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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BROWSE OUR MEDIA GALLERY

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

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

“Sense of Place” a Short Film by OSU-MSI Filmmaking Intern

This past summer, Amir Ahmad was an OSU-MSI Science Filmmaking intern. He collaborated with us to produce a short film highlighting some of the volunteers assisting in the scientific monitoring of Oregon’s marine reserves. This 5 minute film explores some of the different ways these volunteers identify with and are connected to the ocean and why they volunteer. Read More

Black Oystercatcher Study With Help From Volunteers

While the Black Oystercatcher has a conspicuous presence on our coast, little demographic information has been collected on this seabird in recent years. Portland Audubon, research partners, and volunteers conducted a statewide survey to get an updated population estimate and learn more about their distribution at marine reserve sites and along the coast. Findings from this study have recently been published. Read More

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