There’s More Beneath the Surface

oregon-reservesOregon’s marine reserves are areas in our coastal waters dedicated to conservation and scientific research. 5 Sites:  The Cape Falcon, Cascade Head, Otter Rock, Cape Perpetua, and Redfish Rocks marine reserves are each named for local natural landmarks. Within the marine reserves all removal of marine life is prohibited, as is ocean development.

The Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife oversees the management and scientific monitoring of these areas. For a state famous for exploration, we’ve only skimmed the surface of our coastal waters. Join us, as we study these areas and learn how to best maintain Oregon’s coastal ocean resources for generations to come. There’s a lot more of Oregon to discover.


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Browse our news stories to find out about the latest research, activities, and discoveries happening at the reserves GO →

 


 

Cape Falcon

Oregon’s northernmost site, located next to the popular Oswald West State Park. Hiking trails provide views out over the reserve from atop the Cape.

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Cascade Head

Includes the north portion of the Siletz Reef, home to a wide variety of groundfish species including black rockfish, canary rockfish, lingcod, and kelp greenling.

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Otter Rock

Oregon’s smallest reserve, at 1.2 sq miles. Three offshore islands mark the west boundary. Visitors can explore tidepools, view seals hauled out onto the rocks, or stroll along the beach.

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Cape Perpetua

Home to some of the most biologically diverse rocky shores anywhere in the Pacific Northwest. Underwater you’ll find extensive soft bottom habitats and a deep, isolated rocky reef.

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Redfish Rocks

Five islands are visible from shore. Underwater is an extensive rocky reef. Kelp beds can be found between the islands and shore. These habitats support a diversity of fish, invertebrates, and seaweeds.

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GET INVOLVED

Here are some ways you can get involved or keep tabs on what's happening in and around Oregon's marine reserves.

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BROWSE OUR MEDIA GALLERY

There’s more beneath the surface. Check out our latest videos and photos here. Go →

MORE WAYS TO GET INVOLVED

Interested in finding even more ways to get involved? Our partners are a great resource for getting connected. Find them here. Go →

Sea Stars: Tigers of the Tidepools

A few years ago Oregon’s intertidal zone was stacked with sea stars. Their brilliant bodies splashing red, orange, and purple color across rock surfaces when the tide receded. Now, fewer tidepools are brightened by these critters since the outbreak of sea star wasting syndrome occurred along the West Coast.

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Reports from the Field

In collaboration with the Oregon Coast Aquarium we held our annual re-fresher training course for our volunteer scientific SCUBA divers. This year we will be conducting SCUBA surveys at the Cascade Head Marine Reserve.   We have selected our two local fishing vessels to help with this year’s hook-and-line surveys. The surveys will be conducted Read More

Strange Creatures Cast Ashore: Velella Velella

In winter and spring, Oregon’s beaches can turn a vivid hue of purplish blue thanks to the invertebrate Velella velella. Also known as “By-the-Wind Sailor,” they are a living blue boat at the mercy of the winds. Storms blow these odd creatures with melodious names ashore, stranding them in uncountable numbers. Read More

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