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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.
 Oregon Shores Joins Thousands in Criticizing LNG Plans
Coos Bay's North Spit, looking south, with Jordan Cove in the distance.
Oregon Shores Joins Thousands in Criticizing LNG Plans
The highly diverse coalition opposing development of an LNG plant at Jordan Cove on Coos Bay’s North Spit, of which Oregon Shores is a member, filed comments with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), taking issue with FERC’s analysis of the project thus far.
The Sierra Club and Western Environmental Law Center took the lead in assembling the comments for the coalition. Attorney Courtney Johnson, representing Oregon Shores and the Crag
Law Center through our Coastal Law Project made substantial contributions to the document.
The coalition’s comments joined a stream of anti-LNG comments to FERC from more than 25,000 citizens, including businesses, ranchers, youth, climate activists, property rights advocates, anglers, and a Native American tribe, all opposed to what would be the West Coast’s first LNG (liquefied natural gas) export terminal.
The Jordan Cove and Pacific Connector Pipeline Project, proposed by Canadian-based Veresen Inc., would export about one billion cubic feet of LNG per day. The terminal would be built on a sand spit in an earthquake, tsunami and storm surge zone. Gas would be piped to Coos Bay through the Pacific Connector pipeline, running 232 miles through a 36-inch pipeline from an existing hub in the Klamath Basin at the Oregon/California border. The company has stated that target markets for the exported gas include China, Japan and Korea.
The project would have significant environmental impacts. These include logging streamside forests, dumping sediment into waterways that are critical habitat for imperiled salmon, fragmenting important wildlife habitat, and extensive dredging in the Coos Bay estuary. Contaminated soil problems at the site were brought to public attention by a whistleblower who had done contract work for Veresen. The coalition asserts that FERC’s examination of these impacts is insufficient, and important aspects of the analysis have not yet been made available to the public. The proposal also raises many safety concerns, including the possibility of spills and explosions.
Supplying the project with gas if it were built would increase fracking, yet FERC chose not to analyze the impacts of accelerated fracking to feed the export terminal. Once Oregon’s lone coal power plant closes in 2020, the Jordan Cove gas export terminal would be the state’s largest greenhouse gas emitter, but the federal analysis fails to consider the climate impacts of the project.
"FERC needs to consider the fundamental fact that exporting LNG will mean more drilling and fracking, and that means more climate pollution, more risk of contaminated groundwater, and more threats to the health of people who live near gas wells," said Sierra Club staff attorney Nathan Matthews. "FERC should be standing up for the public good, not the interests of polluters."

 Mark Your Calendars to ‘Share the Coast’
Marine mammal researcher Shea Steingass (shown here pursuing a different type of organism) will open the conference on Friday evening.
For the past eight years, CoastWatch has partnered with the Northwest Aquatic and Marine Educators to produce the Sharing the Coast Conference. This is a chance to absorb a great deal of background information relating to coastal science and natural history. The conference is designed to serve both CoastWatchers and other conservationists, and the teachers and interpreters who belong to NAME (of course, there is a good deal of overlap).
This year’s Sharing the Coast comes up March 13-15 at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport. Please make plans to join us. Online registration has now begun:
This year’s conference will include talks on everything from marine mammals to seabirds to marine debris, and information on citizen science projects ranging from plankton to sea stars to whales. Field trips will explore various aspects of citizen science.
The conference kicks off with a Friday evening talk that is free and open to all. Marine mammalogist Sheanna Steingass will discuss efforts by scientists to learn more about our marine mammal populations, including her own research on harbor seals and coastal ecology.
Our traditional Saturday evening party will feature food, libations, a mystery speaker and the usual cutthroat trivia game.
More details will appear on this site shortly. For now, mark your calendars and make it a priority to seize this opportunity to advance your CoastWatch skills. You can attend just the Friday evening presentation or the activities on Saturday or Sunday separately, but join us for the entire, packed weekend if you can.

 Community Grants Program for Marine Reserves Announced
The Oregon Marine Reserve Partnership (OMRP), of which Oregon Shores is a founding member, has launched a new community grants program to support local efforts toward creating greater public awareness of Oregon's marine reserves and protected areas. Funds are available to support community groups implementing projects associated with Oregon marine reserves near Cape Falcon, Cascade Head, Otter Rock (north of Newport), Cape Perpetua and Redfish Rocks (near Port Orford).
Learn more about the OMRP’s goals for marine reserve awareness, implementation and research on the partnership’s website,
Projects might include field trips, the production of educational materials, a community event, or other creative idea to connect with people on the science of marine reserves. The OMRP will evaluate the merits of each project based on its relevance to the OMRP strategic framework, technical merit, the qualification of the applicant, project cost, demonstrated financial need, and its focus on marine reserves and protected areas.
Project requests cannot exceed $5,000, and although match is not required, it is desired. The OMRP intends on disbursing a total of $20,000. Any type of organization is eligible to receive funding.
The timeline to apply for a grant is February 1-February 28, 2015. All applicants will be notified of the grant award results by April 1, 2015.
You’ll find a link to the online application form on the website,

 Comments Filed on LNG-related Water Issues
Leading a broad coalition of groups working to prevent development of an LNG (liquefied natural gas) facility on Coos Bay’s North Spit, Oregon Shores and the Crag Law Center, working together as the Coastal Law Project, filed comments with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, citing the many ways in which the development could adversely affect the region’s water quality and related resources. The ... MORE 
 Oregon Shores Creates New Repository for Coastal Photos
As you may have noticed if you visit this website regularly, Oregon Shores uses a lot of photographs of the Oregon coast. We illustrate articles on this website, and we also use photos in newsletters and e-bulletins and in various other publications (for instance, CoastWatch handouts). We’re constantly searching for new images of the coast. Some we seek for their sheer beauty, but we have a ... MORE 
 Oregon Shores Co-Founds Marine Reserves Partnership
Having campaigned for more than a decade for the creation of Oregon’s new network of marine reserves, Oregon Shores has joined forces with five other groups to found the Oregon Marine Reserves Partnership. The goal of the new OMRP is to share information, promote good science and relevant research, and to engage citizens with their new marine reserves. In short, the goal is to work toward making ... MORE 
 Shop on Behalf of Oregon Shores
This year, Oregon Shores is asking all our members, and all those who care about protecting our coastal environment, to rally around us with support to boost us our conservation efforts. We face many threats to coastal ecosystems, and also look forward to expanding very promising initiatives in such areas as citizen science and marine reserves. We need your help if we are to succeed in our ... MORE 
 Marine Debris Volunteers Needed More than Ever
The upsurge of marine debris we've been seeing this winter on Oregon’s shoreline, some of it from the Japanese tsunami and bearing potentially invasive organisms, is a reminder of the continued importance of monitoring for marine debris and cleaning it up. CoastWatchers have turned out for a number of special rapid response efforts to clean up debris that arrived in large quantities, and we need ... MORE