NEWPORT, Ore. -- This summer the state is asking Oregonians to recommend specific sites to be considered for marine reserves.
The state of Oregon is considering establishing marine reserves to aid in the research and management of ocean habitats and marine plants and animals. Reserves would be areas within Oregon's Territorial Sea (0-3 nautical miles from shore) protected from all extractive and development activities.
Residents are being asked to recommend up to nine areas to be further evaluated for their suitability as marine reserves.
“Governor Kulongoski recognizes the wealth of knowledge about nearshore waters held by coastal communities and ocean users,” said Ed Bowles, Fish Division director for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife and current Governor’s representative on the Oregon Ocean Policy Advisory Council (OPAC).
An executive order issued by the governor requires that proposed sites minimize adverse economic impacts to coastal communities. Collaboration with coastal communities and ocean users is essential to ensure this requirement is met.
“This is a balancing act, to find sites to propose in areas that are biologically meaningful, but avoid significant negative economic or social impacts to coastal communities and ocean users,” Bowles said.
Oregonians have until Sept. 30 to submit their proposals to the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Officials from Oregon Sea Grant and ODFW will be available to help groups and individuals prepare a marine reserve proposal.
“Folks should know that we’re available all this summer to help groups with develop proposals, or to connect individuals who want to participate in or provide input to groups,” said Jeff Feldner of Oregon Sea Grant. “We are more than willing to meet with groups and to try and provide the information resources they need.”
Proposal packets, information resources (such as maps), and more detail about Oregon’s process to develop marine reserves are available on the Oregon Marine Reserves website, www.oregonmarinereserves.net, or from Oregon Sea Grant and the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife. For more information, please contact Jeff Feldner, Oregon Sea Grant Extension, (541) 574-6537 ext. 33, or Cristen Don, Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife Marine Resources Program, (541) 867-4741.