There’s More Beneath the Surface

The spirit of exploration is alive and well in Oregon. Only now, it’s underwater. Overseen by the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife (ODFW), Oregon’s five marine reserve sites are areas in the ocean dedicated to scientific research and conservation. In the reserves all ocean development and removal of marine life is prohibited.

5 Sites:  Here you can learn about what a marine reserve is. Where they are. And why we have marine reserves. We invite you to explore the Cape Falcon, Cascade Head, Otter Rock, Cape Perpetua, and Redfish Rocks sites and discover what lies beneath the surface.

For a state famous for exploration, we’ve only skimmed the surface of our coastal ocean waters. Join us, as we study these areas and learn how to best maintain Oregon’s ocean resources for generations to come. There’s a lot more of Oregon to explore.


See What’s New

Browse our Reserves News posts to explore 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.

SEE WHAT’S NEW

Browse our latest Reserves News posts to see what’s happening. Go →

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BROWSE OUR MEDIA GALLERY

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

Diving Into Hook-and-Line Data

Though our spring hook-and-line surveys were cancelled, our ecological team has been busy analyzing data from previous sampling years. These graphs summarize the average biomass of fish throughout the years of sampling at Cascade Head and Cape Perpetua, which were established as marine reserves in 2014. Read More

Greater Familiarity Leads to Greater Concern for the Ocean

Recently, ODFW revisited survey data collected in a 2016 visitor survey to dig deeper and learn more about Oregon coastal visitors. The goal was to use more advanced statistical methods to see if we could use visitor characteristics to predict how much a visitor knows or thinks that they know about the ocean. Read More

Volunteer Diana Hollingshead: Deep Commitment To Discovery & Safety

With decades of experience under her dive belt, Diana Hollingshead is no stranger to the challenges of scientific diving or the discoveries they can bring to the surface. Join us as we talk with this SCUBA instructor, as she reflects on her volunteer experiences as a scientific diver helping ODFW with marine reserve monitoring SCUBA surveys. Read More

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