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This year's July 4th had COVID-19, ongoing protests about systemic racism, and a presidential visit to Mt. Rushmore. Plus, Trump signed an order to plan a new statue park.

OR Communities Suggest "Fish Savings Account" Sites

October 1, 2008

Bay City, OR - They've been called "fish savings accounts:" areas that Oregon could set aside in its coastal waters as marine reserves to preserve fish populations and their habitat. Yesterday was the deadline for recommending exactly where Oregonians want those sites to be, and about 20 have been nominated. A coalition called Our Ocean is proposing a network of eight sites.

Fishing guide Bob Rees of Bay City helped put the proposal together. He says Oregon's underwater scene is incredibly diverse, from rocky reefs in the north to gravel beds and kelp forests in the south.

"We want a representative protection across Oregon state waters, from north to south, so that we can realize the benefits of marine reserves in different habitat types, but also different eco-regions of the state."

The proposals will now be reviewed by a group of marine scientists, and state agencies will come up with a budget for research, monitoring and enforcement for each potential site. Gov. Ted Kulongoski has said he'll support no more than nine sites, but it's up to the Legislature to make the final choices.

Some are worried that making parts of the ocean off limits would affect fishing jobs and tourism, but Rees explains that support from both coastal communities and local fishermen helped to create the proposals.

"From a fisherman's perspective, if we allow an ecosystem to function the way it has evolved over hundreds of thousands of years, an abundance of fish will spill over into adjacent waters where both sport and commercial fishermen will have access to them."

The Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife says it will have the proposals posted online next week at

Chris Thomas, Public News Service - OR