The Earth’s climate and oceans are changing because of human activities that emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Oregon is already experiencing changes that are consistent with changes observed and projected globally, such as increased average air and water temperatures, disrupted precipitation patterns, and increased ocean acidification and hypoxia.
These changing climate and ocean conditions are undermining the ability of lands and waters to support Oregon’s native fish and wildlife, and the cultural and economic benefits they provide. This represents a serious and immediate threat to the Department’s ability to achieve its mission and meet its statutory mandates to manage the public trust resources in its care.
To ensure the Department responds appropriately, ODFW recently adopted a Climate and Ocean Change Policy (click link for administrative rule) that provides high level direction to the Department to:
(1) Ensure the Department understands the risks and opportunities associated with changing climate and ocean conditions and incorporates that understanding into all of the Department’s actions to maximize the conservation, use, and enjoyment of fish, wildlife, and their habitats for present and future generations.
(2) Provide leadership toward a coordinated statewide and regional response that minimizes the impacts of changing climate and ocean conditions on Oregon’s natural resources and the communities, culture and economies reliant on them, and allows for sustainable use of natural resources in the future.
(3) Provide leadership towards achieving the reductions in global greenhouse gases emissions that will be needed to prevent worsening of the impacts by reducing the Department’s carbon footprint to the extent practicable, with the goal reaching carbon neutrality.
As part of implementing this policy, ODFW will be updating this page in the coming months with relevant material.