Public Comment Period Opens for Rocky Habitat Plan

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, and the public is invited to comment on it through March 1.

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 update process is currently nearing a critical point, where individuals and organizations will have an opportunity to submit proposals for additions, removals, and changes to rocky intertidal habitat management designations. Before opening up this proposal process, the state of Oregon through its Coastal Management Program invites the public to view and submit comments on the draft strategy and mapping tool that will guide the proposal process.  This comment period began Feb. 1 and runs through 11:59 p.m. on March 1.

Written comments can be submitted via email to 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.