Under the leadership of State Representative Jean Cowan, the Oregon Coastal Caucus, and Governor Kitzhaber, Oregon is moving forward with the recommendations of the Ocean Policy Advisory Council (OPAC) to establish marine reserves at Otter Rock, Redfish Rocks, Cape Perpetua, Cascade Head, and Cape Falcon. The 2011 Legislature approved limited funding for the initial years of the program in the midst of difficult budget deliberations.
"Finding funding for the marine reserves program during a period of significant reductions in state spending demonstrates Oregon's commitment to completing the hard work the public has put into this process" says Representative Cowan, the chair of the Coastal Caucus.
The Governor will work with legislators and OPAC to finalize the details of how state agencies will continue marine reserves implementation, and determine what additional legislative and administrative actions are needed to complete the work.
"The Coastal Caucus has provided great leadership in moving marine reserves forward," said Governor Kitzhaber. "We will continue to work with them to develop the details of our next steps forward in a way that respects the broad input that has gotten us to this point."
The details of the next steps for implementation are expected to be completed by early Fall, following consultations between the Governor's office, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife, coastal legislators, OPAC and other interested parties.