing the threat of increasing impacts.  

◾️ The BP Marine Conservation Area (MCA) proposal recommendations include no restrictions to existing human uses (including fishing or research) and no new regulations.

◾️ Non-regulatory management measures proposed include developing a volunteer stewardship program, whose functions would include (but not be limited to):​
🔹 public education
🔹 overseeing rocky habitats, resources and human uses (or misuses like impacts to wildlife)
🔹 protecting threatened habitats and species into the future, e.g., abalone, kelp forests

◾️ MCA designation would change the status quo by fostering cooperation between the volunteer stewardship program and site land management agencies with limited capacity or funds to manage and maintain the rocky habitats that are important to our environmental and economic future.

◾️ Management as a proposed MCA would include recommended new signage, informing the public about the habitats and species present and encouraging respectful, non-damaging behaviors.

The view from Blacklock Point.\Photo by Elizabeth Roberts.

Oregon Shores and all the other citizen groups that have worked on site designation proposals, which reflect thousands of hours of work by the public, have been disturbed that the proposals are not being evaluated by the Rocky Habitat Working Group according to objective criteria.  To learn more about these concerns, see our joint letter to the Land Conservation and Development Commission, which has ultimate authority over this process.

For more information on south coast sites, contact Jesse Jones, (503) 989-7244,
jesse@oregonshores.org or Larry Basch, lvbasch@gmail.com; for north coast sites, Ed Joyce, (503) 468-0995, edjoyce1590@gmail.com.  

View of Mack Reef from Crook Point.\Photo by Dave Ledig.
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P.O. Box 33
Seal Rock, Oregon 97376

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