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07 • 01 • 2021

Prevent Shoreline Armoring in Tillamook County

Protect one of Oregon’s most treasured natural habitats by preventing the construction of riprap—a structure that leads to accelerated coastal erosion and other hazards.

Seawalls and riprap structures are intended to protect coastal development but are detrimental to our beaches. In the long term these structures degrade the coastline, ultimately eliminating the beaches we know and love. 

Beaches are a publicly owned resource that we all have the right to enjoy. Statewide Land Use Planning Goal 18 sets out to protect and preserve Oregon’s beaches and dunes by prohibiting the construction of riprap on properties adjacent to the beach. 

Some coastal property owners in Tillamook County are looking for an exception to Goal 18’s restrictions. They have submitted applications to the county in an attempt to circumvent the policy preventing riprap. Now, the county is in the process of wrestling with a land-use decision. 

Surfrider and its Oregon Chapters insist that the Tillamook County Board of Commissioners deny this application for a Goal 18 exception and critically consider future requests for shoreline armoring. Surfrider’s goal is to preserve the County’s stretch of beach near the Barview Jetty and protect public access. We also want our advocacy to extend throughout the Oregon coastline, empowering decision-makers to reject shoreline armoring as a means of addressing coastal hazards.

We urge the Board of Commissioners to deny the property owners’ applications, and instead, look toward alternative methods that will address the property owners needs while continuing to preserve our coastline. 

Update

The Tillamook County Board of Commissioners has approved the Goal 18 exception, making the applicant properties eligible for shoreline armoring. Surfrider Foundation and Oregon Shores Conservation Coalition are appealing a decision by Tillamook County that would allow a major shoreline armoring project to take place through an “exception” to statewide land use law. The groups are jointly represented by the non-profit Crag Law Center. More information on the appeal is available here.

Coastal Preservation