Coastal Marine Habitat

Oregon’s iconic coast and marine waters support over one million nesting seabirds, awe-inspiring marine mammals, and dramatic landscapes that capture the imagination. It is also home to underwater kelp forests, tide pools, and rocky reefs that offer important habitat for thousands of fish and invertebrate species. It is one of the wildest and most unique places in the state, and offers exceptional opportunities for viewing wildlife and recreation.

Bird Alliance of Oregon actively works along the entire Oregon coast to protect coastal and ocean habitat and the species that depend on them to survive through advocacy, community science, education, land stewardship, and collaboration.


Bird Alliance of Oregon has a long history of working to protect Oregon’s coastal habitats and species dating back to our founding in 1902 when we successfully advocated for and established the first wildlife refuge in the western United States at Three Arch Rocks. In recent decades, Bird Alliance of Oregon has realized a number of successful conservation victories along Oregon’s coast including:

  • Securing the Marbled Murrelet as threatened under the federal Endangered Species Act (ESA) and uplisting to endangered under the Oregon ESA
  • Designation of Oregon’s system of Marine Reserves and Protected Areas
  • Advancing stronger state and federal protections for forage fish species that are a critical seabird food source
  • Helping secure protection for Rocky Habitat Protected Areas
  • Helping pass critical legislation that supports restoration of “blue carbon” habitats like eelgrass tidal wetland forests.
Community scientists monitoring seabirds, photo by Amelia O'Connor

Still very significant challenges remain. Seabird species remain among the world’s most threatened species due to anthropogenic causes including overfishing, habitat loss, and pollution. Oregon’s fledgling Marine Reserves and Protected Areas protect only a fraction of area needed for them to be an ecologically functional network. Finally, Oregon’s coastal waters are vulnerable to the impacts of climate change including ocean acidification, sea level rise, and increasingly frequent hypoxic (low-oxygen) events triggered by a warming ocean.

Visit our current coastal marine conservation priorities to learn more, how you can help, and what actions we are taking to help protect Oregon’s precious marine environment for generations to come. For more questions, contact Joe Liebezeit, Assistant Director of Statewide Conservation (