Why update the Territorial Sea Plan for Oregon’s Rocky Shores?
The Oregon Territorial Sea Plan was first instituted in 1994 and provides detailed guidance to state and federal agencies to manage uses within the coastal zone and the state’s territorial sea from 0-3 nautical miles offshore. The ocean place is governed by a tapestry of authorities at multiple government scales, and the Territorial Sea Plan acts as a coordinating framework for the Oregon coastal zone from which individual agencies institute regulations and management activities.
The current Rocky Shores Strategy was included as a chapter of the initial Territorial Sea Plan. The Oregon Ocean Policy Advisory Council (OPAC), which stewards the plan, was given the responsibility to amend it over time as needs and conditions change, as new rocky shore site designations emerge, or as more detailed site studies and analyses improve our knowledge. Much has changed on the coast in the 23 years since plan adoption, including population changes in Oregon and along the coast, identification of new rocky shore sites not included in the original plan, new or changing uses of the shoreline, and a growing awareness of the anticipated effects associated with climate change. The OPAC has determined that it is time to assess and amend the Rocky Shores Strategy to reflect this new understanding and proactively manage Oregon’s rocky shores for the conditions and needs of today and into the future.
Who is involved in the Rocky Shores Strategy amendment?
Consistent with Statewide Planning Goal 1, citizens are invited to participate during all phases of the amendment process. The diagram below shows how parties will be involved.
At the outset of this process, the Ocean Policy Advisory Council (OPAC) will use its Territorial Sea Plan Working Group, composed of OPAC members, agency representatives, and others with relevant expertise in rocky shore management, science, or education, to evaluate the latest knowledge about the rocky shores system and generate recommendations for the plan amendment. The Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development (DLCD) is leading and coordinating this effort. The input and assistance from the general public, resource users, coastal communities, and other interested parties is integral to the process.
How will the Rocky Shores Strategy amendment be performed?
The Territorial Sea Plan Working Group will conduct a series of public meetings and workshops to inform and educate the public about the plan amendment process, review site maps and inventory information, and analyze the various alternatives and options for specific areas, after which it will present its findings and recommendations to OPAC for consideration. OPAC will then finalize a draft plan amendment and submit it to the Oregon Land Conservation and Development Commission(LCDC) for public review and formal adoption. The process is expected to span from fall 2017 to early 2020.
The Strategy amendment is a public process that will occur in three phases, shown below.
The process is currently entering Phase 2
The general activities of the Working Group will include the following:
- Solicit public input via a survey focused on rocky shore users’ needs, concerns, and observations related to rocky shore areas along the coast.
- Establish an inventory of existing resources and uses based on the best available scientific information. Inventory information can include geological and biological characteristics, human usage statistics and concerns, and special protection needs. This information will be presented visually via spatial maps and conceptual models to determine linkages and interdependencies.
- Identify uncertainties, data gaps, and information gathering opportunities.
- Develop objectives for ecosystem-based management and public awareness building for rocky shores.
- Generate planning and management alternatives to meet the identified objectives.
- Develop performance measures for alternatives, relative to management objectives.
- Develop risk management strategies and mitigation/response measures that can be applied as conditions change.
There will be many opportunities for you to participate in this planning process and a variety of ways to submit your ideas, concerns, and responses about how the plan is being developed. All comments are welcome. You may be concerned with state policies used to guide the planning process. You may want to provide information or know more about a particular area or location. Or you may want to provide input on the various types of data and maps used in developing the plan. All of these comments will be useful in assisting OPAC and its Territorial Sea Plan Working Group, and the Land Conservation and Development Commission (LCDC) and its Territorial Sea Plan Advisory Committee, in their deliberations about planning options.