The purpose of Oregon's Nearshore Research Inventory (NRI) project was to inventory and map the current and future use of Oregon's nearshore environment by the scientific research community for use in Oregon's marine spatial planning process. Spatial and qualitative data on the use of Oregon's ocean and coast by the scientific research community was collected using ethnographic research methods, including the geographic distribution of research, the people who are conducting scientific research, timeline for scientific research, and more.
Through the NRI project, Oregon's Territorial Sea Plan amendment process became the first marine spatial planning process in the world, other than through ocean zoning (e.g. Australia's Great Barrier Reef and China), to comprehensively recognize the scientific community as a stakeholder.
As new uses, such as wave energy extraction, get proposed along coastlines and in the ocean, marine spatial planning (MSP) can be a tool to reduce conflict and find compatible uses of ocean and coastal space. Sound science needs to be used to understand social, ecological, and economic components to ocean and coastal resources and make tradeoff decisions about ocean and coastal space use in the MSP process.
The results of the NRI project demonstrate the need to recognize that the scientific research community as a stakeholder in the marine spatial planning (MSP) process. Their use of ocean and coastal space helps provide the sound scientific information that is needed to make ecosystem-based management decisions. Interruptions in long-term scientific research and monitoring could limit the availability of scientific information for use in future management decisions.
To Learn More:
Final Report on the Nearshore Research Inventory Project
Presentation on the Nearshore Research Inventory Project
Final Report of the Nearshore Task Force: “Recommended Long-Term Funding and Coordination Strategy for Implementing Nearshore Priorities of Oregon”
House Bill 3016