There’s More Beneath the Surface

Oregon’s marine reserves are areas in the ocean that are 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 after 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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A Natural Laboratory for Social Science Research

Over the past several years, researchers studying people’s reactions to Oregon’s marine reserves have begun to understand the complex values and experiences that underpin how different communities interact with the ocean in different ways. Many insights from our ongoing human dimensions research centers on the importance of recognizing how and why different stakeholders interact with and value the ocean in different ways. Read More

Don Sarver is Serving Science with His Fishing Skills

From beach cleanups to family fishing events to research surveys, it’s almost impossible to attend a volunteer event on the central Oregon coast without crossing paths with Don Sarver. Join us as we talk with this stalwart fisherman and avid volunteer as he shares his reasons for volunteering, some of his most memorable moments and what he’s learned about the reserves in the process. Read More

Update on Spring Field Season

We wanted to share with you that the ODFW Marine Reserves Program has made the decision to postpone our spring field season. Keeping our volunteers, contractors, and staff safe is our top priority right now. Our current plan is to postpone the field season through May 31st. Read More

Meet Our Newest Team Member: Ryan Fields

Ryan officially joined the ODFW Marine Reserves Program in February 2020 and is one of our three ecological monitoring team members. He originally hails from Kodiak Island Alaska where he spent his summers commercial fishing for salmon with his family. He received a Master’s degree in 2016 in marine science at Moss Landing Marine Laboratories. Read More

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