Governor Kitzhaber today (1.25.2013) thanked the Oregon Land Conservation and Development Commission for moving forward on a decision to adopt an amendment to Oregon's Territorial Sea Plan. LCDC members approved the amendment, which will allow for future siting of marine renewable energy development projects.

“Oregon has long been a leader in renewable energy development, and energy issues will have the single greatest impact on Oregon in the coming decade,” said Governor Kitzhaber. “This balanced proposal shows Oregon can thoughtfully support this emerging and promising industry while protecting our coastal communities’ quality of life, our commercial and recreational fisheries, and a coastline that all Oregonians treasure.” Click Here to view the full press release.

With the LCDC's decision, Oregon's Territorial Sea Plan now guides the siting of wave energy and other forms of marine renewable energy to areas that pose the least conflict with existing ocean uses and natural resources. The Territorial Sea Plan amendment adopted by LCDC identifies four "Renewable Energy Suitability Study Areas" where initial development of wave energy will be encouraged. When specific projects are proposed, developers will have to show that they will meet standards for protecting ecological resources, fishing and other existing uses, and coastal views. Marine renewable energy developers can also seek approval for projects in other areas off Oregon’s coast, but will have to meet more stringent standards.

The Oregon Ocean Policy Advisory Committee (OPAC) requested that the Scientific and Technical Advisory Committee (STAC) review the data sets and information used in Oregon MarineMap for the Territorial Sea Plan by early April 2012. In particular, STAC will review the (1) Nearshore Ecological Data Atlas (NEDA; led by the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife) and (2) the Fishing Grounds maps (led by Ecotrust). To address this charge, STAC broke into the following five groups with invited external experts:

  1. NEDA Birds and Mammals
  2. NEDA Fish
  3. NEDA Ecosystem
  4. NEDA Marxan
  5. Fishing Grounds Maps

Click Here to Read the Final Report

Evaluation Criteria:

Per OPAC's request, each group will evaluate the data sets and information that are relevant to their group based on the following criteria:

  1. Assumptions
  2. Data validity and sampling design
  3. Data gaps
  4. Spatial representation
  5. Strengths and limitations

Additional group charges:

  • The four NEDA teams will also review conclusions drawn from the ODFW scientific workshop, held September 2011.
  • As part of their assessment, the Fishing Grounds Maps team will review the methodology to create the port maps, including the number of interviews conducted.

STAC will limit analyses to scientific questions and not deal with policy issues.


1/18 - OPAC approved the Scope of Work for STAC's review
1/27 - STAC Conference Call to discuss OPAC charge
1/28-3/19 - Each of the five groups of experts will convene to review different areas of Oregon's marine planning data
3/20 - STAC all-hands meeting for the five groups to present draft reports and all members to discuss the review
3/21-4/8 - Follow-up meeting(s) to produce final report
4/9 - OPAC meeting, STAC will present final review

General Background Materials

Fishing Grounds Maps Review

Nearshore Ecological Data Atlas (NEDA) Review

Suggested approach to understand the NEDA data:

  1. Sit down with a copy of the cross-walk table (note targets that were used for your group's review) and your computer, with Oregon Marine Map loaded and operational. Use them together to understand all the components in play. Be sure to click on the title of each data layer in Marine Map to view the associated abstract.
  2. If you want more detail on a target/data layer, see the corresponding metadata file.
  3. Then approach the evaluation criteria (listed above) to make comments for future discussion within your review group.

Relevant documents

NEDA Fish Group

NEDA Bird & Mammal Group

NEDA Ecosystem/Habitat Group

NEDA Marxan Group

A component of Oregon’s Territorial Sea Plan for Renewable Energy Siting
September 20-21, 2011
Comfort Suites (Salbasgeon Suites), Corvallis, Oregon

Science Workshop goals
This workshop will focus on scientific review of data and methods used in the Ecological Atlas project, a marine spatial planning tool that will be incorporated into Oregon's Territorial Sea Plan (TSP) process. The Ecological Atlas will have maps of individual marine resources (e.g. kelp beds in Oregon waters) and will also identify ecological hotspots. The TSP process will use this ecological information, along with other information at a future series of meetings to determine areas to be protected from ocean development projects in the future, according to Goal 19 statewide policy.

Workshop presentations and handouts:

Based on these two actions, and the requests and recommendations of fishing and environmental interests, the department initiated the process for amending the state’s Territorial Sea Plan through a phased approach. The initial phase was to development a new chapter for the plan that contained policies, review and evaluation standards, coordination process, and operational plan requirements for ocean renewable energy development. That was completed in November 2009 when the Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC) adopted Part Five of the Territorial Sea Plan for the Development of Renewable Energy Facilities or Other Related Structures, Equipment or Facilities based on the recommendation of OPAC and the Commission’s Territorial Sea Plan Advisory Committee.

In July of 2010 work began on the development of Oregon MarineMap to support the State’s marine spatial planning efforts. MarineMap is a web-based decision support tool for open and participatory spatial planning in the marine environment. It is a project of the MarineMap Consortium, which is composed of developers at the University of California Santa Barbara, Ecotrust, and The Nature Conservancy.

Oregon MarineMap development will support the on-going public process to update the Oregon Territorial Sea Plan (TSP). To learn more about the various aspects of MarineMap and how it can be used click here.

{rokbox title=|Marine Spatial Planning Conceptual Diagram | size=|700 500| thumb=|images/stories/graphics/marinespatialplanning_processdiagram_thmb.jpg| align=|right|}images/stories/graphics/marinespatialplanning_processdiagram.jpg{/rokbox} The second phase of the amendment process is to conduct a spatial analysis, or mapping, of ocean uses and ecological resources to identify and allocate areas within the territorial sea that are appropriate for renewable energy development. This process is becoming more commonly known as coastal and marine spatial planning, and it relies on the use of digital data that can be used to create map overlays for different types of spatial information.

In March 2008, Governor Kulongoski directed that the Territorial Sea Plan (TSP) be amended to guide the siting of ocean renewable energy facilities and that the Department of Land Conservation and Development lead this work. Phase I, completed in November, 2009 after extensive engagement of stakeholders and affected agencies, created a new Chapter 5 “Uses of the Territorial Sea for the Development of Renewable Energy Facilities or Other Related Structures, Equipment or Facilities.” Chapter 5 spells out the policies, standards, and procedures that state agencies will use to approve new energy development. Phase II, expected to be completed in 2011, will result in maps to guide the location of energy facilities while protecting areas important to ocean fisheries and important marine habitat as required by Statewide Planning Goal 19, Ocean Resources. There will be public meetings to describe the mapping component to the TSP Part 5, and to provide opportunity for community input to the process. Click here to read more about this process in our pdf Citizens Guide to the Territorial Sea Plan . As new data and maps become available, they will be made viewable by the public on Oregon MarineMap.

The department is working with Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) to inventory and acquire the data layers and information important for the protection of marine ecosystem function, diversity and marine habitat. This work is being funded by the department’s NOAA grant. ODFW will compile the relevant data from state and federal resource agencies and other sources such as regional research programs and universities. This project will be conducted in several phases in order to take advantage of the federal funding available to the department for this purpose.

The Department of Land Conservation and Development is currently in the process of amending the Oregon Territorial Sea Plan in response to the Governor’s March 26, 2008 Executive Order No. 08-07, Directing State Agencies to Protect Coastal Communities in Siting Marine Reserves and Wave Energy Projects. That order directs the department to “seek recommendations from the Ocean Policy Advisory Council (OPAC) concerning appropriate amendments to Oregon’s Territorial Sea Plan,” reflecting comprehensive plan provisions on wave energy projects.

The Territorial Sea Plan and Goal 19 Ocean Resources require state agencies to protect areas important to fisheries, including commercial, charter and recreational for different sectors and ports. To apply this protection through the planning process, the state must be able to identify and locate these areas spatially using data derived and contributed by the fishing communities. This is being achieved through a series of projects currently being conducted by Ecotrust, a non-profit research and consulting organization, working with local coastal port fisheries groups. To learn more about the mapping process, please visit Ecotrust's webpage at:


Upcoming Ocean Energy Events

No events

Contact for Ocean Energy

DLCD is the lead on amending the Territorial Sea Plan. To reach DLCD contact:

Paul Klarin
635 Capitol St. NE, Suite 150
Salem, OR 97301-2540