Smoke Free Beaches in Oregon


State: OR
Country: USA
Theme: Plastic Pollution
Launch Date: October 01 2013
Status: Active

Reduce the prevalence and impact of cigarette butts on beaches, aquatic ecosystems, and in public places in Oregon through education, outreach, clean ups, and government action.

In early 2014, Oregon Parks and Recreation Department adopted rules to prohibit smoking in all State Parks, while exempting smoking in personal vehicles and along the Oregon Shores Recreation Area (Oregon's 362 miles of publicly owned beaches). Given that cigarette butts are the number one littered item in the world, and frequently found during Oregon Surfrider chapters' beach cleanups as a chronic source of marine debris, all Oregon Surfrider chapters are working together using OPRD’s rulemaking procedures to advocate for the agency to promote smoke free beaches thru adoption of rules for the ocean shore area. While initial rulemaking failed to pass OPRD commission in late 2014, the agency was charged with further educating the public and evaluating the impact for further considering rulemaking in 2016. Surfrider Chapters in Oregon are now working on educational strategies in addition to further evaluation of impacts through beach cleanup activities and documentation in order to support reconsideration of rules prohibiting smoking on Oregon's beaches.