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Public invited to comment on rules for marine reserves

October 1 , 2009


The public is invited to comment on draft rules to establish, study, monitor and evaluate pilot marine reserves at Otter Rock north of Newport and Redfish Rocks near Port Orford.

Three meetings scheduled in October are part of agency rulemaking to establish the two reserves, as directed by the 2009 Oregon Legislature (House Bill 3013).  The meetings are sponsored jointly by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, the Department of State Lands and the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife manages the fish and wildlife resources of the state. The department’s proposed rules regulate fishing and hunting activities in the marine reserves and marine protected areas, while continuing to allow for certain uses such as scientific research, retrieval of fishing gear that has drifted into the area, and transiting, drifting, or anchoring in the marine reserve or marine protected area.  

The Department of State Lands manages the land underlying Oregon’s territorial sea (which extends three miles seaward from Oregon's coastline) and authorizes uses such as telecommunications cables and pipelines placed on the seafloor. Under the proposed rules, the department would issue authorizations in marine reserves and marine protected areas only for activities focusing on monitoring, evaluating, enforcing, protecting or otherwise furthering the study of these areas.

The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department is responsible for managing public recreation and natural resources from low tide landward, normally up to the vegetation line. The ocean shore recreation area is affected by one of the two proposed marine reserves pilot projects: Otter Rock. With few exceptions for things like research, removing or damaging natural materials — rocks, plants, animals or any other natural object — would not be allowed in the rocky, northern section of Otter Rock between extreme low and mean high tide. The area would remain open to the public and pets.

The meetings will be:

  • 1 – 3 p.m. Oct. 20, - State Lands Building, 775 Summer Street N.E., Salem,
  • 7 – 9 p.m. Oct. 21, - Port Orford Public Library, 1421 Oregon Street, Port Orford,
  • 7 – 9 p.m. Oct. 22- The Inn at Otter Crest, 301 Otter Crest Drive, Otter Rock.

Those unable to attend one of the meetings may submit written comments to:

The Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife will accept comments until Dec. 11, on which date the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission will adopt the ODFW rules. The Department of State Lands will accept comments until Nov. 17; their Board will adopt the DSL rules at the Dec. 8 State Land Board meeting. The Oregon Parks and Recreation Department will accept comments until Nov. 17; their commission will adopt the OPRD rules at the Jan. 28, 2010 Oregon Parks and Recreation Commission meeting. 

More information, including a link to the agencies’ draft rules and instructions on where to send public comment.



Brandon Ford, ODFW, (541) 867-4741
Julie Curtis, DSL, (503) 986-5298
Chris Havel, OPRD (503) 986-0722



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