January 25 2013

After nearly five years of data collection, stakeholder engagement and public process that included the Surfrider Foundation and its Oregon Chapter Network, the State of Oregon approved a Territorial Sea Plan to protect special recreational and ecological places, including key surf spots, while creating opportunities for renewable ocean energy development.

Surfrider Foundation’s Oregon Chapter Network and its activists played a critical role in this effort over the past five years, participating in the Reedsport Settlement Agreement, developing Surfrider Foundation’s Policy on Renewable Ocean Energy, mapping surfing and other recreational areas through the Oregon No-Consumptive Recreational Ocean Use Study, representing recreational user groups on the Territorial Sea Plan Advisory Committee, and providing countless public comments to the Ocean Policy Advisory Council.

The Territorial Sea Plan includes recommendations directing the study for renewable energy suitability and potential siting at specific locations including Camp Rilea, Nestucca, Reedsport and an area off Lakeside.  If fully built out, these areas would comprise approximately 2% of Oregon’s Territorial Sea, and most importantly would avoid sensitive ecological areas and those used for recreation. The amended plan, including the policies, standards and procedures also includes additional recommendations for periodic review, a cap on the amount of future build out and the distribution of sites along the Oregon coast.

"Oregon has come a very long way as a State over the past five years because of this Territorial Sea Planning process.  We now know more about the human uses and important habitats off our coast than ever before,” said Surfrider Foundation Oregon Policy Manager Gus Gates.  “This is a significant step in our stewardship efforts to protect Oregon's special places and important recreational areas."

"Coastal and ocean conservation organizations, like the Surfrider Foundation, are facing the challenge of balancing responsible renewable ocean energy development with protection of our special ecological and recreational resources along the coast," said Surfrider Foundation Environmental Director Dr. Chad Nelsen. "Oregon has set an national example with their Territorial Sea Planning process by achieving that balance and we applaud them for their data-driven and inclusive process."

Click here to read the full Territorial Sea Plan.