Yaquina Bay Estuary Management Gets First Update Since 1982
Friday, June 16, 2023
The management plan for a coastal Oregon estuary is getting its first update in four decades. The public can comment on the draft of the Yaquina Bay Estuary Management Plan released this week.
Lisa Phipps, Oregon Coastal Program manager with the Ocean/Coastal Services Division of the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development, said the bay is a natural extension of the community.
"It's just a really special place and it brings a lot to the community - from an economic perspective, from a recreational perspective, from an aesthetic perspective," she said.
The plan was developed with an array of partners, including Lincoln County, the nearby cities of Newport and Toledo, and the Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Indians. Tribes were not involved in Oregon's first estuary management plans developed in 1982. Two in-person meetings and one virtual town hall will be held on the draft plan and are expected to begin in late June.
Estuaries provide a number of benefits, including for fisheries and as a way to sequester carbon. The Oregon coast also is affected by climate change, and Phipps said the Yaquina Bay plan includes the ability for communities to adapt to its impacts.
"It allows for the conversations to take place where it currently doesn't, and as information becomes more available and more vetted, and where people feel more confident in how it can be utilized, that space exists in the updated estuary management plan draft," she explained.
Phipps added this is a historic moment for Yaquina Bay and says it's important to reflect on this.
"It's just a great way to go, 'Oh, yeah! We have this here," she exclaimed. "This is really important and I'm really glad someone's paying attention, and making sure that the best things that can happen in there are being done.'"
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