Rocky Habitat Plan Moves to Next Phase

Otter Rock tidepools at low tide.\Photo by Laurel Hillmann.

More than two years ago, Oregon Shores successfully urged the state’s Ocean Policy Advisory Council (OPAC) to begin a review of Oregon’s policies protecting rocky intertidal habitat on the coast.  As we argued, these policies hadn’t been reviewed since the 1990s, and the plan that had been adopted then had never been completely implemented.  OPAC agreed, and a working group was formed.  It has been a long process, with many steps (in which Oregon Shores has participated all the way), but a penultimate draft of a new Rocky Habitat Management Strategy is now on the table.  A public comment period ended March 1.  On March 20, the Rocky Habitat Working Group of OPAC will consider the comments and any amendments and then move to consideration of a final draft.  This will then move on to OPAC, and eventually to the Land Conservation and Development Commission.

Oregon’s headlands, tidepools, rocky beaches, cliffs, and offshore rocks (collectively about 41% of the state’s 362-mile shoreline) are managed by multiple state and federal agencies using a coordinated framework, known as the Territorial Sea Plan (which comes under Goal 19 of the state’s land use planning program). Part 3 of this plan, the Rocky Habitat Management Strategy, aims to help sustain and support the use and health of rocky habitat resources. It is this strategy that is currently undergoing an update to assure its goals are being met.

The official public comment period is over, but there is no law against sending comments at other times:  TSP.Comments@state.or.us.

To review the draft strategy, go here:  http://bit.ly/37IHF25.

To review the Rocky Habitat Mapping Tool, go here:  http://oregon.seasketch.org

Visit https://OregonOcean.info for more information and updates, including a schedule of upcoming public presentations.  You will also find information about public comment sessions or webinars in our calendar.

 For questions about the process, contact Michael Moses, (503) 934-0623, michael.moses@state.or.us.