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.

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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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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Marine Reserves Enforcement: Here’s What’s Working…

Marine reserves depend on enforcement and compliance, otherwise they are simply “paper parks” with lines on a map. The compliance rates have been relatively high among Oregon’s reserve sites. This is due to a combination of factors including fishermen’s willingness to comply with the rules, and education and outreach efforts that has been carried out by Oregon State Police, ODFW, and State Parks. Read More

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