Oregon’s 362 miles of public ocean beaches are the signature feature of the Oregon coast and a principal economic driver for coastal communities. But beaches face increasing problems of visitor safety, access, increased marine debris, beachfront armoring and dune grading, and a rising and expanding range of recreational uses. These issues are driven by growing tourism in all seasons, unabated demand for ocean front development, and increasingly severe storm and erosion events due to climate-driven changes in the ocean, all of which are likely to persist. New legislation, HB 2221, would establish an Ocean Beach Fund to help meet these increasing challenges and further protect the legacy of Oreogn's public beaches.
First introduced two years ago during the 50th anniversary passage of the Oregon Beach Bill, coastal legislators came together in bi-partisan fashion to sponsor a bill with renewed investment in our beaches, essential to meet future management challenges and ensure that the legacy of our public beaches will endure for generations to come. The legislation was met with opposition from the Oregon travel, restaurant and lodging organizations because of the revenue source - the legislation would allow Oregon Parks and Recreation to retain transient lodging dollars collected on ocean shore campgrounds, rather than turn those over to the Travel Commission. The bill will face and uphill battle until some viable solutions and agreements with the travel industry can be found on source revenue.
Join us in supporting the establishment of an Ocean Beach Fund - learn more about the bill and our campaign in the resources below.
UPDATE : The Oregon Beach Fund did not pass the 2017 or 2019 legislative session, however, full funding of Beach Ranger positions and Ocean Shores programs was received through a general fund increase and distribution to the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department budget.