I have lived in Cannon Beach for 20 years, and was drawn here by its stunning beaches, diverse tide pools, rocky habitats and wildlife. I've been a volunteer community scientist monitoring nesting birds every summer for several years.
I'm so happy that visitors come here to enjoy this place, but as visitation increases, I'm deeply concerned about the impacts. Challenges facing inhabitants of the rocky shores are growing, and I've seen firsthand the disturbance of species of conservation concern, like our emblematic puffins and black oystercatchers.
We have a great opportunity right now to help. Oregon's Rocky Habitat Management Strategy is being updated. As part of this process, the public has been asked to submit site designation proposals.
The North Coast Rocky Habitat Coalition submitted two proposals for Chapman Point and Ecola Point, recommending that these areas be designated marine conservation areas. These proposals include smart, practical measures that balance ecological protection and public access. Many in the community have already embraced these proposals.
Haystack Rock gained status as a marine garden in 1991, and it has been a great success story — balancing protection with site access. Let's follow that up with new designations to help keep our community so special.
The Rocky Habitat Working Group has tentatively approved these proposals with several recommended changes, which can be accessed at bit.ly/3mo61GB
The Working Group will reevaluate these proposals soon. Please consider sending a comment in support no later than April 15 to TSP.Comments@state.or.us. Talking points may be found at fb.me/northcoastrockyhabitats