Connecting the Drops
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Protect the Oregon Beach Bill

January 07 2007 |
by Surfrider Foundation

In 1967, the historic Beach Bill was passed by the Oregon Legislature which protects public access and enjoyment of our ocean beaches. Only one other state in the country besides Oregon (Hawaii) guarantees full protection for ocean beaches from the surf line to the vegetation line.

Unfortunately, these beach protections are now threatened by an unanticipated consequence of Measure 37 which may allow coastal property owners to file claims to develop beach dunes or recieve financial compensation for not doing so. On July 31, a beachfront property owner in Cannon Beach filed a Measure 37 claim to construct a motel on top of beach sand dunes long protected by the Beach Bill. Several Cannon Beach volunteers have helped develop written comments urging mayor/city council to deny claim.

If you're an Oregon resident, you can help protect the Oregon Beach Bill by letting your state representatives know that you care about public access to the shoreline and protection of Oregon's sandy beaches. Send a letter or email urging your state representative to reform Measure 37 legislation to exempt our beaches. Legislative session starts Jan 8 so please do this SOON. Sample comments and representative info can be found below. Or see action alert under "Take Action" of Surfrider website. Mahalo

Find your legislator: http://www.leg.state.or.us/findlegsltr/

Dear Representative

I urge you to protect the Oregon Beach Bill of 1967 by reforming Measure 37 to exempt claims along our state's beautiful coastline.

In Cannon Beach, a beachfront property owner has filed a Measure 37 claim to construct a motel on top of beach sand dunes long protected by the Beach Bill. This claim represents a threat to the public's right to use and enjoy Oregon's ocean beaches up to the vegetation line. More claims like this are likely to follow.

The Beach Bill is an integral part of Oregon’s culture and heritage as a state. Governor Oswald West first promoted the idea of public access to Oregon's coast back in 1913 and Governor Tom McCall later secured this legacy through leading passage of the Oregon Beach Bill.

The Beach Bill guarantees that all land within sixteen vertical feet of the average low tide mark belongs to the people of Oregon and protects the public's free and uninterrupted use of the beaches along Oregon’s 363 miles of coastline. Only one other state in the country besides Oregon (Hawaii) guarantees public access from the surf line to the vegetation line.

Please do the right thing this legislative session and make sure that Tom McCall's vision of public use and enjoyment of Oregon's beaches is not tarnished. Support reform of Measure 37 to exempt our beaches!!

Thanks
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