|In Oregon, the beaches belong to the people. As part of Oregon's tradition of environmental stewardship, the Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition serves as the guardian of the public interest for our coastal region. Oregon Shores is dedicated to preserving the natural communities, ecosystems and landscapes of the Oregon coast while conserving the public's access. Oregon Shores pursues these ends through education, advocacy, and engaging citizens to keep watch over and defend the Oregon coast.|
| TOP STORIES|
| Oct 17 NEW CoastWatch and OMDT Partners Offer Marine Debris Grants|
Volunteer Lisa Wallace measures out NOAA monitoring site at Muriel O. Ponsler State Park. Photo by Charlie Plybon. The Oregon Marine Debris Team is seeking volunteer groups to participate in a community grants program which will support monitoring for marine debris. Up to 10 local groups (either existing organizations or teams that unite for this effort) will be awarded $500 to assist them in regularly monitoring and submitting reports on marine debris that washes up at selected sites. Deadline for applying for the grants is Jan. 7, 2014.
The project is part of an ongoing research program of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Participating groups will employ a “protocol” developed by NOAA to gather data and the types and amounts of marine debris reaching the shore. Monitoring sites are 100 meters (about 325 feet) long, and are selected according to specific criteria. Surveys must be done regularly on a monthly basis. The information collected, using NOAA’s method, is then uploaded onto a website.
There is little scientific data on how much and what types of marine debris washes up on Oregon’s shoreline. The new research project will collect “baseline data” on debris accumulations in Oregon, part of a national study funded by NOAA.
Specific sites should fall within areas chosen for the study. A map of the potential areas can be found by clicking here. Within each area, preference will be given to proposals for more remote areas with less human traffic and where it is less likely that litter will be picked up between monitoring sessions.
No prior experience is necessary. Training and support will be provided by the Oregon Marine Debris Team (OMDT), a partnership among four non-profit organizations—CoastWatch, Surfrider, SOLVE, Washed Ashore—with the cooperation of Oregon Sea Grant and the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department.
Community grants, intended to help volunteers cover costs of transportation and equipment such as bags, measuring tape, or marker flags, require a commitment to monitor a site consistently for two years, reporting the data according to the NOAA protocol. Recipient groups will also be required to send 1-3 members to a training workshop to learn about the monitoring techniques and link up with other groups involved with marine debris monitoring. You will find more about this, and a listing of the sites for which monitoring is sought, on the OMDT site.
For information, contact Fawn Custer OR CALL (541) 270-0027. Or go to the OMDT website, omdt.org. Contact Fawn also if you would be willing to help scout any stretch of the Oregon shoreline for marine debris on a regular basis.
Contact: Phillip Johnson, Executive Director, (503) 754-9303, or EMAIL
| Nov 27 NEW Parks Commission Tentatively Okays Land Swap|
View of land to be traded as part of the Bandon Biota exchange with State Parks. The proposed land swap between the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department (OPRD) and “Bandon Biota” was tentatively approved by the Parks and Recreation Commission during their November meeting.
Oregon Shores was represented during the hearing by Executive Director Phillip Johnson and by attorney Courtney Johnson of the Crag Law Center, who works with us through our Coastal Law project. Oregon Shores did not take a rigid position against the exchange of property, but argued that a decision was premature until OPRD had obtained, and made public, both environmental assessments and real estate appraisals of all properties involved. The commission rejected our appeal not to make a decision at the meeting—but did follow our request that no final decision be made until more information was available on the ecological and cultural values of the sites.
The commission will take up the matter again in February. Written comments and audio testimony from the November hearing can be found online.
Bandon Biota—the development arm of the Bandon Dunes golf complex—has proposed that State Parks trade a 280-acre parcel of the Bandon State Natural Area, just south of Bandon, in return for two smaller parcels totaling 210 acres. Bandon Biota would also provide funds to assist State Parks in purchasing lands at Whale Cove, near Depoe Bay, and at Grouse Mountain in eastern Oregon
Oregon Shores has concentrated on the process by which the decision is made, strongly urging that full details be revealed to the public, and the public then be given time to digest the information and then comment. State Parks recently completed a full analysis of the 280-acre parcel that would be traded away, which clearly reveals that the parcel, despite being infested with gorse, contains important resource areas and high-value habitat. Oregon Shores’ position is that no decision should be considered until a similarly detailed study is done of the parcels to be traded to the public in return. Oregon Shores has also taken the position that it is inappropriate to consider the Grouse Mountain property in weighing the benefit to the public, on the grounds that coastal shorelands are limited and irreplaceable, and thus can’t be compared to land in the wide-open spaces on the other side of the state.
This is the first such land exchange to be considered since the Parks and Recreation Commission adopted new rules requiring that any land swap proposed by private interests provide “overwhelming public benefit.” The decision in this case thus has important precedent-setting value.
For more information on the issue and Oregon Shores’ stance, contact Phillip Johnson, (503) 754-9303, or click here.
Contact: Phillip Johnson, Executive Director, (503) 754-9303, or EMAIL
| Oct 21 Oregon Shores Wins Another Appeal of Crook Point Resort |
The state’s Land Use Board of Appeals (LUBA) has once again found in Oregon Shores’ favor in an appeal of the proposed Crook Point destination resort. In a recent decision, LUBA agreed with us that Curry County once again failed to follow either its own comprehensive plan or the underlying statewide land use regulations in designating “coastal shorelands.” This is a crucial point, because areas ...
| Aug 24 Proposed Oyster Lease in Netarts Draws Opposition|
Oregon Shores has taken a position against a 32-acre oyster lease that has been requested for Netarts Bay. An outfit calling itself the Shuckin’ Food Oyster Company has requested the plat for oyster production from the Oregon Department of Agriculture, which handles such leasing arrangements. While oystering is an important economic activity in Netarts Bay, and Oregon Shores does not oppose the ...
| Jun 10 Clean Water Act Lawsuit Filed to Protect Coalbank Slough|
Oregon Shores has joined with Coos Waterkeeper in filing a civil lawsuit in federal court to enforce the Clean Water Act for the protection of Coalbank Slough and the Coos Bay estuary. The lawsuit filed on our behalf by the Crag Law Center, our partners in the Coastal Law Project, arises from a failed grading and fill project that has dumped about 1,500 cubic yards of spoils into an important ...